Alabama Dept. of Agriculture warns of residents receiving potentially dangerous seeds from China
The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI) on Monday announced that it has received multiple reports of seeds being delivered unsolicited to residents across the state, with China as the origin.
A release advised that the shipments are coming through the United States Postal Service (USPS). The packing is often mislabeled as some type of jewelry.
So far, residents from several other states have also reported receiving suspicious packages of seeds. This practice is known as agricultural smuggling, per ADAI.
“We urge all residents to be on the lookout for similar packages. These seeds could be invasive or be harmful to livestock,” stated Alabama Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries Rick Pate.
Currently, the department is asking recipients of unsolicited seeds to follow these instructions:
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 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 click here.
USDA will reportedly be releasing its official guidance soon, including additional instructions for reporting unsolicited seeds.
ADAI provided the following pictures as examples of Alabama residents receiving unsolicited seeds:
The AL Dept of Agriculture & Industries (ADAI) has received multiple reports of “unsolicited” China origin seeds being delivered to residents across the state through the USPS. The packing is often mislabeled as “jewelry.”
For more information visit https://t.co/QMVJalsUFr pic.twitter.com/HLR1xnU5pN
— AlaAgriculture (@AlaAgriculture) July 27, 2020
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn