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Bill would offer 'USDA certified biobased' for forest products

Reps. Glenn “GT” Thompson, R-Pa., and Kurt Schrader, D-Ore., Thursday introduced a bill that would require USDA to set federal procurement standards and a voluntary label for biobased products.

The label, Thompson and Schrader said in a news release, would allow forest producers to market their products as “USDA certified biobased.”

As currently implemented by USDA, they said, most forest products are excluded from both the federal procurement preference and the “USDA certified” label, and as a result, foreign-produced, imported materials are given preference in the program, rather than U.S.-made forest products.

The Forest Products Fairness Act of 2012 has 16 Republican and 11 Democratic cosponsors, and a Thompson spokesman said in an email that the sponsors plan to add it to the 2012 farm bill.