Comment John Wissmann, Lincoln Paper and Tissue

This is a Comment on the Department of Agriculture (USDA) Proposed Rule: Voluntary Labeling Program for Biobased Products

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Please remove the “mature market” exclusion from the procurement preference regulations.

Administrative Procedure Act Concerns with the Proposed Labeling Regulations. Congress enacted 5 U.S.C. § 8102 in Section 9002 of the 2002 Farm Bill (the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002), entitled “Federal Procurement of Biobased Products.” The law provided for establishment of a preference in Federal procurement and a voluntary labeling program for biobased products. Congress replaced this provision with a new, albeit similar, provision in Section 9002 of the 2008 Farm Bill (the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008). Prior to enactment of the 2008 Farm Bill, USDA adopted regulations to implement the procurement preference program but not the labeling program. The current proposed regulations would implement the labeling program.

The Voluntary Bio-Based Products Label Program should be eliminated for the following reasons:

There is no legitimate difference between new and mature products in a voluntary public information program. Not only is this unfair, but is arbitrary and capricious.

There is no guidance on recognizing a product as “new.”

The proposal provides for a case-by-case determination that would allow some mature market products to use the voluntary label.

USDA assumes that Congress intended that the voluntary label program exclude mature market products, but the legislative history does not reflect this interpretation.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the proposed Voluntary Labeling Program for Bio-Based Products.
Comment Period Closed
Sep 29 2009, at 11:59 PM ET
ID: USDA-2009-0004-0011
Tracking Number: 80a2e1c4

Document Information

Date Posted: Oct 9, 2009
RIN: Not Assigned
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Submitter Information

Submitter Name: John Wissmann
City: Lincoln
Country: United States
State or Province: ME
Organization Name: Lincoln Paper and Tissue