Mysterious packages of seeds sent from China have been arriving in U.S. residents' mailboxes
Agriculture officials in at least nine U.S. states are warning citizens not to plant the seeds they received unprompted from China
Officials in states including Louisiana, Virginia, Kansas, Ohio, Washington, Kentucky, and Wyoming are warning residents not to plant the mysterious seed packages that may have arrived in their mailboxes from the China Post in recent days.
Residents in those states, as well as Utah, Arizona, and parts of the United Kingdom have received unrequested seed packages from China, frequently labeled as jewelry, delivered through China Post, a state-owned Chinese shipping company.
Ryan Quarles, the agriculture commissioner of Kentucky said, "I want to reiterate: do not plant the seeds," in a statement on Monday. Unknown and unfamiliar seeds could be aggressive species of plants, environmentally damaging, or introduce diseases that are harmful to local livestock.
“We don’t know what they are, and we cannot risk any harm whatsoever to agricultural production in the United States. We have the safest, most abundant food supply in the world and we need to keep it that way," continued the statement.
U.S. Department of Agriculture officials are also telling recipients not to plant the seeds but to "hold onto the seeds and packaging, including the mailing label." The USDA is working with Customs and Border Protection to investigate and prevent the continued "unlawful entry of of prohibited seeds" into the country.
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