The South Carolina Department of Agriculture is working with Clemson University’s Regulatory Services division to investigate reports from South Carolinians who have received unsolicited packages of seeds through the mail, allegedly from China.
“Whatever the reason for these mailings, it’s important to use caution when it comes to unidentified seeds,” said South Carolina Department of Agriculture assistant commissioner Derek Underwood.
If a resident receives these seeds through the mail, they are encouraged to do the following:
- Do not open the seed packets or handle the seeds.
- Do not plant unidentified seeds.
- Retain the seeds and packaging and put them in a zip-top bag.
- Contact Clemson University’s Department of Plant Industry at 864-646-2140 or [email protected], or submit a report online by clicking here.
“If these seeds should bear invasive species, they may be a threat to our environment and agriculture,” Clemson Regulatory Services Unite director Steve Cole said. “We don’t want unknown species planted or thrown out where they may wind up sprouting in a landfill.”
Agricultural officials across the country have also received similar reports and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal Plant Health Inspection Service is collecting reports and coordinating a national investigation.
For more information, contact the South Carolina Department of Agriculture’s Seed Lab at 803-737-9717 or [email protected], Clemson University’s Department of Plant Industry at [email protected] or a local Clemson extension office.
State agriculture officials are warning South Carolinians to be wary of unsolicited packages of seeds mailed to them. Read more: https://t.co/N5GAHJARmf
— South Carolina Department of Agriculture (@SCDAgriculture) July 27, 2020