Ag Department Warns of Foreign Seeds in Mail

by Elizabeth Pitts-Hibbard
The Washington State Department of Agriculture released this photo of some of the unsolicited seeds residents have reported. The Washington State Department of Agriculture released this photo of some of the unsolicited seeds residents have reported.

The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture said that numerous Oklahomans have reported receiving seeds by mail that they did not order or request, and warned against planting them. The seeds are often sent in packages stating the contents to be jewelry.

“Although these items appear to be harmless, there is a potential of hidden threats in these seeds that could seriously threaten US agriculture and our natural resources,” said Morgan Vance, Chief of Communications for the Oklahoma State Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry. “Unsolicited seeds could be invasive, introduce diseases to local plants, or be harmful to livestock.”

The Department published guidelines for disposing of the seeds:

IF THE PACKAGE HAS BEEN OPENED

1. Place all of the contents of the package, including the seeds and the originally packaging material in a Ziplock bag. Please write your name and city on the outside of the Ziplock bag.

2. Send an email to morgan.vance@ag.ok.gov and Kenny.naylor@ag.ok.gov stating your location and that you have received a package.
IF THE SEEDS HAVE BEEN PLANTED
1. Dig up the seeds or the sprout, knock off any excess soil, double bag the contents and place in a box or mailer. Please write your name and city on the Ziplock bag.
TO DISPOSE OF THE SEEDS:
Choose from one of these three options

1. Please mail the seeds to
Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry
C/O Agriculture Smuggling Seeds

2800 N. Lincoln Blvd.
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
2. Drop off the seeds in person at the front desk of ODAFF:
Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry
2800 N. Lincoln Blvd.
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
3. Drop off the seeds and the original packaging in the Ziplock bag at your local County Extension Office. The list of offices, complete with addresses and phone numbers, can be found at https://extension.okstate.edu/county/index.html

Please call your extension office before dropping off to make an appointment.