Wednesday, August 5, 2009

"BioPreferred" Label Coming Your Way -- Your Voice Counts!

The USDA has announced a public comment period for the new consumer label of BioPreferred. The label is meant to help better identify products that "are composed wholly or significantly of biological (biobased) ingredients - renewable plant, animal, marine or forestry materials."

While there are significant benefits, there are also some concerns. And you as a consumer have the chance, until September 29, 2009 to let the USDA know what you think.

BENEFITS:
  • Less petroleum and fossil fuels used in making products
  • An incentive for creating non-synthetic products that may be more biodegradable
  • Less toxic chemicals in products because many non-synthetic alternatives, especially plant-based, tend to be more safe and less polluting
  • Reduction in dependence of foreign oil and nonrenewable fossil fuels
  • A focus on using renewable materials
  • This may spawn economic opportunities in agriculture
CONCERNS:
  • The word renewable needs to be better defined -- the USDA needs to have renewable include that the bio material is 1) grown or caught in a sustainable manner, including in relation to soils, waterways, forests, and animals, 2) does not take away from the natural biodiversity of the material in the wild, organic, and farmed environments, 3) does not pollute or degrade soils and waterways as materials are grown and managed
  • Genetically modified plants are not acceptable as renewable.
You can submit your comments about BioPreferred directly to the USDA here. Since so few people take the few minutes it takes to voice their opinion productively, your voice counts!

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