REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio (WCMH)–The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) sent out a warning that unsolicited seeds are showing up in mailboxes. The ODAs plea is that the seeds are coming from China and it is unknown as to what they are. The concern is that they could be an invasive plant species.
The packets have been received in several locations across the United states. The ODA and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) would like you to report and keep the package and its contents sealed.
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.
You may call the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Anti-smuggling Hotline by calling 800-877-3835 or by emailing SITC.Mail@aphis.usda.gov.
Report unsolicited seeds to ODA: https://agri.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/oda/divisions/plant-health/resources/seed-reporter
APHIS importing fact sheet: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/publications/plant_health/2013/fs_receiving_mailed_ag_products.pdf