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DuPont, Hoover, Seventh Generation Products Among the First to Wear USDA’s Biobased Label

Hoover, DuPont and Seventh Generation are among the first companies to win the right to use the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) BioPreferred label for biobased products.

The USDA announced that 60 products (a selection pictured, left) have so far been awarded the label. The certification designates products – other than food or feed – that are made wholly or significantly of agricultural ingredients.

Items now bearing the label include hand soaps and hand sanitizers, cleaning products, plant-based plastic food packaging, engine oils and lubricants, and biobased fiber spun into carpet and clothes.

Companies awarded the label also include: Betco Corp. (Toledo, Ohio); Clear Lam Packaging, Inc. (Elk Grove Village, Illinois); 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).

One hundred companies have submitted applications for about 400 products since the certification program began in January.

“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,” deputy agriculture secretary Kathleen Merrigan said.

“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 added.

Products can qualify for the label in one of two ways:

  • Those within pre-identified product categories  must meet the minimum biobased content of that category.
  • Those that do not fall within a pre-identified category must be 25 percent biobased, or the applicant can apply for an alternative minimum biobased content allowance.

Proposals for the labeling program were detailed in summer 2009.

The labeling initiative is part of the USDA’s larger BioPreferred program, created by the 2002 Farm Bill and strengthened in the 2008 Farm Bill. The program also includes a biobased product preference for federal agencies.

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