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Minnesotans report receiving mystery seeds appearing to come from China

Image courtesy Minnesota Department of Agriculture

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has gotten reports of Minnesota residents receiving unsolicited packages of seeds appearing to come from China. Officials in other states, including Louisiana, Utah, Virginia, and Washington, have reported similar situations.

Any Minnesotan receiving a package of seeds they did not order should not plant the seeds and contact the MDA.

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

Minnesotans should do the following if they have received unsolicited packages of seeds.

  • 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 [email protected] 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.

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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