REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio (WKBN) – The Ohio Department of Agriculture is now asking Ohioans who received unsolicited seed packets in the mail to send them to the department for further investigation.
The Department of Agriculture previously warned against planting the seeds, saying they appear to have originated in China and may contain invasive plant species.
After increasing reports that Ohioans are receiving such seeds, department officials are interested in identifying them. In order to do so, they’re partnering with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Plant Protection and Quarantine Office.
Those who have received these unsolicited packages should not open, plant them or throw them away. Instead, Ohioans are asked to report receiving seeds here and then submit the packages to USDA using one of the following methods:
- If possible, place the materials including the seeds, original packaging material and your contact information in a resealable plastic bag and mail them to USDA-APHIS at the following address:
Attn: USDA -SITC
8995 East Main Street, Building 23
Reynoldsburg, OH 43068
2. Place the materials, including the seeds, original packaging material and your contact information, in a resealable plastic bag and drop them off at your county’s OSU Extension Office during business hours. You can find the nearest extension office at https://extension.osu.edu/lao.
According to the Department of Agriculture, 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 the costs of food production.
All foreign seeds shipped to the United States should have a phytosanitary certificate, which guarantees the seeds meet important requirements.