Don’t open those weird seed packets, Maine agriculture officials say

Maine agriculture authorities are asking residents who receive unsolicited packages of seeds from China in the mail to avoid opening them and contact the state.

People around the country have reported receiving the packages. The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry said recipients should contact its Division of Animal and Plant Health during a weekday to report the arrival of the seeds.

The state said recipients can also contact federal authorities such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, which has an office in Hermon. It’s also asking recipients to fill out an online form.

The Maine agriculture department said residents should hold onto the seeds and packaging, including the mailing label. The seeds typically arrive in white packages displaying Chinese lettering and the words “China Post.” The USDA is investigating the seed shipments.