ST. PAUL, Minn. (KEYC) — The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) announced Monday it has been receiving reports of residents receiving unsolicited packages of seeds that appear to be coming from China.
People who receive the seeds are urged not to plant them. MDA encourages anyone who receives unsolicited seeds in the mail to not throw away the package or its contents and contact Arrest the Pest at 1-888-545-6684 or by sending an email to Arrest.The.Pest@state.mn.us. Phone calls and emails to Arrest the Pest should include your name, contact information and the date the package was received.
In addition, anyone who receives unsolicited seeds can report it directly to the MDA by completing the Google Form below.
“We’re uncertain what these seeds may be and why people are receiving these unsolicited packages,” said Denise Thiede, MDA’s Seed Unit Supervisor. “Until we know more, we encourage people to contact us because of the risk they may pose to Minnesota agriculture and our natural landscapes.”
MDA officials said they will then coordinate shipping the packaging and contents to the MDA Seed Program for further analysis.
The MDA is also working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Smuggling Interdiction and Trade Compliance Program on the identification and destruction of the seeds.
Officials in other states, including Louisiana, Utah, Virginia, and Washington, have reported similar situations.