“We started getting reports from Oklahomans from all different corners of the state actually were receiving these unsolicited seeds from China,” said Morgan Vance, the Chief of Communications for the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry.
The department says it seems the seeds are coming from China and those who receive them have not ordered them.
“They didn’t order them, the seeds weren’t labeled, there were no instructions on the inside,” said Vance.
Paula Winlock says her package of seeds came in the mail back in March.
“It’s just odd. I just didn’t think it looked right,” said Winlock.
Winlock says the package was labeled as being from Singapore and the contents were labeled as “Tulip Earrings.”
When she opened the package, she saw tiny seeds.
“Wait ‘till you see these seeds,” said Winlock.
Oklahoma is one of at least 27 states that are now issuing warnings on the seeds.
The United States Department of Agriculture is launching a nationwide investigation, urging anyone who receives the seeds to report them.
“It’s truly just the uncertainty at this point. We don’t know what they are we don’t know if they’re tainted, we don’t know if they could potentially pollute American soil or land or water,” said Vance.
The USDA says if you receive seeds, you should not plant them.
“Leave them in the package. Don’t open them. Don’t plant them,” said Vance.
The USDA says you should seal them in a Ziploc bag with the original packaging.
They say you should not throw them away because the seeds could possibly sprout in a landfill, compromising agriculture.
You should report any unexpected seeds you receive to the USDA Anti-Smuggling hotline at 800-877-3835.
You can also send an email to SITC.Mail@aphis.usda.gov.