USDA seeks to add new products to BioPreferred program

By Agri-Pulse staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



WASHINGTON, Oct. 27, 2014 - USDA is proposing to widen its BioPreferred program to include new forest products, as it continues to implement provisions of the 2014 Farm bill.

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The proposal revises the definition of “biobased product” to now include forest products that meet biobased content requirements, notwithstanding the market share the product holds, the age of the product, or whether the market for the product is new or emerging. It replaces previous regulatory provisions that focused on the newer markets and excluded mature market products. The proposal also includes other traditional biobased products and mature market products that have been produced in innovative ways, USDA said.

“Today, small businesses and global companies alike have harnessed the power of America's farms and forests to create new and innovative biobased products that are used all around the world,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said. “The expanding bioeconomy means more than just additional consumer choices, it also means new jobs.

USDA's BioPreferred program works to increase the purchase and use of designated biobased products through a preferred procurement initiative for Federal agencies. Designated products may also carry the voluntary “USDA Certified Biobased Product” label, which is designed to promote the broad-scale marketing of biobased products to consumers. Certified and designated products include construction, janitorial, and groundskeeping products purchased by Federal agencies, to personal care and packaging products used by consumers every day.

The proposed rules were published in today's Federal Register triggering a 60-day comment period.

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