Department of Agriculture | Seeds from China Update with Instructions for People Who Planted Those Seeds skip to main content skip to main navigation

We have been receiving reports of people receiving seeds in the mail from China that they did not order. Sometimes the seeds are sent in packages stating that the contents are jewelry. Unsolicited seeds could be invasive, introduce diseases to local plants, or be harmful to livestock.

Here's what to do if you receive unsolicited seeds from another country:

  • DO NOT plant them and if they are in sealed packaging don't open the sealed package.

Report it to the USDA! Maintain the seeds and packaging and send to the USDA Office located at:

USDA APHIS PPQ

Attention: Gregory Soto

1500 Lower Road

Linden, NJ 07036

 

Please write down your name, address, phone number and email address on a piece of paper and insert it in your package.

 

If you have already planted or discarded seeds please send us an email to Gregory.t.soto@usda.gov

Destruction options for seeds/plants sowed in ground:

  • Remove the plants including the surrounding soil, including 3 inches of soil around the seeds/plants.
  • Where seed germination has not occurred, remove the soil presumed to contain the planted seeds.
  • Place plant and soil material inside a plastic bag. Use the thickest plastic bag you have available. Squeeze as much air out of the bag as possible.  Seal the bag.
  • Place inside a second plastic bag. Squeeze as much air out of the bag as possible. Seal second bag.
  • Dispose of the double-bagged plant material/soil into trash, do not compost.
  • Refrain from planting new plants in the affected area for 12 months and remove any plants that grow in the area.

 

If individuals are aware of the potential smuggling of prohibited exotic fruits, vegetables, or meat products into or through the USA, they can help APHIS by contacting the confidential Anti-smuggling Hotline number at 800-877-3835 or by sending an Email to SITC.Mail@aphis.usda.gov. USDA will make every attempt to protect the confidentiality of any information sources during an investigation within the extent of the law.