SEI Certification Program - USDA Voluntary Biobased Product Labeling
The USDA's Voluntary Biobased Product Labeling Program is part of the BioPreferred Program which allows biobased product manufacturers and vendors the ability to affix a Certified Biobased Product label to their product or package if it meets or exceeds the USDA minimum biobased content percentage in its given product category. The manufacturer's claims concerning the presence and the amount of biobased ingredients are third-party certified by SEI and strictly monitored by USDA.
The purpose of the USDA Product Labeling Program is to promote the increased purchase and use of biobased products. To the extent that the Program achieves its purpose, the increased purchase of biobased products may be expected to reduce petroleum consumption, increase the use of renewable resources, better manage the carbon cycle, and, may contribute to reducing adverse environmental and health impacts. The program is also expected to promote economic development, creating new jobs and providing new markets for farm commodities.
Manufacturers and vendors seeking the use of the label on a biobased product must submit an Application to USDA for each product for which the company is seeking certification.
Upon acceptance of your application by the USDA, you will be directed to have your product processed through the SEI Biobased Certification Program which includes testing for biobased content in accordance with ASTM D6866: Standard Test Methods for Determining the Biobased Content of Solid, Liquid, and Gaseous Samples Using Radiocarbon Analysis.
- Approval Process for the SEI Biobased Certification Program
An applicant for the certification program shall do the following:
1. Complete an Application to USDA for each product, receive approval from the USDA that your product qualifies under their labeling program, and be accepted into the program.
2. USDA will email the Participant when their application has been accepted and will give them an application number. At this time, the Participant should download and complete the Biobased Participant Agreement and send to: firstname.lastname@example.org
3. The Participant will receive an email from SEI confirming receipt and acceptance of the Biobased Participant Agreement. The Participant should thoroughly review the Operations Manual for Biobased Product Certification Program select a laboratory from the Accepted Laboratories listed below and contact the laboratory to schedule testing. The Participant is responsible for the payment of the laboratory testing fees.
4. The Participant must provide a representative sample per the requirements of the Operations Manual for Biobased Product Certification Program and download and complete a Documentation of Sample Selection, Shipping and Disposal by Manufacturer Vendor Form., and shall include a copy of this form in the shipment of their sample to the Laboratory with a copy to: email@example.com.
Upon completion of the testing, a report will be submitted by the laboratory to SEI, a subsidiary of ASTM International, and the Participant. SEI will review the report and notify USDA. USDA will contact the participant whether certification has been approved or denied.
- Accepted Laboratories to Conduct Testing of Biobased Products
The following laboratories have been accepted to conduct testing for the SEI Biobased Certification Program in accordance with ASTM D6866:
Beta Analytic Inc.
contact: Darden Hood
Center for Applied Isotope Studies at The University of Georgia
contact: Randy Culp
- Apply to Become an Accepted Laboratory for Biobased Product Testing
A laboratory which desires acceptance shall complete the Application for Acceptance as an SEI Biobased Testing Laboratory and execute a Laboratory Testing Agreement for Biobased Products with SEI, be accredited to ISO 17025 General Requirements for the Competence of Calibration and Testing Laboratories, and comply with the SEI Practice for Documentation and Reporting of Laboratory Results for Biobased Products in accord with ASTM Test Method D6866.
Please submit the completed Application for Acceptance as an SEI Biobased Testing Laboratory and the Laboratory Testing Agreement for Biobased Products to the SEI Certification Department at: firstname.lastname@example.org
There are no certification program fees. The Participant will be responsible for testing fees and costs associated with shipping or returning the sample to or from the laboratory.
- Questions Concerning the Program
Please forward any inquiries to:
Application for Acceptance as an SEI Biobased Testing Laboratory
Biobased Participant Agreement
Documentation of Sample Selection, Shipping and Disposal by Manufacturer Vendor Form
Laboratory Testing Agreement for Biobased Products
Operations Manual for Biobased Product Certification Program
Article: "Certifying Biobased Products"