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USB welcomes new biobased product label

The United Soybean Board wants to see a new federal "USDA Certified Biobased Product" label on the hundreds of soy-based bioproducts the soybean checkoff has helped introduce over the last two decades. The new label, unveiled recently by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, serves as a significant step toward increasing awareness of the economic, energy security and environmental benefits of biobased products, including soy-based products.

Because of the potential for biobased products to create new markets for soybeans, U.S. soybean farmers have invested millions of dollars to research, test and promote soy biobased products. USB currently invests checkoff dollars to find additional, new soy-based adhesives, coatings, fibers, inks, lubricants, plastics and solvents. Thirty-two new soy-based products hit the market in 2010, thanks in part to USB's support.

A rapidly renewable ingredient by nature, U.S. soy often replaces petrochemicals in a diverse array of biobased products. They range from cleaning supplies to carpet backing to spray foam insulation to personal care products to lubricants and more.

"Soy biobased products are a good choice for all of us who want to create more jobs in America by shutting off the faucet of foreign oil dependence," said USB Domestic Marketing Chair Jim Schriver, a soybean farmer from Montpelier, Ind. "The USDA label is going to make it easier for everyone from federal, state and county governments to consumers to find products that use U.S. soy to green their chemistry."

U.S. companies increasingly turn to soy and other biobased ingredients to reduce the petrochemicals in their products. In 2010, USB released a peer-reviewed life-cycle profile that documents multiple energy and environmental benefits of U.S. soybean farming and processing. It confirmed significant greenhouse gas reductions through soybean production in the United States. As soybeans grow, they remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. The study also documented the longstanding trend of increasing soybean yields and other important environmental progress.

Companies that use soy in their products will be eligible to apply for the federal label through USDA's website in 30 days.

USB is made up of 69 farmer-directors who oversee the investments of the soybean checkoff on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers. Checkoff funds are invested in the areas of animal utilization, human utilization, industrial utilization, industry relations, market access and supply. As stipulated in the Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soybean checkoff.

For more information on the United Soybean Board, visit us at www.unitedsoybean.org.

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