Colorado Ag Department asking for reports of unsolicited seeds received in the mail
BROOMFIELD, Colo. — The Colorado Department of Agriculture has received numerous reports from across the state of people receiving unsolicited packages of seeds in the mail that appear to have originated from China and other countries and labeled as containing jewelry or other items.
Unsolicited seeds could be invasive, introduce diseases to local plants or be harmful to livestock.
USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is working closely with the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection and state departments of agriculture to prevent the unlawful entry of prohibited seeds and protect U.S. agriculture from invasive pests and noxious weeds.
Anyone who receives an unsolicited package of seeds should immediately contact the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s Plant Industry Division at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (303) 548-5333 or the APHIS State plant health director.
Please hold onto the seeds and packaging in its original package safely, including the mailing label, until someone from the Colorado Department of Agriculture or APHIS contacts you with further instructions. Do not plant seeds from unknown origins, and do not put the seeds in the trash, which could ultimately end up in the landfill and then sprout.
Additional information will be released as it becomes available.
The Kansas Department of Agriculture has also been notified that several Kansas residents have received unsolicited packages containing seeds that appear to have originated from China. The types of seeds in the packages are unknown at this time. The packages were sent by mail; some have been labeled as jewelry and they may have Chinese writing on them. Unsolicited packages of seeds have been received by people in several other states across the United States over the last several days.
If you receive a package of this type, please DO NOT plant these seeds. If they are in sealed packaging, don’t open the sealed package. Instead, please contact KDA’s plant protection and weed control program at (785) 564-6698, via email at KDA.PPWC@ks.gov, or at the complaint reporting portion of the KDA website: report a seed complaint.
Unsolicited seeds could be invasive species, could introduce diseases to local plants, or could be harmful to livestock. Invasive species wreak havoc on the environment, displace or destroy native plants and insects and severely damage crops. KDA works to prevent the introduction of invasive species and protect Kansas agriculture. ❖