Friday, April 22, 2011

New USDA BioPreferred Label Launched

On March 31, 2011, the USDA launched the BioPreferred label program. According to the 2002 Farm Bill, “biobased products are commercial or industrial products (other than food or feed) that are composed in whole, or in significant part, of biological products, renewable agricultural materials (including plant, animal, and marine materials), or forestry materials…and biobased intermediate ingredients or feedstocks.”

This broad definition may bring about images of “eco-friendly” products, but is that really the case? A product only needs to contain 25% biobased content to qualify for this label. The label also doesn’t distinguish if the product was created with sustainable agricultural practices.

As an ag entrepreneur that produces these kinds of products, do you think the BioPreferred label helps or hurts your business? Do you think it helps or hurts your industry? As a consumer, do you think this label brings about clarity or confusion about these types of products? Will you be looking to purchase products with this label?

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