The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has issued a final rule that adds eight categories of bio-based products to its “BioPreferred” list, which allows federal agencies to give preferential treatment to those products when making procurement decisions. 75 Fed. Reg. 63,695 (10/18/10). Under the agency’s BioPreferred Program, USDA designates categories of products that may be eligible for preferred status if they meet or exceed USDA-established minimum bio-based content requirements

Bio-based products are composed wholly or significantly of biological ingredients consisting of renewable plant, animal, marine, or forestry materials. The additional eight categories announced include (i) disposable tableware, (ii) expanded polystyrene foam recycling products, (iii) heat transfer fluids, (iv) ink removers and cleaners, (v) mulch and compost materials, (vi) multipurpose lubricants, (vii) topical pain relief products, and (viii) turbine drip oils.

The announcement marks the sixth round of USDA bio-based product category designations. According to USDA, 5,100 products now qualify for preferred procurement under the BioPreferred Program. USDA has posted a list of biopreferred categories on its Website.