The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) is warning residents of the latest agricultural smuggling scheme: mysterious seeds being sent from overseas.
According to the WSDA, there have been multiple reports of residents receiving seeds from China that they didn’t order. The mysterious packages have shipping labels that claim contents to be jewelry but instead contain seeds.
Aside from being illegal, agricultural smuggling “poses a serious threat to our farms, gardens, animals, and environment,” says the WSDA. The unknown seeds could be invasive, can harbor pests and diseases, and can even harm livestock and humans.
If you happen to receive a seed package in the mail, do not open the bag of seeds. Instead, double bag them and put them in the trash — not the recycling or compost bin. If you’ve already planted the seeds, pull up the plants, double bag them, and throw them out. Do not burn or grind up the seeds.