Consumers, not only here in the U.S. but also across Canada, Australia and the EU, have received unsolicited seed packets from China. While U.S. officials continue their investigation, Osama El-Lissy with the plant protection program of USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), says that as of Wednesday evening, there was no evidence of the seed packets being anything but a so-called “brushing” scam.
El-Lissy says the unsolicited seed packets have contained several plant species.
But if you receive these seed packets in the mail, do not plant the seeds, and if they are in a sealed package, do not open the package. Also, do not dispose of the seeds. Report these suspicious seed deliveries to APHIS and maintain the seeds and packaging until USDA provides further instructions.
Call 1-800-877-3835 or email to SITC.Mail@aphis.usda.gov. For more details visit https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/planthealth/import-information/sa_sitc/ct_antismuggling.
The Georgia Department of Agriculture Seed Lab in Tifton, Georgia has identified some of the seed. They include:
Chinese Red Amaranth
Clematis flower seed
Purple Sweet Potato