The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded a contract to ASTM International to take charge of biobased product certification for its BioPreferred Labeling Program. On its website, ASTM International has provided details for interested parties who want to apply to the program. ASTM International is also in charge of evaluating and granting approval to third-party laboratories.
The USDA BioPreferred Labeling Program for biobased products began accepting applicants on February 21, 2011.
Application for a USDA BioPreferred Label involves two steps – enrollment to the program and product certification.
Step 1 – Screening of Qualified Participants by the USDA
Participants must first fill out all necessary USDA forms found in the BioPreferred Labeling Program website. The USDA will check if the products listed in the application are qualified. Participants accepted by the USDA will be directed to undergo certification, which includes ASTM D6866 biobased content testing of products or packaging materials.
Step 2 – Certification by ASTM International
The certification program requirements are outlined in the Operations Manual for Biobased Products and the General Operations Manual for ASTM Certification Programs found on ASTM International’s website. Participants are required to fill out the Biobased Participant Agreement and submit it to ASTM for approval. They will also choose a third-party laboratory approved to conduct biobased content testing for the USDA BioPreferred Program.
ASTM D6866 Biobased Content Testing – ASTM International will notify participants when to send representative samples to the selected lab per the certification program requirements. Testing fees are shouldered by the participants. The lab will submit the test results to the participants and ASTM International.
ASTM D6866 Results Review – ASTM International will review the biobased content test results and notify the participants and the USDA whether certification has been approved or denied. The names of manufacturers and their products that have been certified will be listed in the ASTM Directory of Certified Products.
ASTM International maintains a list of approved third-party laboratories on its website. All approved laboratories must be accredited to ISO/IEC 17025:2005 General Requirements for the Competence of Calibration and Testing Laboratories, have demonstrated capability to perform ASTM D6866 testing, and have complied with the ASTM Practice for Documentation and Reporting of Laboratory Results for Biobased Products in accord with the ASTM D6866 method.
Beta Analytic in Miami, Florida, is one of the laboratories approved by ASTM International to conduct biobased content testing via the ASTM D6866 method. The company routinely submits results within three to seven days after sample submission.
Beta Analytic is not affiliated with the USDA, ASTM International, or the BioPreferred Program.