The Arkansas Department of Agriculture has been made aware that private citizens in several states have received unsolicited packages containing seeds that appear to have originated from China.
The types of seeds in the packages are unknown at this time and may be invasive plant species. The packages were sent by mail and may have Chinese writing on them.
Arkansas officials are asking the public not to plant the seeds. They encourage anyone who has received unsolicited seeds in the mail that appears to have Chinese origin to place the unopened seed packet in a sealed bag and contact the Plant Industries Division at 501-225-1598.
They may also inform Paul Shell via email at Paul.firstname.lastname@example.org
Invasive species wreak havoc on the environment, displace or destroy native plants and insects and severely damage crops. Taking steps to prevent their introduction is the most effective method of reducing both the risk of invasive species infestations and the cost to control and mitigate those infestations.
Residents of Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Virginia have reported receiving the seeds, according to press reports.