What to do if you receive seeds you didn’t buy in the mail

FARGO, N.D. — Around 100 North Dakotans have contacted the state’s Department of Agriculture saying they received mysterious seed packets in the mail.

Officials are urging anyone who receives unsolicited seeds from China to not open them.

You are asked to send the package, including the mailing label, to the Department of Agriculture for inspection.

There is also an online survey North Dakotans are encouraged to fill out.

Samantha Brunner with the state’s Plant Industries Division says experts are still unsure of which species the seeds are or why they’re coming here.

“Our major concerns are we don’t know what these seeds are. None of them are labeled, so they could contain something that’s harmful to livestock. It could be something that becomes invasive or noxious weeds, or it could harbor some sort of disease or virus that could hurt the plants that we want growing here,” Brunner adds.

The North Dakota Department of Agriculture is working with the USDA to identify and destroy the seeds.

Anyone receiving unsolicited seeds in the mail should do the following:

  • Retain the seeds and packaging, including the mailing label.
  • Do not plant the seeds.
  • Place the seeds in a resealable plastic bag if they were opened.
  • Fill out a survey regarding the seeds. The survey may be found at https://www.nd.gov/ndda/unsolicitedseeds, or can be mailed to residents who request a prepaid envelope and may be returned with the seeds.
  • Send the seeds, packaging and mailing label to the NDDA by utilizing one of the following actions:
    • Mailing them in at your own expense, or
    • Requesting a prepaid envelope from the NDDA to send them in. A prepaid envelope may be requested by calling 701-328-4765, emailing doa-phytos@nd.gov or by checking the appropriate box at the end of the online survey.
Categories: Agriculture, Local News, North Dakota News