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Indiana officials warn Hoosiers not to open unsolicited seed packages

People across the country are receiving unsolicited packages of unidentified seeds and the Office of the Indiana State Chemist is urging Hoosiers not to plant or dispose of the seeds.

Anyone in Indiana who receives a package should mail it and any packaging materials to the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Indiana office.

Don Robison, seed administrator for the Office of the Indiana State Chemist, says it might be tempting to plant the seeds to see what will happen, but it could cause a lot of damage. He says it could spread a weed or an invasive species or disease.

The seeds could be part of a “brushing campaign,” where online retailers send unsolicited packages and use the fake sales to improve the seller’s ratings online. But, state ag and environmental leaders don’t want to take any chances.

Anyone who receives these seeds should keep the seeds and packaging, including the mailing label and place all the contents in a zip-top bag then place the bag in an envelope or small box and mail it to the State Plant Health Director at 3059 N. Morton Street in Franklin, Indiana. If you can’t mail the seeds, contact the Indiana Department of Natural resources at 866-663-9684 or DEPP@dnr.IN.gov.

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