Ag Department asking for reports of unsolicited seeds received in the mail

By Ben Walther
Colorado Department of Agriculture

The Colorado Department of Agriculture has received numerous reports from across the state of people receiving unsolicited packages of seeds in the mail that appear to have originated from China and other countries and labeled as containing jewelry or other items. 

Unsolicited seeds could be invasive, introduce diseases to local plants or be harmful to livestock.

USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is working closely with the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection and state departments of agriculture to prevent the unlawful entry of prohibited seeds and protect U.S. agriculture from invasive pests and noxious weeds.

Anyone who receives an unsolicited package of seeds should immediately contact the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s Plant Industry Division at cda_nursery@state.co.us or at (303) 548-5333, or the APHIS state plant health director. 

Please hold onto the seeds and packaging in its original package safely, including the mailing label, until someone from the Colorado Department of Agriculture or APHIS contacts you with further instructions. Do not plant seeds from unknown origins and do not put the seeds in the trash, which could ultimately end up in the landfill and then sprout. 

This story was posted on August 1, 2020.