Warning issued over suspicious packages of seed mailed from China

405

The Department of Agriculture’s (DOAG), Biosecurity Division and the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) are aware that people across the country have received suspicious, unsolicited packages of seed that appear to be coming from China. USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is working closely with the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection, other federal agencies, and State departments of agriculture to investigate the situation.

DOAG urges anyone who receives an unsolicited package of seeds to immediately contact the Biosecurity Division. Dr. Russel Campbell at, Russell.Campbell@doag.guam.gov or the PEST HOTLINE 671-475-7378

Steps for individuals who receive said materials:

1.     Please hold onto the seeds and packaging, including the mailing label.

2.     DO NOT OPEN THE SEED PACKETS.

3.     Place all contents in a Ziploc bag, then place in envelope or small box.

4.     Mail at:

Guam Department of Agriculture

Biosecurity Division

Dr. Russell Campbell

163 Dairy Road

Mangilao, GU 96910

 Please provide your contact information in the Ziploc bag submitted with the seeds:

  1. Name
  2. Address
  3. Phone number
  4. e-mail address

5.     If for whatever reason you cannot mail the seeds: Please hold onto the seeds and packaging, including the mailing label and Contact the Guam Department of Agriculture at 671-300-7968, they will plan for pick up

6.     If you have already planted the seeds: Please hold onto the packaging, including the mailing label and Contact the Guam Department of Agriculture at 671-300-7968, as they will plan for pick up.

7.     Final and most importantly……. Do not plant seeds from unknown origins.

Currently, USDA does not have any evidence indicating this is something other than a “brushing scam” where people receive unsolicited items from a seller who then posts false customer reviews to boost sales. USDA is currently collecting seed packages from recipients and will test their contents and determine if they contain anything that could be of concern to U.S. agriculture or the environment. All seeds collected will be incinerated and witnessed to incineration by USDA APHIS.

Guam Department of Agriculture and USDA is committed to preventing the unlawful entry of prohibited seeds and protecting U.S. agriculture from invasive pests and noxious weeds. Visit the APHIS’ website to learn more about USDA’s efforts to stop agricultural smuggling and promote trade compliance.

##