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Wednesday, July 17, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Biobased Products May|Get USDA Certification

WASHINGTON (CN) - Product manufacturers may put "USDA Certified Biobased Product" on labeling when a product has enough plant or animal content to be listed as certified by the agency.

The list of products with a certain amount of biobased content was instituted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture so federal agencies could determine which products they should prefer over others as a matter of policy, under the "Federal preferred procurement program."

The newly established voluntary labeling program is to encourage purchase and use of biobased products by commercial entities and the general public, in addition to the U.S. Government.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture states that the mark means that "credible factual information is available as to the biobased content, consistently measured across labeled products by use of the American Society of Testing and Materials radioisotope test D6866."

By statute, federal agencies and their contractors must purchase biobased products, when they buy certain types of items, "when the cumulative purchase price of the items is more than $10,000 or when the quantities of functionally equivalent items purchased over the preceding fiscal year equaled $10,000 or more." The percentage of formerly living material in the products must be as high as possible, "unless the agency determines that the items are not reasonably available, fail to meet applicable performance standards, or are available only at an unreasonable price."

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