UPDATED: Guidance from FDACS on Suspicious Seed Packets
September 2, 2020
From Stephen Enloe, associate professor with the UF/IFAS Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants:
To date, the seeds that have been identified are ordinary vegetable and flower garden species, fruit trees, and horticultural bushes and trees. No invasive plant species of concern have been found in the samples that have been analyzed. Additionally, no plant pathogens of concern have been identified from any samples that contained species of economic value.
USDA-APHIS continues to analyze seed packets that have been submitted. However, FDACS has now made changes to their recommendations on what to do if someone receives unsolicited seed packets. These updated instructions now include recommendations for disposal.
July 27, 2020
You may have seen reports of people receiving unsolicited packets of seeds in the mail in Florida and elsewhere in the U.S.
Seeds from unknown origins are a concern because they may may introduce invasive plant species or pose a threat to plant, animal or human health.
In the interest of protecting agriculture, the environment and Florida residents, FDACS is urging anyone who receives unsolicited seed packages from other countries to follow these directions:
- Do not open the seed packet and avoid opening outer packaging or mailing materials, if possible
- Do not plant the seeds or discard them in trash that will be landfilled
- Limit contact with the seed package until further guidance on handling, disposal or collection is available from the USDA
- Report the seed package to the FDACS Division of Plant Industry at 1-888-397-1517 or DPIhelpline@FDACS.gov
- Report the seed package to the USDA APHIS Anti-Smuggling Hotline at 1-800-877-3835 or SITC.Mail@aphis.usda.gov
When reporting the seed package to FDACS and USDA/APHIS, please be prepared to provide name, physical address, phone number, and email address for contact purposes.