Caution: Unsolicited seeds from a foreign country

Robin Bradshaw
rbradshaw1@gatehousemedia.com
A picture of the package of unsolicited seeds from a foreign origin many counties have received in Texas this past week. Health Officials are warning residents of potential harm.

Jim Wells County Agricultural Agent Rogelio Mercado received a call this week from a local resident on unsolicited seeds shipped to their address.

The package of seeds is one of many packages received in different cities throughout Texas, with foreign wording on the package, that appears to be from China.

"This call was received at the same time many other calls were made throughout the State of Texas," said Mercado. "I have spoken to the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Regional Directors and it seems these were sent out at as a big blast to Texas, other states have have had the similar issues."

Duval County residents have also made similar calls to officials.

Texas residents are now among those across the nation receiving mysterious seeds delivered by mail in tiny bags marked as jewelry, stated by U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Local USDA officials state the seeds are from an unknown origin and may be invasive or can introduce plant and animal disease, toxins or pathogens.

Officials are asking residents to follow the DO’s and DON’Ts if you receive one of these packages of seeds.

If you receive a mystery package:

DO NOT:

* Open the seed packets

* Plant the seed packets

* Throw the seeds in the trash

* Flush them down the drain

* Expose them to the environment in any way.

Please DO the following contact the USDA if you have received a package:

All incidences should be reported to USDA-APHIS at (512-916-5241). Phone lines may be busy, so an email is preferred. Email Carol Motloch USDA-APHIS-PPQ State Operations Coordinator at carol.m.motloch@usda.gov.