SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) — Officials say dozens of families have contacted agricultural departments throughout Stanislaus, San Joaquin and Sacramento counties about mysterious packages of seeds from China that were delivered despite never being ordered or requested.
San Joaquin County agricultural commissioner Tim Pelican says the seeds could potentially lead to invasive species, pests and disease among plants. In short, an agricultural disaster
“It could cost a lot of time and energy to eradicate something like that once it gets in place,” Pelican said.
The Better Business Bureau warns these senders could have ulterior motives, such as identity theft.
“Now someone has your identity, your address, in a foreign country, so just be careful,” BBB Northeast California spokeswoman Alma Galvan said. “The next thing we want to do is monitor our credit for the next three to six months, always go to annualcreditreport.com.”
Stanislaus County’s Agricultural Commissioner says his staff conducts inspections at shipping terminals and intercepts packages containing invasive plants before they are sent out.
Pelican says if you have received these seeds, to not plant them and contact your local agricultural commissioner right away.
The seeds may be evidence, according to the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office.
And if they’ve already been planted, you can still take action.
“If you planted them in the ground, quit watering them and kind of tape off the area that you planted,” Pelican said.