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UPDATE Gardeners Beware : USDA Investigates Packages of Unsolicited Seeds from China

china seeds Ohio Dept of Agriculture

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, 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 or 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.

UPDATE: A warning from the New Jersey Department of Agriculture:

An update on what to do if you live in New Jersey and receive an unsolicited package of seeds from another country:
DO NOT plant them and if they are in sealed packaging don’t open the sealed package.
Take a photo of the package and seeds and send the photos to the New Jersey Department of Agriculture to and USDA SITC at
Read more at Jersey Fresh New Jersey Farm Bureau Rutgers Cooperative Extension Vegetable Growers Association of NJ Burlington County Board of Agriculture Gloucester County Board of Agriculture Cumberland County Board of Agriculture – NJ Cape May County Board of Ag Jersey Fresh Farm to School New Jersey FFA Association New Jersey 4-H
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