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Halting Foreign Plant Foes

The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

Silent | 1922

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  •  Immigrants arrive in NYC 
  •  Baggage searched for pests and plants 
  •  Fruit and vegetables searched for pests 
  •  Cotton bales fumigated 
  •  Mexican border 
  •  Railroad cars inspected along Mexico border 
  •  Plants inspected in Washington 
  •  Seeds sterilized 
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With the goal of "protecting American agriculture and natural resources from the damage that comes from the entry and spread of animal and plant pests and noxious weeds," agricultural inspection and quarantine programs have existed as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture since 1912. Illustrating the long-standing concern over the entry of "foreign agricultural pests" into the United States, this film features excellent shots of border crossings and inspections in the 1920s as automobiles and individuals are searched and various plants are examined and treated for potential hazards. A fascinating look at the border inspection process of this era.