China sends unidentified, unsolicited seeds to Vermonters

Don’t plant them, report them, VT Agency of Ag says

July 28, 2020 -The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (VAAFM) has been notified that several Vermont residents have received unsolicited packages containing seeds that appear to have originated from China. The types of seeds in the packages have not yet been identified. Unsolicited seeds could be invasive species, could introduce diseases to local plants, or could be harmful to livestock.

At this time, it is unknown what types of seeds are being delivered. There is concern that if germinated they could wreak havoc on the environment, displace or destroy native plants and insects or disease could severely damage crops. Taking steps to prevent introduction is the most effective method of reducing both the risk of invasive species infestations and the cost to control and mitigate those infestations.

Here’s what to do if you receive unsolicited seeds from another country:

1) DO NOT plant them. If they are in sealed packaging do not open the sealed package.

2) This is known as agricultural smuggling. Report it to the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets at 802-828-5050 or fill out a complaint form at https://agriculture.vermont.gov/form/environmental-complaint-form. Maintain the seeds and packaging and VAAFM staff will contact you. The seeds may be needed as evidence.

The seed packets may look like this:

Photo credit: Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets

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