Unsolicited bags of seeds prompt warning to residentsompt warning to residents

DON'T PLANT THESE: This is a sample package of what the USDA calls suspicious seeds from China that people across the United States have received. Image courtesy of USDA

People across the country have received unsolicited packets of seeds from China and anyone who receives these packets are urged not to open them and not plant the seeds.

The Guam Department of Agriculture's Biosecurity Division and USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service are issuing the advisory.

USDA is working closely with the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection, other federal agencies, and State departments of agriculture to investigate, USDA announced.

Anyone who receives an unsolicited package of seeds is asked to immediately contact the Biosecurity Division. Russel Campbell at, Russell.Campbell@doag.guam.gov or the PEST HOTLINE 671-475-7378

Steps for individuals who receive said materials:

1. Hold onto the seeds and packaging, including the mailing label.

2. Do not open the seed packets

3. Place all contents in a zip bag, then place in an envelope or small box.

4. Mail at:

Guam Department of Agriculture, Biosecurity Division

Dr. Russell Campbell

163 Dairy Road

Mangilao, GU 96910

• Provide your contact information in the bag submitted with the seeds:

Name

Address

Phone number

e-mail address

5. If for whatever reason you cannot mail the seeds: Please hold onto the seeds and packaging, including the mailing label and Contact the Guam Department of Agriculture at 671-300-7968, they will plan for pick up

6. If you have already planted the seeds: Please hold onto the packaging, including the mailing label and Contact the Indiana Guam Department of Agriculture at 671-300-7968, as they will plan for pick up.

7. And most importantly do not plant seeds from unknown origins.

Currently, USDA does not have any evidence indicating this is something other than a “brushing scam” where people receive unsolicited items from a seller who then posts false customer reviews to boost sales, according to USDA.

USDA is currently collecting seed packages from recipients and will test their contents and determine if they contain anything that could be of concern to U.S. agriculture or the environment. All seeds collected will be incinerated.

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