- Special Notice
- About the Program
- Approval Process for the ASTM Biobased Certification Program
- Accepted Laboratories to Conduct Testing of Biobased Products
- Apply To Become an Accepted Laboratory for Biobased Product Testing
- Audit Process
- Questions Concerning the Program
Due to the absence of funding in the Farm Bill extension legislation (i.e., the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012), USDA has suspended the processing of applications for voluntary certification of biobased products. USDA will continue limited activities related to the Federal procurement preference program, such as adding products to the BioPreferred catalog, as staff resources allow.
All existing biobased product label certifications (900 USDA Certified Biobased Products as of December 31, 2012) are and will remain valid.
Many general questions about the BioPreferred program can be answered at our FAQ page FAQ.
The USDA's Voluntary Biobased Product Labeling Program is part of the BioPreferred Program which allows biobased product manufacturers and vendors the ability to affix a Certified Biobased Product label to their product or package if it meets or exceeds the USDA minimum biobased content percentage in its given product category. The manufacturer's claims concerning the presence and the amount of biobased ingredients are third-party certified by ASTM and strictly monitored by USDA.
The purpose of the USDA Product Labeling Program is to promote the increased purchase and use of biobased products. To the extent that the Program achieves its purpose, the increased purchase of biobased products may be expected to reduce petroleum consumption, increase the use of renewable resources, better manage the carbon cycle, and, may contribute to reducing adverse environmental and health impacts. The program is also expected to promote economic development, creating new jobs and providing new markets for farm commodities.
Manufacturers and vendors seeking the use of the label on a biobased product must submit an Application to USDA for each product for which the company is seeking certification.
Upon acceptance of your application by the USDA, you will be directed to have your product processed through the ASTM Biobased Certification Program which includes testing for biobased content in accordance with ASTM D6866 Standard Test Methods for Determining the Biobased Content of Solid, Liquid, and Gaseous Samples Using Radiocarbon Analysis.
An applicant for the certification program shall do the following:
1. Complete an Application to USDA for each product, receive approval from the USDA that your product qualifies under their labeling program, and be accepted into the program.
2. USDA will email the Participant when their application has been accepted and will give them an application number. At this time, the Participant should download and complete the Biobased Participant Agreement, and send to: email@example.com
3. The Participant will receive an email from ASTM confirming receipt and acceptance of the Biobased Participant Agreement. The Participant should thoroughly review the Operations Manual for Biobased Product Certification Program select a laboratory from the Accepted Laboratories listed below and contact the laboratory to schedule testing. The Participant is responsible for the payment of the laboratory testing fees.
4. The Participant must provide a representative sample per the requirements of the Operations Manual for Biobased Product Certification Program download and complete a Documentation of Sample Selection, Shipping and Disposal by Manufacturer Vendor Form, and shall include a copy of this form in the shipment of their sample to the Laboratory with a copy to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Upon completion of the testing, a report will be submitted by the laboratory to ASTM and the Participant. ASTM will review the report and notify USDA. USDA will contact the participant whether certification has been approved or denied.
The following laboratories have been accepted to conduct testing for the ASTM Biobased Certification Program in accordance with ASTM D6866:
Beta Analytic Inc.
contact: Darden Hood
contact: Cheryl Navarro
contact: Michael Butler
phone: 240 477 3895
A laboratory which desires acceptance shall complete the Application for Acceptance as an ASTM Biobased Testing Laboratory and execute a Laboratory Testing Agreement for Biobased Products with ASTM, be accredited to ISO 17025 General Requirements for the Competence of Calibration and Testing Laboratories, and comply with the ASTM Practice for Documentation and Reporting of Laboratory Results for Biobased Products in accord with ASTM Test Method D6866.
Please submit the completed Application for Acceptance as a Biobased Testing Laboratory and the Laboratory Testing Agreement for Biobased Products to the ASTM Certification Department at: email@example.com
There are no certification program fees. The Participant will be responsible for testing fees and costs associated with shipping or returning the sample to or from the laboratory.
In order to maintain the integrity of the USDA Biobased Labeling Program, the USDA (through ASTM) administers an audit program to ensure that all products affiliated with the program continue to meet program requirements.
USDA Voluntary Biobased Product Labeling Program Certification Programs