US: USDA suspends biobased product scheme
Textile companies could see less government procurement of bio-based fabrics after the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) suspended applications for voluntary certification due to a lack of funding.
The USDA said it will continue limited activities related to the federal procurement preference programme, such as adding products to the BioPreferred Catalog, as staff resources allow.
The BioPreferred Catalog includes products made from from marine, animal, renewable plant and forestry sources - which received preferred purchase considerations by all US federal agencies and contractors.
The programme has been halted due to the absence of funding in the Farm Bill extension legislation.
All existing biobased product label certifications (900 'USDA Certified Biobased Products' as of 31 December 2012) are and will remain valid.
The catalogue includes a flame resistant viscose fibre from Lenzing and a number of hemp-based blends.
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