Quarles Warns Kentuckians of Seed Shipments
By West Kentucky Star Staff/The Associated Press
FRANKFORT - Agriculture officials in multiple states have issued warnings about unsolicited shipments of foreign seeds and advised people not to plant them. 

Within the Commonwealth, the agriculture department says it was notified that several Kentucky residents received unsolicited seed packets sent by mail that appeared to have originated in China. 

Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles said Monday the types of seeds are unknown and could be harmful. He stressed that the seeds should not be planted. 

“It is incredibly important that if you receive a package of foreign or unfamiliar seeds, you report it to the Kentucky Department of Agriculture immediately,” Commissioner Quarles said. “At this point in time, we don’t have enough information to know if this is a hoax, a prank, an internet scam, or an act of agricultural bio-terrorism. Unsolicited seeds could be invasive and introduce unknown diseases to local plants, harm livestock or threaten our environment. If you have received such a package, do not plant the seeds and immediately contact the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.”

According to Quarles, anyone who receives the suspicious packages with seeds should put them in an airtight bag and ship them to the United States Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's division of Plant Protection Quarantine at USDA-APHIS PPQ, P.O. Box 475, Hebron, Kentucky 41048.

Anyone that has received the seeds should also contact the Kentucky Department of Agriculture at 502-573-0282 or by email at

“I want to reiterate: do not plant the seeds,” Commissioner Quarles said. “We don’t know what they are, and we cannot risk any harm whatsoever to agricultural production in the United States. We have the safest, most abundant food supply in the world and we need to keep it that way.”

You can see the full video of the announcement below.

Published 03:53 PM, Monday Jul. 27, 2020
Updated 03:56 PM, Monday Jul. 27, 2020



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