AUGUSTA — In Maine and across the US, people are reporting receiving unsolicited packages containing seeds from China in the mail. The Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) Bureau of Agriculture is advising anyone who gets these packages to not open or plant the seeds. Recipients are asked to contact either DACF’s Division of Animal and Plant Health, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., at (207) 287-3200 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal Plant Health Inspection Service – Plant Protection and Quarantine office in Hermon, ME, at (207) 848-0008. Recipients should hold onto the seeds and packaging, including the mailing label, until someone from DACF or USDA gets in touch with further instructions. Please do not plant seeds from unknown origins.
The seeds are usually sent in white packages displaying Chinese lettering and the words “China Post.” Most recipients say they did not order anything, and that the packaging was labeled as jewelry. Some recipients have reported ordering seeds on Amazon and receiving these seeds.
The United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal Plant Health Inspection Service’s Plant Protection and Quarantine Smuggling, Interdiction and Trade Compliance Unit is currently investigating this situation across the nation.
–Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry
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