New Mexico Department of Agriculture identifies unsolicited foreign seeds


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

NMDA Contact: nmagsec@nmda.nmsu.edu
575-646-3007

Aug. 26, 2020

New Mexico Department of Agriculture identifies unsolicited foreign seeds

224 seed packets identified, four noxious to New Mexico

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LAS CRUCES – The New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA) received reports beginning July 24 of New Mexico residents who have been mailed unsolicited foreign seeds not clearly labeled as seeds.

NMDA Laboratory Division’s State Seed Lab has identified 224 seed packets. Four of the packets contained seeds that are noxious weeds to New Mexico.

If you are the recipient of one of these seed packets, do not plant them. If the seed has been planted, collect the seed prior to germination or destroy any emerging plants. 

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection and other federal agencies continue to work closely with NMDA and other state departments of agriculture to investigate the situation.

NMDA will no longer identify or catalog the unsolicited foreign seed packets, but will hold them for USDA to take possession of. USDA is set to perform more extensive investigation.

Individuals who have received unsolicited foreign shipments are asked to save all shipping labels, packaging and seeds. Unsolicited seeds packets should still be reported to NMDA through the form on the homepage at www.nmda.nmsu.edu.

Unsolicited Seeds
The New Mexico Department of Agriculture has received reports of New Mexico residents who have been mailed unsolicited foreign seeds not clearly labeled as seeds. The seed shipments may be obscured as jewelry items. This type of international shipment of seeds is unlawful under state and federal regulations. The seeds are unknown and could be a pathway for introductions of new invasive plant species and new plant diseases to the state. (Photo courtesy New Mexico Department of Agriculture.)

NMDA reminds the public that this type of international shipment of seeds is unlawful under state and federal regulations. The seeds are unknown and could be a pathway for introductions of new invasive plant species and new plant diseases to the state. Do not plant seeds from unknown origins. New Mexico residents are not in violation of any regulations if they have received these shipments.

Seeds and associated shipping materials can be mailed to NMDA at the following address:

New Mexico Department of Agriculture
Laboratory Division
Attn: Tim Darden
MSC 3-LD/P.O. Box 30005
3190 S. Espina Street
Las Cruces, NM 88003-8005

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