AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM) – Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller is urging Texans to take extreme precaution when receiving unsolicited seed packets from China.READ MORE: Operation 'Lucky Charm' Nets 20+ Texas Fugitives With Sex Offender-Related Crimes
The packets were mailed to multiple states, including Texas, falsely labeled as jewelry. Residents are advised not to plant the seeds as they could contain harmful invasive species or be otherwise unsafe.
“I am urging folks to take this matter seriously,” Commissioner Miller said. “An invasive plant species might not sound threatening, but these small invaders could destroy Texas agriculture. TDA has been working closely with USDA to analyze these unknown seeds so we can protect Texas residents.”READ MORE: Guatemalan Drug Lord Wilson Wilfredo Luargas-Garcia Receives Life Sentence
If you receive a foreign package containing seeds do not open it or plant the contents. Keep contents contained in their original sealed package.
Washington state issued a similar warning.
An invasive species is an organism that is not native to a particular region. The introduction of an “alien species” can wreak havoc on the environment, displace or destroy native plants and insects and severely damage crops.MORE NEWS: RL Turner High School Campus Briefly Locked Down After Student Caught With Fake Gun
Taking steps to prevent their introduction is the most effective method of reducing both the risk of invasive species infestations and the cost to control and mitigate those infestations.