KENILWORTH, NJ - The New Jersey Department of Agriculture received reports last week of individuals receiving unsolicited seeds through the mail from China. According to the NJDA sometimes the seeds are sent in packages stating that the contents are jewelry.
There have been reports that Wednesday, August 5, that households in Kenilworth received this package.
Here's what to do if you receive unsolicited seeds from another country:
- DO NOT plant them and if they are in sealed packaging don't open the sealed package.
- Take a photo of the package and seeds and send the photos to the USDA SITC at SITC.Mail@aphis.usda.gov
Report it to the USDA! Maintain the seeds and packaging and send to the USDA Office located at:
USDA APHIS PPQ
Attention: Gregory Soto
1500 Lower Road
Linden, NJ 07036
“Please write down your name, address, phone number, and email address on a piece of paper and insert it in your package," the NJDA said. “If you have already planted or discarded seeds please send us an email to Gregory.firstname.lastname@example.org.”
The NJDA also says on the website “If individuals are aware of the potential smuggling of prohibited exotic fruits, vegetables, or meat products into or through the USA, they can help APHIS by contacting the confidential Anti-smuggling Hotline number at 800-877-3835 or by sending an Email to SITC.Mail@aphis.usda.gov. USDA will make every attempt to protect the confidentiality of any information sources during an investigation within the extent of the law.”