MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) on Monday announced that Minnesota residents have reported receiving unsolicited packages of mystery seeds appearing to come from China.

Officials in other states, including Louisiana, Utah, Virginia and Washington have reported similar situations. MDA officials are advising residents to not plant any seeds they did not order and to contact the agency.

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Credit: MDA

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“We’re uncertain what these seeds may be and why people are receiving these unsolicited packages,” said Denise Thiede, MDA’s Seed Unit Supervisor. “Until we know more, we encourage people to contact us because of the risk they may pose to Minnesota agriculture and our natural landscapes.”

Minnesotans should do the following if they have received unsolicited packages of seeds:

  • Do not throw away the package or its contents.
  • Do not plant the seeds.
  • Contact Arrest the Pest line at 1-888-545-6684 or arrest.the.pest@state.mn.us and provide your name, contact information, and the date the package was received.
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The MDA is working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Smuggling Interdiction and Trade Compliance Program to identify the seeds.