The U.S. Department of Agriculture is warning Americans to watch out for unsolicited packages of seeds that appear to be shipped from China. According to the Arkansas Department of Agriculture, the identities of the seeds are unknown and may be an invasive plant species. Arkansans who have received a package of seeds should immediately contact the Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Plant Industries Division at (501) 225-1598.
“Anyone who receives an unsolicited package of seeds should not open it and immediately contact the Arkansas Department of Agriculture who is working to determine the identity of the seeds,” said Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “I urge people to not open or plant these seeds because as a farm family, I understand the devastating impact invasive plants can have on crops and the ripple effect those financial losses can have on harming our state’s economy. ”
Attorney General Rutledge and the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommend the following tips if Arkansans receive an unsolicited package of seeds:
- Immediately contact the Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Plant Industries Division at (501) 225-1598.
- Place the unopened seeds in a sealed package and turn over the label and packaging to the appropriate authorities.
- Do not plant the seeds.
The USDA and the Arkansas Department of Agriculture are collecting seeds received from across the nation to identify the seeds and determine if they pose a threat to agriculture or the environment of the United States.
For more information and tips to avoid scams and other consumer-related issues, contact the Arkansas Attorney General’s office at (800) 482-8982 or visit ArkansasAG.gov.