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Ohio Department of Agriculture warns against planting or opening mysterious seeds delivered in the mail

Posted at 8:00 AM, Jul 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-28 08:49:38-04

CLEVELAND — The Ohio Department of Agriculture is warning Ohioans not to open unsolicited packages after several residents received packages of seeds that appeared to have originated from China, according to a news release.

Ohio officials said the types of seeds in the packages are currently unknown at this time and were sent by mail to residents and may have Chinese writing on them.

Other states have received unsolicited packages of seeds over the last several days.

If you receive a package like this, the department of agriculture said do not plant these seeds. If the seeds are sealed, don’t open the sealed package.

“Please retain the seeds and the original package labeling for trade compliance officers as they work through this issue,” the department warned.

Unsolicited seeds could be invasive, contain noxious weeds, could introduce diseases to local plants or could be harmful to livestock.

All foreign seeds shipped to the United States should have a phytosanitary certificate that guarantees the seeds meet important requirements.

If you do receive a package like this, you are asked to fill out a form to notify the Ohio Department of Agriculture or by calling USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Anti-smuggling hotline at 1-800-877-3835.