Obama Directs Agencies to Buy More Bio-based Products

February 22, 2012

President Obama in a memo Tuesday directs agencies to step up their purchasing of bio-based products.

The Agriculture Department must increase the number of categories and products eligible for its BioPreferred program by 50 percent within one year. Those products include, for example, paints, soaps and detergents that are developed from farm-grown plants rather than chemicals or petroleum bases.

About 9,000 products fall under USDA's bio-based products program — a voluntary program under which companies certify their products as bio-based, making them eligible for preferential procurement by agencies.

The memo will "dramatically increase the purchase of bio-based products over the next two years." Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a news release. 

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