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NYSDA issues statement on seed packets

New York state Commisioner of Agriculture Richard Ball issued a statement on unsolicited packages of seeds coming in from China.

“Our office has received questions from a few New Yorkers who have received unsolicited packages allegedly sent from China that are marked as containing jewelry, but which actually contain plant seeds,” Ball stated, “Similar packages have been received in other states and the United States Department of Agriculture is investigating. People who receive seeds should not plant or handle the seeds.”

Ball instead says that recipients should store them safely in a place children and pets cannot access and email USDA immediately at erich.l.glasgow@usda.gov for instructions. Seeds imported into the United States are rigorously tested to ensure quality and prevent introduction of invasive species, insects and diseases. NYSDA will continue to monitor this issue and will pass along guidance as it is received from USDA.

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