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Dear Friends and Neighbors,We received our first resident complaint today and are following the below guidelines about an issue you may have read about in the news; the receipt of unsolicited seed packets in the mail. Please see the attached image of unsolicited packages of seeds received by Ohio residents that appear to have originated from China. Similar mailings have been received by individuals in neighboring states. It is unknown who is sending the seeds and the purpose/intent. The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) has provided the following guidance if you receive seeds:DO NOT plant these seeds. If they are in sealed packaging, 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. 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.Individuals can report receipt of unsolicited seeds online via the ODA website or contact the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Anti-smuggling Hotline by calling 800-877-3835 or by emailing SITC.Mail@aphis.usda.gov. Please also let our police know about your receipt of such a mailing. Thank you.
Richard M. Bain