Officials at the West Virginia Department of Agriculture are urging state residents not to plant foreign seeds following reports of unsolicited seeds being received in surrounding states.
Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt said seeds could pose an environmental threat.
“Like other states, we have been made aware of reports from people in West Virginia that have received seeds in the mail that they did not order," Leonhardt said.
"Unsolicited seeds could be invasive, introduce diseases to local plants, or be harmful to livestock. We are working with the USDA to determine the proper recourse for such seeds."
Some government agencies worry that the seeds may have been distributed by foreign agencies with the intent to destabilize the U.S. food supply.
Leonhardt also urges recipients of seeds to contact the department immediately.
“If you have received seeds from another country, do not plant them if they are in a sealed package and do not open the sealed package. Keep the seeds and packaging and contact the WVDA,” he said.
For more information or to report unsolicited seeds, contact 304-558-2226.