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Coloradans can mail seed packets received from China directly to USDA

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Posted at 9:47 AM, Aug 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-06 11:47:03-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — The U.S. Department of Agriculture has set up a mailing address for Coloradans to send "mysterious" seed packets they may have received from China.

The Colorado Department of Agriculture warned about mysterious packets of seeds being sent to residents across the state near the end of July.

Over the past few months, people across the country have received the seeds in unsolicited packages that appear to be coming from China. Officials initially warned there is no indication as to what plants grow from the seeds, however, the department identified some of the seeds Monday.

The identified seeds include mustard, cabbage, morning glory, mint, sage, rosemary, lavender, hibiscus and roses, according to Osama El-Lissy with the Plant Protection program of USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

Officials are concerned that some of the seeds received in the U.S. could be invasive plant species, but the seeds identified so far appear to be harmless.

The department is asking for the unopened seed packet and any packaging, including the mailing label, to be placed in a mailing envelope. If you have already opened the packets, you can place the seeds and their packaging into a zip-lock style bag, seal it, and then place everything into a mailing envelope.

You are asked to mail this to:
USDA APHIS PPQ
3950 North Lewiston Street, Suite 104
Aurora, Colorado 80011-1561

Within the envelope, you are asked to include your name, address, and phone number to be contacted by a state or federal agriculture official if necessary. If you are unable to mail the package, you can call 303-373-6645 to arrange a no-contact pickup or to determine a convenient drop-off location.

Officials are asking those who have received these seed packets, or any seeds from unknown origins, to not plant them and do not put the seeds in the trash, which could ultimately end up in the landfill and sprout.

The Colorado Department of Agriculture’s Seed has a reporting hotline available at 303-869-9081 if you have any questions or you can email the Plants Division at cda_nursery@state.co.us

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