ALBANY, N.Y. — The state's Agriculture Department says it's hearing from some New Yorkers who say they've received unsolicited packages sent from China labled as containing jewelry, but actually containing plant seeds.
The department says similar packages have been received in other states and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investigating as well.
They say people who receive the seeds should not handle or plant them. You're asked to put them in a safe place away from children and pets and email the USDA immediately for instructions on what to do. Please include your full name and telephone number and, if possible, a picture of the packaging.
"Seeds imported into the United States are rigorously tested to ensure quality and prevent introduction of invasive species, insects and diseases. We will continue to monitor this issue and will pass along guidance as it is received from USDA,” according to New York State Commissioner of Agriculture Richard Ball.
The USDA says it has identified 14 different species so far including various flowering plants, herbs and vegetables.
Seems harmless, but the New York State Commissioner of Agriculture, urges you to store the package in a safe place away from children and pets, and email the USDA right away at the address on your screen.
Be sure to include your full name, telephone number and pictures of the package you received.