BATON ROUGE, La. – The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) have an update almost two months after it was reported that some Louisiana residents received mysterious packets of seeds from China.
“According to our contacts at the USDA, so far, there have been very few weeds or species containing diseases which is good news. Anytime a foreign specimen is introduced, there is always a chance it may pose a risk to the agricultural industry or the environment and that is why it is so important we identify what is in the packages,” said Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry Mike Strain, D.V.M.
The LDAF says there have been about 400 specimens of seeds turned over to the USDA in Louisiana. Approximately 16,000 specimens of seeds have been received nationwide and about 5,000 species of seeds that have been identified.
The USDA reports 44 countries of origin have been identified and e-commerce companies such as Amazon, eBay and Etsy continue to work with the USDA on restrictions in selling foreign seeds or plants.
If you receive unsolicited seeds, visit the LDAF website here and fill out an online collection form or call 225-925-4733.
LDAF inspectors will collect the seeds and the USDA will test them for positive identification.