Update: Do Not Open Unsolicited Packages of Seeds From China
Update July 29, 2020 - The United States Department of Agriculture, the Department of Homeland Security, and state agencies are investigating the unsolicited packages that have shown up in mailboxes and on doorsteps in at least 15 states now including Arkansas.
According to an ABC report:
The seeds are coming in a thin light gray package that has a shipping label that appears to come from Suzhou, a city west of Shanghai, China, and identifies the contents as a piece of jewelry like a ring or earrings. Inside, however, is a clear plastic bag of unidentified seeds.
July 27, 2020: Have you received a package that you didn't order? Did the package have seeds in it? The Arkansas Department of Agriculture has been made aware that private citizens in several states have received unsolicited packages containing seeds that appear to have originated from China
According to the press release, the types of seeds in the packages are unknown at this time and may be invasive plant species. The packages were sent by mail and may have Chinese writing on them.
Please do not plant these seeds. The Arkansas Department of Agriculture encourages anyone who has received unsolicited seeds in the mail that appears to have Chinese origin to place the unopened seed packet in a sealed bag and contact the Plant Industries Division at 501-225-1598 or:
Paul Shell Paul.firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark Stoll Mark.email@example.com
Scott Bray Scott.firstname.lastname@example.org
Invasive species wreak havoc on the environment, displace or destroy native plants and insects and severely damage crops. Taking steps to prevent their introduction is the most effective method of reducing both the risk of invasive species infestations and the cost to control and mitigate those infestations.
In Texas contact:The State Plant Regulatory Official Awinash P. Bhatkar Ph.D. Coordinator for Biosecurity and Agriculture. Email him at: email@example.com