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Press Release Massachusetts Residents Asked to Report Receipt of Any Unsolicited Packages of Seeds

Residents that receive or have received an unsolicited package of seeds should not plant the seeds and contact state plant regulatory officials.
For immediate release:
7/28/2020
  • Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources
  • Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs

Media Contact for Massachusetts Residents Asked to Report Receipt of Any Unsolicited Packages of Seeds

Craig Gilvarg, Press Secretary

BostonThe Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) has been notified that several Massachusetts residents have received unsolicited packages that appear to have originated in a foreign country and contain seeds. While the exact types of seeds in the packages are unknown, the seeds are thought to be invasive plant species, and not believed to be harmful to humans or pets but could pose a significant risk to agriculture or the environment.

MDAR encourages Massachusetts residents that receive or have received an unsolicited package of seeds to not plant the seeds and immediately complete a form on MDAR’s website to provide important information to state plant regulatory officials.

Residents that receive a package should hold on to the seeds and all packaging, including the mailing label. A representative from the U.S. Department of Agriculture or MDAR will be in contact with instructions regarding the collection or disposal of the seeds.

Invasive plant species can threaten the integrity of local ecosystems and displace native plants, including rare and endangered species. The most effective approach to mitigating the risk of invasive plant infestation is to take steps to ensure they are not planted.

Unsolicited packages of seeds have been received by people in several other states across the United States over the last several days. On Tuesday, July 28, 2020, the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued a press release announcing that it is working with state plant regulatory officials to investigate the situation. The USDA urges anyone who receives an unsolicited package of seeds to immediately contact their state plant regulatory official or plant health director.

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Media Contact for Massachusetts Residents Asked to Report Receipt of Any Unsolicited Packages of Seeds

Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources 

The Department’s mission is to help keep the Massachusetts’ food supply safe and secure, and to work to keep Massachusetts agriculture economically and environmentally sound.

Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs 

EEA seeks to protect, preserve, and enhance the Commonwealth’s environmental resources while ensuring a clean energy future for the state’s residents. Through the stewardship of open space, protection of environmental resources, and enhancement of clean energy, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs works tirelessly to make Massachusetts a wonderful place to live, work, and raise a family.
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