Statement by New York State Commissioner of Agriculture on unsolicited packages of seeds sent from China

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Several Virginia residents have informed the department that they have received packages in the mail containing seeds that appear to have come from China. In an email, the department states that the type of seeds in the packages are unknown and “may be invasive plant species.” (photos provided by the VDACS)

ALBANY, N.Y. (WWTI) — Following reports from multiple states receiving unsolicited shipments of foreign seeds, the New York State Commissioner of Agriculture released a statement.

On July 27 Commissioner Richard A. Ball stated:

““Our office has received questions from a few New Yorkers who have received unsolicited packages allegedly sent from China that are marked as containing jewelry (or other items) but which actually contain plant seeds. Similar packages have been received in other states and the United States Department of Agriculture is investigating. People who receive seeds should not plant or handle the seeds. They should store them safely in a place children and pets cannot access and email USDA immediately at erich.l.glasgow@usda.gov for instructions. Seeds imported into the United States are rigorously tested to ensure quality and prevent introduction of invasive species, insects and diseases. We will continue to monitor this issue and will pass along guidance as it is received from USDA.” 

The NYS Department of Agriculture urges all consumers to email USDA with their full name, telephone number, pictures of the package, along with any relevant information.

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