PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — More than 100 Rhode Islanders have received unsolicited seed packets in the mail over the past several days, according to the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM).
The DEM said they are working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Plant Protection and Quarantine Office to further investigate the seed packets.
Rhode Island joins more than two dozen states with reports of unsolicited packages containing seeds that appear to be from China.
“When unlabeled seeds enter the country without evidence of being inspected and certified, there is an increased risk that they may produce invasive or noxious weeds or harbor plant pests that could threaten agriculture or the natural environment,” Matt Green, an environmental scientist in DEM’s Division of Agriculture, said.
Anyone who receives the suspicious seed packets in the mail is urged not to open them. Instead, the DEM said the seeds should be placed in a Ziploc bag and mailed to the USDA Plant Protection and Quarantine Office:
USDA APHIS PPQ
97 Barnes Road, Unit 200
Wallingford, CT 06492
If you are unable to ship the seeds or have already planted the seeds, email Chuck Baker at Charles.firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, address, phone number and email address.