Citizens in several states have received unsolicited packages containing seeds that appear to have originated from China, according to Arkansas Department of Agriculture. The types of seeds in the packages are unknown at this time and may be invasive plant species. The packages were sent by mail and may have Chinese writing on them.

The department is asking recipients to please not plant these seeds and encourages anyone who has received unsolicited seeds in the mail that appears to have Chinese origin to place the unopened seed packet in a sealed bag and contact the Plant Industries Division at 501-225-1598 or Paul Shell at Paul.shell@agriculture.arkansas.gov, Mark Stoll at Mark.stoll@agriculture.arkansas.gov, or Scott Bray at Scott.bray@agriculture.arkansas.gov.

Invasive species wreak havoc on the environment, displace or destroy native plants and insects and severely damage crops. Taking steps to prevent their introduction is the most effective method of reducing both the risk of invasive species infestations and the cost to control and mitigate those infestations.

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture is dedicated to the development and implementation of policies and programs for Arkansas agriculture and forestry to keep its farmers and ranchers competitive in national and international markets while ensuring safe food, fiber, and forest products for the citizens of the state and nation.

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