07/31/2020 09:16 EDT | Updated 07/31/2020 09:42 EDT

Random Seed Packages Sent In Mail To Canadians Could Be Dangerous: Feds

The CFIA is investigating reports of unsolicited mailings containing "unauthorized seeds."

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is warning gardeners not to plant “unauthorized seeds” from packages they weren’t expecting.

The agency says it’s investigating reports across the country of people receiving unsolicited shipments of seeds.

Authorities warn that “unauthorized seeds” could sprout into invasive plants or carry pests that can be harmful if introduced to Canada.

They say these species can invade agricultural and natural areas, causing “serious damage to our plant resources.”

“So far, there have been reports from most Canadian provinces of people receiving seeds of different types,” Wendy Asbil, national manager of the CFIA’s Invasive Alien Species section said in a release Wednesday. 

“The CFIA is working with our United States counterparts on this issue.”

The agency is asking people who have received unrequested seed shipments to contact their regional office “immediately,” and hang on to the packaging and its contents until they hear from an inspector.

Asbil said people who have such seeds should not dispose of them in the trash or compost them because they could sprout.

The United States Department of Agriculture says it’s aware of “suspicious,” unsolicited seed packages that appear to have been shipped across the country from China.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 29, 2020.