Champaign, Ill. (WCIA)
People across the country are receiving seeds from outside the U.S. in the mail. What should you do if you happen to receive seeds? The Illinois Farm Bureau shares more.
• The Friday of July 24 and the following weekend, Illinois Farm Bureau became aware of the occurrence of mysterious, unsolicited seed packages arriving at doorsteps throughout the U.S.
• By July 30, over 500 calls had been made by Illinois residents about receiving packages of these seeds in all shapes, sizes, and colors.
• The Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) is currently working with USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to address reports of unsolicited shipments of seeds from foreign countries.
• APHIS recently identified 14 types of plants from unsolicited packages of seeds that appeared to have been mailed from China, revealing a “mix of ornamental, fruit and vegetable, herb and weed species.”
• While many of these identified seeds are common, we still must err on the side of caution as an investigation by USDA is underway. Invasive plant species have cost millions of dollars to control.
• Anyone who receives unordered seeds in the mail should contact the IDOA by emailing the following information to agr.seeds@Illinois.gov: First and Last Name, Phone Number and the number of packages received.
• Recipients should not open the package, plant the seeds, or throw them out.
• All seeds should be kept unopened and with their original packaging and labels, including mailing labels, until further instruction is provided by the IDOA.