Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller is urging Texans to take extreme precaution when receiving unsolicited seed packets from China.
These packets have been mailed to multiple states, including Texas, falsely labeled as jewelry, according to a press release from the Texas Department of Agriculture.
Residents are advised not to plant the seeds as they could contain harmful invasive species or be otherwise unsafe.
“I am urging folks to take this matter seriously,” Commissioner Miller said. “An invasive plant species might not sound threatening, but these small invaders could destroy Texas agriculture. TDA has been working closely with USDA to analyze these unknown seeds so we can protect Texas residents.”
If you receive a foreign package containing seeds do not open it or plant the contents, the statement said.
Keep contents contained in their original sealed package.
An invasive species is an organism that is not native to a particular region. The introduction of this “alien species” can cause economic or environmental harm. In agriculture, an invasive species can destroy native crops, introduce disease to native plants and may be dangerous for livestock.
Please report unsolicited seed packages to SITC.Mail@aphis.usda.gov
More information can be found here.