On July 22, 2011, the U.S. Department of Agriculture ("USDA") finalized a proposed rule that designates certain items for inclusion in the USDA's BioPreferred Program ("Program"). See 76 Fed. Reg. 43808 (July 22, 2011). Under the Program, the USDA designates categories of biobased products that are afforded preference by Federal agencies and their contractors when making purchasing decisions. The purpose of the Program is to promote the increased purchase and use of biobased products. The Program is also intended to promote economic development while reducing adverse environmental and health impacts.
Background of the Program and Biobased Products
The Program was created by Section 9002 of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 ("FSRIA") and expanded by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 ("FCEA"). In addition, Presidential Executive Order 13514, Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance, mandates the purchasing of biobased products.
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