WASHINGTON – On Thursday, U.S. Sens. Mark Pryor (D-AR) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) introduced S. 2346 – the Forest Products Fairness Act of 2012 – which would modify the definition of "biobased" materials to specifically include forest products in the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Biobased Markets Program.
"I applaud Sens. Pryor and Blunt for recognizing and taking steps to correct a blatant deficiency with the USDA's Biobased Markets Program," said American Wood Council President Robert Glowinski. "It's difficult to imagine how some wood products could have been excluded from the program in the first place since they are all made from biobased sources."
The USDA Biobased Markets Program was originally enacted as part of the 2002 Farm Bill to help consumers identify and use biobased products. Products with as little as 25 percent biobased content are recognized under the program's current implementation guidelines, while many traditional wood products that have up to 100 percent biobased content are not.
S. 2346 clarifies that USDA should recognize forest products as biobased and will ensure a competitive marketplace for all products with biobased content, including wood.
"We believe excluding traditional wood products from the program is misleading to the public," said Glowinski. "All we are asking is for wood to be recognized for its renewable and biobased properties."