Portland, Ore. – Those mysterious seeds possibly from China are showing up in Oregon for the first time. Fm News 101 first told you about these unsolicited seeds randomly showing up in mailboxes around the nation and Washington state on Monday. Now the Oregon Department of Agriculture says at least two Oregon residents have turned in seeds to them. If you get some don’t open them, and especially don’t plant them. You’re supposed to send them to the Ag. Department. When KXL’s Jacob Dean spoke with Dr. Helmuth Rogg, ODA Plant Programs Director on Wednesday afternoon, there was a woman at the ODA office turning in seeds she had received in the mail. Dr. Rogg says what’s most concerning is we don’t know what the potential risk of the seeds is yet. There’s concern there could be a problem with them, like noxious weeds, plant disease, or they could be genetically modified. It’s also still unclear why the seeds are being sent here and what’s behind the potential scam.
The ODA tells KXL of the two seed packages in Oregon already turned in, one was addressed from China the other from Ohio. Officials contacted the person at the Ohio address but they didn’t know anything about the seeds and didn’t send them. It appears this scam could have several layers to it, including using fake addresses.
In Oregon, if you have received a package of seeds that you did not order, please include the packaging that includes the return address and send the shipment to:
Oregon Department of Agriculture
Plant Protection and Conservation
635 Capitol Street NE, Suite 100
Salem, Oregon 97301
If you have already opened the seed package, please place the entire package in a plastic bag and seal it and then send it to ODA. Do not plant any of the seeds. If you already planted the seeds, please contact Dr. Helmuth Rogg, ODA Plant Programs Director at 503-986-4662 or [email protected]
Read more from ODA:
The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) is aware that people across the country, including Oregon, are receiving unsolicited packages of seed from China in recent days. Often the package is labeled as jewelry and the recipients say they did not order jewelry or seeds.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is warning Americans not to plant the unsolicited package of seeds. ODA is working closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspections Service (APHIS) and the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection on this issue. The goal is to collect the seeds and test them to determine if they are a concern to agriculture or the environment.
Anyone who receives an unsolicited package of seeds from China should immediately contact their state department of agriculture or the APHIS state plant health director and follow these steps:
To reach APHIS please call 1-844-820-2234 or email [email protected]aphis.usda.gov.