ASTM International Selected As Third Party Certifier For USDA’s New Biobased Label

W. CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. — February 23, 2011 — ASTM International has been selected to provide
certification for the U.S. Department of Agriculture biobased labeling program, a voluntary
initiative to identify biobased products and to promote their sale among consumers seeking to
purchase goods using renewable resources. 

As the selected provider, ASTM International will manage the Certification Program for
Biobased Products, which will determine the product and package biobased content for manufacturers
and vendors that choose to participate. The products will be tested by an outside accredited
laboratory according to ASTM standard D6866, Test Methods for Determining the Biobased Content of
Solid, Liquid and Gaseous Samples Using Radiocarbon Analysis.

Kenneth Pearson, ASTM International senior vice president who oversees certification
programs, notes the benefits of ASTM’s involvement, “ASTM’s role in the biobased labeling program
puts our strengths to work on behalf of manufacturers who want to demonstrate their commitment to
renewable resources, the labs that will provide the testing and the consumers interested in buying
such goods.” 

ASTM standard D6866, which is the responsibility of ASTM Committee D20 on Plastics, can be
used for products containing carbon-based components that can be combusted in the presence of
oxygen to produce carbon dioxide gas. According to the USDA, tested biobased products with the
appropriate content from renewable sources should reduce petroleum consumption, reduce adverse
environmental and health impacts, and improve economic development by creating new jobs and
providing new markets.

In 2002, USDA launched the BioPreferred program to identify biobased products, those with
renewable plant, animal, marine or forestry materials as their main ingredients. The Biobased
Labeling initiative, launched in February 2011, demonstrates that an individual product has been
tested and certified to have the minimum biobased content determined for a particular USDA
identified product category or be at least 25 percent biobased for those products where a product
category has not yet been established. According to USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen A. Merrigan,
“With a plethora of labeling claims in the marketplace, consumers want to know that what they are
investing their dollars in is meaningful, that it is backed by some sort of certification. ASTM,
working with USDA, will provide that certification.”

To begin the process to have a product or packaging certified for the biobased program, go to Once accepted into the program,
manufacturers will be directed to the ASTM Certification Program for Biobased Products at

Posted on March 1, 2011

Source: ASTM International