The story will be developing quickly. Here is the July 27 update from the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets:
“Our office has received questions from a few New Yorkers who have received unsolicited packages allegedly sent from China that are marked as containing jewelry (or other items) but which actually contain plant seeds. Similar packages have been received in other states and the United States Department of Agriculture is investigating. People who receive seeds should not plant or handle the seeds. They should store them safely in a place children and pets cannot access and email USDA immediately at email@example.com for instructions. Seeds imported into the United States are rigorously tested to ensure quality and prevent introduction of invasive species, insects and diseases. We will continue to monitor this issue and will pass along guidance as it is received from USDA.”
*Note to newsrooms: Please advise consumers to email USDA with their full names and telephone numbers, pictures of the package and any other relevant information.