July 31, 2020 - 12:00pm -- czarnecki.1@osu.edu

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.

The Public Should Report the Seeds and Submit the Packages to USDA

REYNOLDSBURG, OH (July 30, 2020) – After increasing reports of Ohio citizens receiving packages of unsolicited seeds in the mail, the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) is urging the public to report and submit any unsolicited seed packets to ODA. In partnership with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Plant Protection and Quarantine Office, ODA is working to investigate the number of seed packets sent to Ohio, what type of seeds they are, and where they were mailed from.

The USDA-APHIS and ODA are asking Ohioans who have received these unsolicited package please DO NOT open, plant, or throw away these seeds. If they are in sealed packaging, do not open the sealed package. You can report the seeds to ODA https://agri.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/oda/divisions/plant-health/resources/seed-reporter

or you may contact the United States 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, please retain the original packaging, as that information may be useful to trade compliance officers as they work through this issue.

Citizens are asked to:

  • Place the materials including the seeds, original packaging material and your contact information in a resealable plastic bag and drop them off at the Lorain County OSU Extension Office 42110 Russia Rd. Elyria during the hours of 8:00-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.  If you have any questions, feel free to contact the Lorain County OSU Extension Office at 440-326-5851.
OR
  • 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