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Office of Risk Assessment and Cost-Benefit Analysis (ORACBA)

The Office of Risk Assessment and Cost-Benefit Analysis (ORACBA) was established by the Federal Crop Insurance Reform and Department of Agriculture Reorganization Act of 1994 (P.L. 103-354, H.R.4271,
Section 304
).P.L. 103-354, H.R., Section 304 ORACBA began operation on April 15, 1995, in USDA's Office of the Chief Economist.

The Office of Risk Assessment and Cost-Benefit Analysis's (ORACBA) primary role is to ensure that major regulations proposed by USDA are based on sound scientific and economic analysis.


One-Day Stakeholder Workshops on Assessing Risk to Endangered and Threatened Species from Pesticides

April 22, 2014 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service (collectively, the Services), are holding a one-day workshop in Crystal City, VA to provide a forum for stakeholders to offer scientific and technical feedback on the interim approaches that were issued in November 2013 by the EPA, USDA, and the Services in response to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report entitled, “Assessing Risks to Endangered and Threatened Species from Pesticides”.

Stakeholders will be asked to provide scientific and technical information that could potentially be used by the agencies to inform various scientific determinations that will be made during the course of the evaluation of pesticides, including: 1. Step 1, otherwise known as the “May Affect” threshold identified by NAS;  2. Systematic methods for implementing “Weight of Evidence” analysis that consider both quantitative and qualitative data; and 3. The consideration of uncertainty in the scientific assessment process.

The workshop is not designed to, or intended to be a decision-making forum; consensus will not be sought or developed at the meeting. This public meeting furthers the agencies' goal of developing a consultation process for pesticide impacts on listed species that is efficient, inclusive, and transparent. Additional information, see Federal Register Notice.

Cellulose Nanomaterial–A Path Towards Commercialization

May 20-21, 2014
USDA Patriot Plaza III Conference Center
355 E Street SW, Washington D.C.

The “Cellulose Nanomaterial – A Path Towards Commercialization” Workshop is being organized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in collaboration with and co-sponsored by the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI). This workshop will bring together high level executives from government and multiple industrial sectors to identify pathways for the commercialization of cellulose nanomaterials and facilitate communication across industry sectors to determine common challenges.

The primary goal of the workshop is to identify the critical information gaps and technical barriers in the commercialization of cellulose nanomaterials with expert input from user communities. The workshop also supports the announcement last December by USDA Secretary Thomas Vilsack regarding the formation of a public private-partnership between the USDA Forest Service and the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities to rapidly advance the commercialization of cellulose nanomaterials. In addition, the workshop supports the goals of the NNI Sustainable Nanomanufacturing Signature Initiative.
Further Information

JIFSAN Courses

The increasing emphasis on risk-based decision making and the increasingly global nature of the food supply have resulted in the use of risk analysis to systematically address food safety issues worldwide. This has created a need to educate food safety and other public health professionals about the principles of food safety risk analysis and the tools and techniques required to apply this approach. For a detailed course description, or to register, visit our website at:
See ORACBA calendar for courses and dates.

Mailing List

Join the ORACBA mailing list and receive notice of all risk forums, related activities and the monthly ORACBA Risk News/Calendar. Join by sending an e-mail to Jennifer Lohr. In the Subject line enter "Mailing List" and be sure to include your phone number and e-mail address.