Expanded Inspection Station in Atlanta Reflects Growing Imports of Flowers and Plants
The Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service announced Nov. 7 the opening of a newly-expanded plant inspection station in Atlanta. APHIS officials said the expansion will expedite shipment processing by allowing for the simultaneous inspection of multiple shipments, “making it just one example of USDA’s overall effort to facilitate and expand trade with our partners worldwide.”
An APHIS press release states that the Atlanta Plant Inspection Station is one of 16 such facilities at major ports of entry across the U.S. It is currently the nation’s second-busiest point of entry (behind Miami) for foreign-grown flowers, ornamental shrubs and other plant material; since 2005, plant cargo into Atlanta has increased from fewer than four million plants to more than 200 million. Such increases in international trade also bring greater potential for the introduction of foreign pests, diseases and noxious weeds that could threaten U.S. agriculture and natural resources.