OLYMPIA, Wash. — State and Federal officials are now asking Washington residents to turn in any mystery seeds they may have recently received from foreign countries.
Over the past few weeks, officials with the Washington State Department of Agriculture say it has received hundreds of reports of people receiving packages containing mysterious seeds they did not order.
The seeds were sent in packages that were labeled as something else, usually jewelry. Some people have reported ordering the seeds, but officials said they did not know the seeds would come from another country.
“Mislabeling packages in order to get seeds and other plant materials into the country is agricultural smuggling,” WSDA officials said in a news release. “This bypasses the safeguards that prevent invasive species, plant diseases and pests, or plants that could harm livestock from establishing in the country.”
WSDA officials previously asked residents to double bag the seeds and throw them away. However, the United States Department of Agriculture is now asking residents to place the seeds and their packaging in a plastic bag and mail them to the following address:
USDA-APHIS-PPQ – Attn: Jason Allen
Seattle Plant Inspection Station
835 South 192nd Street, Bldg D, Ste 1600
SeaTac, WA 98148
People who have planted the seeds should leave the plants where they are and contact the APHIS State Plant Health Director.
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