The Prescott Valley Police is receiving calls from concerned citizens who may have received unsolicited seeds from China. Here is the most recent guidance that the PVPD has received from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Plant and Health Inspection Service (ASPHIS). This information is taken directly from this agency’s press release, dated July 27th, 2020.
USDA is aware that people across the country have received suspicious, unsolicited packages of seed that appear to be coming from China. USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is working closely with the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection, other federal agencies, and State departments of agriculture to investigate the situation.
Anyone in Prescott Valley who receives an unsolicited package of seeds from China should immediately send the seeds to the Arizona Dept. of Agriculture Attn: Plant Services Division at 1688 W Adams, Phoenix, Arizona 85007. The contact telephone number there is 602-542-0992. The media contact is Rob Smook at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do not plant or handle seeds from unknown origins.
At this time, we don’t have any evidence indicating this is something other than a “brushing scam” where people receive unsolicited items from a seller who then posts false customer reviews to boost sales. USDA is currently collecting seed packages from recipients and will test their contents and determine if they contain anything that could be of concern to U.S. agriculture or the environment.
USDA is committed to preventing the unlawful entry of prohibited seeds and protecting U.S. agriculture from invasive pests and noxious weeds. Visit the APHIS’ website to learn more about USDA’s efforts to stop agricultural smuggling and promote trade compliance.