Laws important to agriculture, food safety, nutrition, and the environment
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1860s and before
Morrill Land-Grant College Act authorized public land grants for colleges to teach agriculture and mechanic arts.(more)
Homestead Act passed.
United States Entomological Commission established to study grasshoppers.
Bureau of Animal Industry established.
McKinley Tariff Act passed with a tariff on some agricultural products.
The second Morrill Land-Grant College Act authorized separate land-grant colleges for Negroes—17 were established.(more)
Meat Inspection Act authorized inspection of salted pork, bacon, and live animals intended for export, and the quarantine of imported animals.
First funds officially appropriated to collect, test, and prepare foreign plant materials. (more)
Livestock Quarantine Act passed.
28-hour law required humane care of livestock in interstate shipment.
Meat Inspection Act passed.
Seed Importation Act prohibited entry into the U.S. of certain adulterated grains and seeds unfit for seeding purposes.
Federal Plant Quarantine Act passed.
Federal Farm Loan Act passed.
Standard Container Act passed.
Federal Highway Act provided for cooperation with states in construction of rural post roads.
Honeybee Act prohibited the importation of adult honeybees.
Congressional distribution of seeds discontinued.
Purnell Act authorized funds for research by agricultural experiment stations on economic and social problems of agriculture.
Federal beef grading initiated.
Buchanan Amendment provided first Congressional appropriation for soil erosion research by USDA. (more)
Wool Standards Act passed.
Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act passed.
Tariff Act prohibited imports of meat and animals from countries infected with foot-and-mouth disease. (more)
Farm Credit Administration established by Executive Order 6084.
Soil Erosion Service established, later known as Soil Conservation Service, and today as Natural Resources Conservation Service. (more)
Bankhead Cotton Control Act passed.
Taylor Grazing Act gave U.S. Department of the Interior power to regulate grazing on public lands in the West.
Jones-Connally Act authorized appropriations for research to eliminate disease from beef and dairy herds.
Kerr-Smith Tobacco Control Act approved.
De Rouen Rice Act passed.
Tobacco Inspection Act passed.
Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act passed.
Office of War Mobilization established.
Developed a process for preparing purified grade of oleic acid from inedible animal fats, used in cosmetics and as lubricants in textile mills.
Bankhead-Flanagan Act provided for expansion of county extension work.
Research and Marketing Act passed.
Congress authorized cooperative project with Mexico to eradicate foot-and-mouth disease there. (more)
Agricultural Trade, Development, and Assistance Act (Public Law 480) passed.
Humane Slaughter Act passed.
Poultry Inspection Act authorized compulsory Federal inspection of poultry sold in interstate commerce.
Federal Plant Pest Act passed.
Feed Grain Act passed
Peace Corps established.
Economic Research Service established.
Cotton Research and Promotion Act passed.
Food for Peace program amended to permit the enrichment and fortification of commodities to improve their nutritional quality.
National Environmental Policy Act passed.
Council on Environmental Quality established.
Environmental Protection Agency established.
Horse Protection Act passed.
Wheat Research and Promotion Act passed.
Egg Products Inspection Act passed.
Clean Air Act passed.
Consumer Product Safety Act passed.
United States signed 1952 International Plant Protection Convention.
Clean Water Act passed.
Flammable Fabrics Act mandated new standards for fire retardancy. (more)
United States ratified the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES).
Federal Land Policy and Management Act repealed Homestead Act and many other land laws.
Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act passed.
Sparkleberry holly released.
Created first relatively inexpensive and safe soil monolith collection procedure for 70+ milligram soil monoliths for lysimeters.
Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act passed.
Amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act passed.
Biomass Research and Development Act.