Experts urge people to report any unsolicited shipments of seeds.
Texas residents are now among those across the nation receiving mysterious seeds delivered by mail in tiny bags marked as jewelry. U.S. Department of Agriculture officials are on alert because these seeds are unsolicited.
Kevin Ong, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service plant pathologist and director of the Texas Plant Disease Diagnostic Laboratory in College Station, said this is concerning because these packages have seeds in them instead of what is listed, and there is no information on what type they might be.
“We don’t know what kind of seeds they are,” Ong said. “Not knowing what the seeds are could potentially open our agriculture industry up to noxious weeds. If that proves to be the case, if they take hold, they could impact agriculture negatively.”
According to USDA-Animal, Plant Health Inspection Service, APHIS, the Plant Protection and Quarantine, PPQ, regulates the importation of plants and plant products under the authority of the Plant Protection Act. PPQ maintains its import program to safeguard U.S. agriculture and natural resources from the risks associated with the entry, establishment or spread of animal and plant pests and noxious weeds. These regulations prohibit or restrict the importation of living plants, plant parts and seeds for propagation.
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