USDA Investigates Packages of Unsolicited Seeds from China

South San Francisco, CA  July 28, 2020 Submitted by United States Department of Agriculture

 

USDA is aware that people across the country have received suspicious, unsolicited packages of seed that appear to be coming from China. USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is working closely with the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection, other federal agencies, and State departments of agriculture to investigate the situation.

USDA urges anyone who receives an unsolicited package of seeds to immediately contact their State plant regulatory official {*California contact 916-654-0317} or {**See below for CA contact info} APHIS State plant health director. Please hold onto the seeds and packaging, including the mailing label, until someone from your State department of agriculture or APHIS contacts you with further instructions. Do not plant seeds from unknown origins.

At this time, we don’t have any evidence indicating this is something other than a “brushing scam” where people receive unsolicited items from a seller who then posts false customer reviews to boost sales. USDA is currently collecting seed packages from recipients and will test their contents and determine if they contain anything that could be of concern to U.S. agriculture or the environment.

USDA is committed to preventing the unlawful entry of prohibited seeds and protecting U.S. agriculture from invasive pests and noxious weeds. Visit the APHIS’ website to learn more about USDA’s efforts to stop agricultural smuggling and promote trade compliance.

 

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Edit – adding contact info should anyone need it:

State plant regulatory official {*California contact 916-654-0317}

 

State Plant Health Director:

https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/planthealth/ppq-program-overview/sphd/california

Helene R. Wright
USDA, APHIS, PPQ
650 Capitol Mall, Suite 6-400
Sacramento, CA 95814-4712
Phone: (916) 930-5500
Fax: (916) 930-5539
Email: Helene.R.Wright@usda.gov

Office Manager:

Kathi Johnson: (916) 930-5502
Email: Kathi.Johnson@usda.gov

Associate Executive Director:

Katie Hough: (970) 494-7520

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