Oregon agriculture officials issued a warning Wednesday to anyone who received unsolicited seeds from China: Do not plant them.
The Oregon Department of Agriculture said its warning to state residents who may have received such packages in recent days mirrors that of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
State and federal agencies are working closely to collect the seeds and test them to determine if they are a concern to agriculture or the environment.
The packages have been arriving, often with a label indicating they contain jewelry.
Anyone who receives such packages should contact the Oregon Department of Agriculture and follow these steps, according to the agency:
- Save the seeds, packaging and mailing label.
- Leave the seed packets unopened and the seeds unplanted.
- If the packets are already opened, place all materials into a zip-close bag and seal it.
- If the seeds have been planted, leave the seeds or resulting plants in the ground until the Department of Agriculture or the federal Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) provides instructions.
Washington agriculture officials issued a similar warning, cautioning the seeds, which appear similar to citrus seeds, may be infected or diseased.
In Oregon, anyone who has received such a package should send it to the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s Plant Protection and Conservation, 635 Capitol Street NE, Suite 100, Salem, Oregon 97301. Anyone who already has planted seeds should contact the department’s plant programs direct, Helmuth Rogg, at 503-986-4662 or firstname.lastname@example.org