The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) has been notified that some Wisconsin residents have received unsolicited packages in the mail that appear to have originated from China. These packages may contain seeds or other small items (a piece of jewelry, face masks, etc.). Similar packages have been received in other states.
In addition to the guidance below, consumers can follow DATCP on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and sign up to receive DATCP's news releases. Updates will be provided as more information becomes available.
What should I do if I receive a package of unsolicited seeds?
- Do not plant or throw away the seeds.
- If the seeds are in sealed packaging, do not open the sealed package.
- If possible, retain the original packaging and any mailing labels.
- Please report the seeds using this online form. You should receive a response from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) within 1-2 business days with further instructions.
- Mail the seeds to the Wisconsin USDA office following these instructions.
Why can't I just throw the seeds away?
All foreign seeds shipped to the U.S. must have a phytosanitary certificate, which guarantees the seeds meet import requirements. Unsolicited seeds could be invasive species, contain noxious weeds, could introduce diseases to local plants, or could be harmful to livestock. Invasive species and noxious weeds can displace native plants and increase costs of food production. Throwing away or composting these seeds could still allow them to germinate.
What should I do if I receive an unsolicited package that contains something else (not seeds)?
If you receive an unsolicited package that contains other items that are not seeds, please contact DATCP's Consumer Protection Hotline at (800) 422-7128 or firstname.lastname@example.org to file a complaint.