REYNOLDSBURG – The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) was notified that several Ohio residents received unsolicited packages in the mail containing seeds that appear to have originated from China. The types of seeds in the packages are unknown and may contain invasive plant species. Similar seed packets were received recently in several other locations across the United States.
ODA says the seeds should not be planted, that sealed packaging should not even be opened. Those receiving such packages can contact the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Anti-smuggling Hotline by calling 800-877-3835 or by emailing SITC.Mail@aphis.usda.gov.
Also, if possible, retain the original packaging, as that information may be useful to trade compliance officers as they work through this issue.
Unsolicited seeds could be invasive species, contain noxious weeds, could introduce diseases to local plants, or could be harmful to livestock. Invasive species and noxious weeds can displace native plants and increase costs of food production. ODA and APHIS work hard to prevent the introduction of invasive species and protect Ohio agriculture. All foreign seeds shipped to the United States should have a phytosanitary certificate which guarantees the seeds meet important requirements.
Submitted by the Ohio Department of Agriculture.