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Some Minnesotans report receiving mystery seed packets

Minnesota Department of Agriculture says the unsolicited packages of seeds appear to come from China. Minnesota Department of Agriculture says the unsolicited packages of seeds appear to come from China. |  Photo: Minnesota Department of Agriculture

Created: July 27, 2020 03:32 PM

Some Minnesotans say they have been receiving mystery seeds in the mail. According to a release from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, the unsolicited packages of seeds appear to come from China. State officials say recipients of seed packages should contact the MDA. Do not plant the seeds.

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“We’re uncertain what these seeds may be and why people are receiving these unsolicited packages,” Denise Thiede, MDA’s Seed Unit Supervisor said in the release. “Until we know more, we encourage people to contact us because of the risk they may pose to Minnesota agriculture and our natural landscapes.”

If you have received unsolicited packages of seeds, MDA is asking you to:

  • Do not throw away the package or its contents.
  • Do not plant the seeds.
  • Contact Arrest the Pest line at 1-888-545-6684 or arrest.the.pest@state.mn.us and provide your name, contact information, and the date the package was received.

Officials will coordinate shipping the packaging and contents to the MDA Seed Program.

Officials in other states, including Louisiana, Utah, Virginia, and Washington, have reported similar situations. The MDA is working with the United States Department of Agriculture’s Smuggling Interdiction and Trade Compliance Program on identification and destruction of the seeds.

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