Do not open unsolicited seed packets sent in mail

(ABOVE and BELOW) These are examples of unsolicited seed packets mailed to U.S. residents. The contents are unknown. The Ohio Department of Agriculture says residents should not open the packets and should not plant the seeds.

(Posted on July 27, 2020)

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) has been notified that several Ohio residents have received unsolicited packages in the mail containing seeds that appear to have originated from China. The types of seeds in the packages are currently unknown and may contain invasive plant species. Similar seed packets have been received recently in several other locations across the United States.

If you receive a package of this type, do not plant these seeds. If they are in sealed packaging, do not open the sealed package. You can report the seeds to ODA online, call the United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Anti-smuggling Hotline at 800-877-3835, or email Also, if possible, retain the original packaging as that information may be useful to trade compliance officers as they work through this issue.

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 that guarantees the seeds meet important requirements.


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