Bureau of Agriculture issues update regarding packages of unsolicited seeds from China

July 30, 2020

For more information contact: Jim Britt at (207) 480-0558

AUGUSTA - Today, the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry's (DACF) Bureau of Agriculture issued an update for people receiving unsolicited packages containing seeds, purportedly sent from China. DACF is instructing seed recipients to visit https://www.Maine.gov/dacf/seeds and follow the instructions outlined on the form. The United States Department of Agriculture's Animal Plant Health Inspection Service's Plant Protection and Quarantine Smuggling, Interdiction and Trade Compliance Unit is currently investigating this situation across the nation.

About the mystery seeds

  • In Maine and across the US, people are reporting receiving unsolicited packages containing seeds. Recipients should hold onto the seeds and packaging, including the mailing label, and refer to this form.
  • While the exact types of seeds in the packages are unknown, the seeds are thought to possibly be either invasive or pose a plant health risk, and not believed to be harmful to humans or pets. The seeds could pose a significant risk to agriculture or the environment.
  • The seeds are usually sent in white packages displaying Chinese lettering and the words "China Post." Most recipients say they did not order anything, and that the packaging was labeled as jewelry. Some recipients have reported ordering seeds on Amazon and receiving these seeds.
  • Recipients are asked to place the seeds and shipping envelope (if available) into a resealable baggie and mail them to the following address for identification and processing: USDA-APHIS-PPQ, 15 Iron Road, Suite 1, Hermon, ME 04401

#