Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles is warning the commonwealth’s residents about mysterious packages coming from China that contain seeds.
Quarles said in a news release that the Kentucky Department of Agriculture received notifications from several Kentucky residents who had received unsolicited seed packets.
“It is incredibly important that if you receive a package of foreign or unfamiliar seeds, you report it to the Kentucky Department of Agriculture immediately,” Quarles said. “At this point in time, we don’t have enough information to know if this is a hoax, a prank, an internet scam, or an act of agricultural bio-terrorism.
“Unsolicited seeds could be invasive and introduce unknown diseases to local plants, harm livestock or threaten our environment,” he added. “If you have received such a package, do not plant the seeds and immediately contact the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.”
To contact he Kentucky Department of Agriculture, call 502-573-0282 or email Ag.Web@ky.gov.
Quarles said that people who received the packages should put them in airtight bags and ship them to the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s division of Plant Protection Quarantine at USDA-APHIS PPQ, P.O. Box 475, Hebron, Kentucky 41048.
Agriculture departments for Louisiana, Kansas, Washington and Virginia have all recently issued statements about residents receiving seed-containing packages without ordering them.
According to agriculture officials, some of the packages were labeled as jewelry and may have Chinese writing on them.
Lori Culley, who lives in Tooele, Utah, told a local television station she was excited to find two small packages in her mailbox that appeared to contain earrings.
“I opened them up and they were seeds,” Culley said. “Obviously they’re not jewelry!”
Author: Ben Tobin
Source: Courier-Journal: Kentucky agriculture commissioner warns of ‘suspicious packages’ of seeds from China