Center for Plant Health Science and Technology
The CPHST Plant Epidemiology and Risk Analysis Laboratory (PERAL) is PPQ’s primary unit producing pest risk analyses (PRA). In this laboratory, a diverse group of scientists and professionals provides essential scientific support to riskbased policymaking across a broad range of phytosanitary issues. Staff members use sound science to analyze both import and export issues and facilitate safe trade. The PRA help safeguard American agriculture and plant health from harmful exotic plant pests in both managed and unmanaged ecosystems. More specifically, the analyses help PPQ to design risk-based regulations for import and domestic pest management programs, identify and assess new pest threats, monitor the effectiveness of existing programs, and optimize available resources to enhance protection. PERAL personnel also provide technical support documents PPQ requires for pests, commodities, and pathways. These products may include risk maps that indicate existing or potential range domestically or internationally or that predict ranges from weather- or climate matching analyses.
Over the years, PERAL has established itself as a global leader in both productivity and quality management. PERAL is currently the only International Standards Organization (ISO)-certified plant health risk analysis unit in the world. The group contributes significantly to the promotion of international dialogue and increased capacity for science-based management of phytosanitary issues through its Risk Analysis Mentoring Program (RAMP) for visiting scientists. In addition, PERAL provides basic PRA training workshops, with topics covering the spectrum of concepts, methods, and resources associated with pest risk analysis. PERAL also provides training (regulatory curriculum) to students in relevant fields on key aspects of regulatory plant protection through cooperative relationships with academic institutions. Furthermore, PERAL promotes regional and international harmonization of plant health regulations by participating in the North American Plant Protection Organization (NAPPO) and the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC).
Last Modified: April 19, 2012