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Unsolicited seed packet and packaging delivered in Vermont. State and federal agricultural agencies are asking residents who receive these packages in the mail not to plant the seeds but inform their appropriate agency.

Massachusetts Residents Asked to Report Receipt of Unsolicited Seeds

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These seeds arrived in Washington State apparently from China.
BOSTON — Random packages of seeds that appear to be from China and other countries have been appearing in mailboxes across the country. The U.S. Department of Agriculture and numerous agricultural agencies across the nation are warning  people not to plant what could be an invasive species. 
 
The state Department of Agricultural Resources has been notified that several Massachusetts residents have received these unsolicited packages that appear to have originated in a foreign country and contain seeds. 
 
While the exact types of seeds in the packages are unknown, the seeds are thought to be invasive plant species, and not believed to be harmful to humans or pets but could pose a significant risk to agriculture or the environment.
 
MDAR encourages residents who receive or have received an unsolicited package of seeds to not plant the seeds and immediately complete a form on MDAR's website to provide important information to state plant regulatory officials.
 
Residents who receive a package should hold on to the seeds and all packaging, including the mailing label. A representative from the U.S. Department of Agriculture or MDAR will be in contact with instructions regarding the collection or disposal of the seeds.
 
Invasive plant species can threaten the integrity of local ecosystems and displace native plants, including rare and endangered species. The most effective approach to mitigating the risk of invasive plant infestation is to take steps to ensure they are not planted.
 
Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets is also asking Vermont residents to report any strange seed packages in the mail. Again, keep the seeds and packaging and fill out the contact form here. 
 
Unsolicited packages of seeds have been received by people in several other states across the United States over the last several days. On Tuesday, July 28, the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued a press release announcing that it is working with state plant regulatory officials to investigate the situation. The USDA urges anyone who receives an unsolicited package of seeds to immediately contact their state plant regulatory official or plant health director.
 

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Conservation Commission OKs Art Installation, Charging Stations at MoCA

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff

An artist's rendering of what the concrete tubes will look like. 
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Conservation Commission on Tuesday approved an art installation of 11 concrete cylinders within the 200-foot buffer zone of the river at Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art. 
 
The 10-foot diameter precast tubs will be arranged in an arc between Buildings 19 and 25, just east of Joe's Field, and are designed to resonant with sound or music. They're the creation of artist Taryn Simon, whose "A Cold Hole and Assembled Audience" made a splash at the museum in 2018. 
 
The commission's concern dealt not with the art but the construction on land near the Hoosic River. Brad Dilger, project manager at Mass MoCA, said the installation would be located on a grassy site where a previous Sprague Electric building had been removed. 
 
"That was torn down and filled back in so we would be disturbing only the soil necessary for this installation," he said, which is estimated at about 1,875 square feet. "Everything will be replanted with grass, after construction
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