The New Jersey Department of Agriculture, along with others across the country, has received reports of individuals receiving unsolicited seeds through the mail from China.

Unsolicited seeds could be invasive, introduce diseases to local plants or be harmful to livestock. Sometimes the seeds are sent in packages stating that the contents are jewelry.

The NJDA has released guidelines on what to do if you receive unsolicited seeds from another country.

  • Do not plant the seeds. If they are in sealed packaging, do not open the sealed package.
  • Take a photo of the package and seeds and send the photos to USDA Smuggling Interdiction and Trade Compliance at SITC.Mail@aphis.usda.gov.
  • Maintain the seeds and packaging and send to the USDA Office located at
    USDA APHIS PPQ
    Attention: Gregory Soto
    1500 Lower Road
    Linden, NJ 07036
    Please write down your name, address, phone number and email address on a piece of paper and insert it in your package.

If you have already planted or discarded seeds, send an email to gregory.t.soto@usda.gov.

If individuals are aware of the potential smuggling of prohibited exotic fruits, vegetables or meat products into or through the USA, they can help APHIS by contacting the confidential Anti-Smuggling Hotline number at (800) 877-3835 or by sending an Email to SITC.Mail@aphis.usda.gov. USDA will make every attempt to protect the confidentiality of any information sources during an investigation within the extent of the law.