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USDA collecting unsolicited seed packets
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The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) and the United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) are investigating packages of unsolicited seeds residents are receiving.
The USDA-APHIS and ODA are asking Ohioans who have received the unsolicited packages of seed, not to open, plant or throw the seed away. Instead, citizens should report receiving seeds and then submit the packages to the USDA using one of the following methods.
To submit: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 Attn: USDA-SITC, 8995 East Main St., Bldg. 23, Reynoldsburg, OH 43068; or place the materials, including seeds, original packaging material and your contact information in a resealable plastic bag and drop the package off at your county’s OSU Extension Office during business hours. The Carroll County office is located at 613 N. High St., Carrollton, and can be reached at 330-627-4310 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The office is open Tuesday and Thursday, 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. and Wednesday, 12-4 p.m. by appointment.
Brittany Rohr, of the Carroll County office, explained they have a drop off box outside the office and a seed report that must be filled out. Seeds and the report can be dropped off anytime or, if preferred, call to set an appointment.
The USDA-APHIS noted on their website, they don’t have any evidence indicating the seeds are anything other than a “brushing scam” where people receive unsolicited items from a seller who then posts false customer reviews. The USDA is collecting the seed packages from recipients and will test their contents and determine if they contain anything that could be of concern to U.S. agriculture or the environment. Additional information can be found at aphis.usda.gov.
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