MONTGOMERY — The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries has received reports of “unsolicited” seeds from China being delivered to residents across the state through the United States Postal Service. The packing is often mislabeled as “jewelry.”
So far, residents from several other states including, Arizona, Delaware, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Ohio, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia and Washington State have reported receiving suspicious packages of seeds. The practice is known as agricultural smuggling, the department stated.
“We urge all residents to be on the lookout for similar packages. These seeds could be invasive or be harmful to livestock,” Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries Rick Pate said.
The department has asked recipients of any unsolicited seeds to do the following:
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 and maintain the seeds and packaging until USDA provides further instructions. This may be used for evidence.
Call 1-800-877-3835 or email to SITC.Mail@aphis.usda.gov. For more details visit aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/planthealth/import-information/sa_sitc/ct_antismuggling.