McKnight on Agricultural Smuggling, Unsolicited Seed Packages Recently Received by New Jerseyans

Chair of the Assembly Homeland Security and State Preparedness Committee, Angela McKnight (D-Hudson) issued the following statement Friday afternoon:

“Many New Jerseyans have reported receiving seeds in the mail from another country that they did not order. These packages come sealed and may be marked as something else, such as jewelry.

“As you’ve seen in recent media reports, other states are also seeing similar instances of agricultural smuggling. Avoiding U.S. plant import regulations and bypassing customs by mislabeling the package to get these seeds into the United States is illegal.

“I want to remind residents that unknown seeds and plants could be invasive to our environment, introduce diseases to local plant life, or be harmful to animals.

“I cannot stress this enough. Please do not plant them, and keep the package sealed. Report the package and seeds to the USDA SITC at SITC.Mail@aphis.usda.gov or you can send the seeds and packaging to the USDA Office located at 1500 Lower Rd, Linden NJ 07036 for inspection.”