China seeds

Several states, including Alabama, have issued warnings about unsolicited seeds being sent from China. Recipients are asked to not plant the seeds and report them to the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries Rick Pate shared test results of unsolicited seed packages delivered to Alabama residents from China today. Last week, the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI) received hundreds of reports from citizens who received packages of seeds from China they did not order.

ADAI has received 385 reports of unsolicited seed packages delivered in Alabama so far. ADAI field inspectors have collected 252 samples with over half of the recipients reporting they ordered seeds online in the past year. Packages have been marked “China Post” and “untracked.” Several packages indicate contents are “jewelry.”

Samples were analyzed for identification and tested for unknown compounds, noxious weed seed, and invasive species. Seeds identified so far have been 50% flower seeds, 41% vegetable seeds and 9% herbs. Of the 17 samples tested for dangerous compounds, none have been detected.

Packages have been reported in 56 counties. Top counties include:

 1) Baldwin

2) Jefferson

3) Mobile

4) Montgomery

5) Madison

6) Shelby

7) Tuscaloosa

8) Houston

9) Lee

10) Cullman

ADAI requests that people who receive unsolicited seed packages: 

  • Report at www.agi.alabama.gov/reportseeds or call 334-240-7304.
  • DO NOT open the seed packets.
  • DO NOT plant the seeds.
  • DO NOT discard them.
  • Keep packaging, including the mailing label.
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