Alabama warns of possibly harmful seed packages in your mail

Alabama warns of possibly harmful seed packages in your mail
The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries is urging you not to open, plant or dispose of the seeds until the USDA gives more guidance. (Source: ADAI)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Have you gotten a package of seeds in the mail that you weren’t expecting? The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries says if you have, you’re not alone.

Now, ADAI is urging you not to plant the seeds, which often come in packaging through the postal service that is mislabeled as “jewelry.”

The packages are being sent to the United States from China and reports indicate they’ve been delivered to residents in multiple states including Arizona, Delaware, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Ohio, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, and Washington State.

Alabama is among multiple states now reporting unsolicited packages of seeds from China being mailed to its residents.
Alabama is among multiple states now reporting unsolicited packages of seeds from China being mailed to its residents. (Source: ADAI)

“We urge all residents to be on the lookout for similar packages. These seeds could be invasive or be harmful to livestock,” said Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries Rick Pate.

If you get a package of the seeds, ADIA is urging you to follow these steps:

1). DO NOT plant the seeds and if they are in a sealed package, do not open the sealed package. Also, DO NOT dispose of the seeds.

2). Report suspicious seed deliveries to USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and maintain the seeds and packaging until USDA gives more instructions. This may be used for evidence.

Call 1-800-877-3835 or email to SITC.Mail@aphis.usda.gov. For more details visit https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/planthealth/import-information/sa_sitc/ct_antismuggling.

The packages of seeds may contain invasive species that could damage crops or hurt livestock and are often mislabeled as being "jewelry."
The packages of seeds may contain invasive species that could damage crops or hurt livestock and are often mislabeled as being "jewelry." (Source: ADAI)

The USDA will releases its official guidance, including instructions for reporting unsolicited seeds, as soon as possible.

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