By Agri-Pulse staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc


GLENWILLOW, Ohio, March 31, 2011 – If you buy agricultural products with USDA’s BioPreferred label, you can help add value to commodities, create jobs in rural communities and enhance the environment. That’s the message Deputy Agriculture Secretary Kathleen Merrigan brought to Ohio as she unveiled the first 60 products that consumers will soon see in stores throughout the country bearing the new USDA BioPreferred product label for certified biobased products.


"When consumers see the BioPreferred label in a store, they'll know that the product or its packaging is made from renewable plant, animal, marine, or forestry materials," said Deputy Secretary Merrigan. "From bioplastics to plant-based cleaners, from industrial lubricants and construction products to personal care items, this ever-growing list of biobased products helps create jobs in rural communities by adding value to agricultural commodities and can reduce our dependence on imported oil."


Merrigan made the announcement during a biobased product meeting held at Hoover, Inc. in Glenwillow, Ohio. The new BioPreferred label designates biobased products like hand soaps, cleaning products, clothing and carpeting that are composed wholly or significantly of agricultural ingredients – renewable plant, animal, marine or forestry materials.


One hundred companies have submitted applications for about 400 products for certification since the effort began two months ago, including: Nutek Green, a division of Hoover, Inc., (Glenwillow, Ohio); Seventh Generation (Burlington, Vermont); Betco Corp. (Toledo, Ohio); Clear Lam Packaging, Inc. (Elk Grove Village, Illinois); DuPont Corporation (Wilmington, Delaware); ElastiKote (Akron, Ohio); Green Earth Technologies (Celebration, Florida); National Industries for the Blind Agencies (Lighthouse for the Blind, St. Louis, Missouri and Travis Association for the Blind, Austin, Texas); NatureWorks LLC (Minnetonka, Minnesota); Rochester Midland Corporation (Rochester, New York); Bio-Lub Canada (Quebec, Canada).


USDA estimates that there are 20,000 biobased products currently being manufactured in the United States and the department has already identified 5,100 for preferred purchasing by Federal agencies.


USDA's BioPreferred program was created by the 2002 Farm Bill to increase the purchase and use of biobased products within the Federal government and the commercial market. Congress reauthorized and strengthened the program in the 2008 Farm Bill to further promote the sale of biobased products. With the launch of this new biobased product label, USDA's BioPreferred program is now comprised of two parts: a biobased product procurement preference program for Federal agencies, and a voluntary labeling initiative for the broad-scale marketing of biobased products. To learn more, please visit


To return to the News Index page, click: