People are receiving packages from China they didn’t order, according to state agriculture departments across the U.S.
The Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) followed several other states and announced Monday that it is aware of people getting “unsolicited packages of seeds from China.” The MDA said it is working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS).
Marylanders who receive the seed packages should report it to Plant Protection and Weed Management by email or phone at 410-841-5920.
MDA is aware that people across the country, including in Maryland, have received unsolicited packages of seeds from China in recent days. MDA is working closely with its partners at @USDA_APHIS to monitor this situation. (1/3) pic.twitter.com/x6GiVyoUj4
— Maryland Department of Agriculture (@MdAgDept) July 27, 2020
In a statement, APHIS said it 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.” It asks those who receive packages to keep everything, but to not use the seeds.
#APHIS is working closely with @CBP and State Depts of Ag re: unrequested seeds. If received, pls contact State Dept of Ag https://t.co/g0WhR57Wv3 or the #APHIS State Plant Health Office https://t.co/CdHtWghDbC. Keep packaging and do not plant seeds from an unknown origin! pic.twitter.com/LORKeTh4Tc
— USDA APHIS (@USDA_APHIS) July 27, 2020
“Do not plant seeds from unknown origins,” the statement reads. The MDA and APHIS could not offer a count of how many Marylanders or Montgomery County residents have received these packages.
Other states have put out similar statements in recent days. Virginia and Delaware issued statements on Friday and Sunday, respectively. Farther out, states including Washington and Kansas have also said they’re aware of unsolicited deliveries.
Public Asked To Report Receipt of any Unsolicited Packages of Seeds. Learn more: https://t.co/RY9u4nR1QK pic.twitter.com/ZzNaO2ZaYz
— VDACS (@VaAgriculture) July 24, 2020
We have reports of Delawareans receiving seeds from China that they did not order. If you receive them – don't plant them. Report to https://t.co/CcrLlxx4oT#seedsfromchina pic.twitter.com/xuv3KppYp0
— DE Dept. of Ag (@AgricultureDE) July 26, 2020
We have received reports of people receiving seeds from China that they did not order. If you receive them – don't plant them. Report to @USDA_APHIS at https://t.co/0U53rbAiHs pic.twitter.com/Y4yAKv5bk7
— Washington State Department of Agriculture (@WSDAgov) July 24, 2020
KDA has been notified that Kansas residents have received unsolicited packages containing unknown types of seeds. If you receive a package of this type, please DO NOT plant these seeds. Read the full news release here: https://t.co/fw6XCcbRxZ pic.twitter.com/OrzcIcRI70
— Kansas Dept of Ag (@KansasDeptofAg) July 25, 2020