The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources has been notified by several residents who have received unsolicited packages containing seeds.
This national concern appears to have originated in a foreign country.
The exact types of seeds are unknown. They are thought to be an invasive plant species that could pose a significant risk to agriculture or the environments.
The seeds are not believed to be harmful to humans.
Commonwealth residents who receive or have received these seeds are encouraged to not plant them and immediately complete a form at Mass.gov to provide information to state plant regulatory officials.
Residents are being asked to hold on to the seeds as well all the packaging including the mailing label as an official will be in contact with instructions regarding the collection or disposal of the seeds.
The most effective approach to mitigating the risk of invasive plant infestation is to take steps to ensure they are not planted.
Unsolicited packages of seeds have been received by people in several other states across the United States over the last several days. On Tuesday, July 28, 2020, the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued a press release announcing that it is working with state plant regulatory officials to investigate the situation.
The USDA urges anyone who receives an unsolicited package of seeds to immediately contact their state plant regulatory official or plant health director.