The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) has been notified that several Ohio residents have received unsolicited packages containing seeds that appear to have originated from China or other Asian countries. The types of seeds in the packages are currently unknown. The packages were sent by mail and may have Chinese writing on them. Unsolicited packages of seeds have been received by people in several other states across the United States over the last several days.
Updated: 7/30/2020: The USDA-APHIS and ODA are asking Ohioans who have received these unsolicited packages not to open, plant, or throw them away. Instead, citizens should report receiving seeds here and then submit the packages to USDA using one of the following methods:
1. 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 E. Main St, 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 here: https://extension.osu.edu/lao. Please note that extension facilities may have COVID-19 specific signage detailing procedures such as wearing a facial covering that must be followed.
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.
Report Unsolicited Plant Material
The USDA APHIS' Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) program has created an online reporting form to report unsolicited seed packages. Click here to open the online form.
You may also contact the USDA State Plant Health Director for Ohio at 614-322-4700 or by emailing John.M.Burch@usda.gov.