Local and state officials are warning residents to “take extreme precautions” if they receive unsolicited seed packets from China.
People around the country and the state have received these seed packets, falsely labeled as jewelry. Residents of Bartonville, Corinth, Denton and other cities in the area have reported receiving them unsolicited.
Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller advised residents not to plant the seeds as they could contain harmful invasive species or be otherwise unsafe.
“I am urging folks to take this matter seriously,” Miller said in a statement. “An invasive plant species might not sound threatening, but these small invaders could destroy Texas agriculture. TDA has been working closely with USDA to analyze these unknown seeds so we can protect Texas residents.”
An invasive species is an organism that is not native to a particular region. The introduction of this “alien species” can cause economic or environmental harm. In agriculture, an invasive species can destroy native crops, introduce disease to native plants and may be dangerous for livestock.
If you receive a foreign package containing seeds, do not open it or plant the contents, says a news release from Miller’s office. Keep contents contained in their original sealed package and report it to [email protected]