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Mystery seeds analyzed, state announces findings

Mystery Seeds
Mystery Seeds(WAFB)
Published: Sep. 22, 2020 at 1:06 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Do you remember those mysterious seeds people reported receiving in the mail that they did not order?

The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) announced it has received an update on the matter from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Forestry (USDA).

“According to our contacts at the USDA, so far, there have been very few weeds or species containing diseases which is good news. Anytime a foreign specimen is introduced, there is always a chance it may pose a risk to the agricultural industry or the environment and that is why it is so important we identify what is in the packages,” said Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry Mike Strain, D.V.M.

Strain says LDAF has received about 400 specimens of the seeds and have turned them all over to the USDA. Nationwide, Strain says 16,000 specimens have been received and scientists have identified about 5,000 species from the seeds.

The USDA reports 44 countries of origin have been identified and e-commerce companies such as Amazon, eBay, and Etsy continue to work with the USDA on restrictions in selling foreign seeds or plants.

Strain asks Louisiana residents who receive the unsolicited seeds to go to LDAF’s website, by clicking here, and fill out an online collection form or call 225-925-4733. LDAF inspectors will collect the seeds and the USDA will test them for positive identification.

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