UPDATE as of 8.3.20:
Despite rumors that they could be agents of bioterrorism, it turns out they’re run-of-the-mill seeds. Mustard, cabbage, morning glory, mint, sage, rosemary, lavender, hibiscus, and rose were among the varieties identified by the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
Testing continues on thousands of samples turned in by recipients, but so far the USDA hasn’t found evidence indicating that the deliveries were anything other than a scam by online retailers to pump up their e-commerce seller ratings.
- Do not open the seed packet and avoid opening outer packaging or mailing materials, if possible
- Do not plant the seeds or discard them in trash that will be landfilled
- Limit contact with the seed package until further guidance on handling, disposal, or collection is available from the USDA
- Report the seed package to the FDACS Division of Plant Industry at 1-888-397-1517 or DPIhelpline@FDACS.gov
- Report the seed package to the USDA APHIS Anti-Smuggling Hotline at 1-800-877-3835 or SITC.Mail@aphis.usda.gov
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