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Quarles: USDA guidance on foreign seeds

The most likely cause of unsolicited shipments is a type of marketing scam known as Brushing.

By Sean Southard

Frankfort, KY - Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles announced today the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) has created a webpage dedicated to sharing updated information about steps Kentuckians should take if they have received unsolicited seeds from foreign countries.

"The message is the same: Do not plant unsolicited seeds," Commissioner Quarles said. "If you have planted these seeds already, we are awaiting guidance from USDA about how to proceed. Once we have an update, we will be sure to let the public know."

"The Kentucky Department of Agriculture has received hundreds of phone calls and e-mails since Monday about unsolicited packages of seeds from foreign countries," Commissioner Quarles said. "While the U.S. Department of Agriculture has not received any indication that this could be anything more than a marketing scam, they continue to investigate this matter and provide guidance on what steps Kentuckians should take should they receive unsolicited seeds. The Kentucky Department of Agriculture is dedicated to sharing the best information with the public when we have it, and we encourage Kentuckians to visit to stay current with the latest on this unusual situation."

Over the weekend, KDA was notified of several Kentucky residents who had received unsolicited seed packets that appear to have originated from China. The types of seeds are unknown and may be harmful. The packages were sent by mail.

Individuals who have received unsolicited foreign seeds should bag them in an airtight bag and send it to the United States Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) at:
P.O. Box 475
Hebron, Kentucky 41048.
For more information on this matter, please visit

This story was posted on 2020-07-31 08:03:10
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