Biobased Products News and Policy Report

March 28, 2019

EPA Releases Draft Guidance For Pesticide Registrants On Plant Regulator Label Claims, Including Biostimulants

On March 25, 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) posted Draft Guidance for Plant Regulator Label Claim, Including Plant Biostimulants in Docket # EPA-HQ-OPP-2018-0258.  EPA issued the notice of availability in the Federal Register on March 27, 201984 Fed. Reg. 11538.  This is an important document addressing tricky jurisdictional issues that have plagued EPA for years.  Comments on the draft guidance are due by May 28, 2019.  For a full summary of the draft guidance, please see Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.’s (B&C®) Pesticide Law and Policy Blog.

FDA’s Premarket Voluntary Plant Biotechnology Consultation Program Provides Opportunity For Developers

In a recent statement prepared by U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Susan Mayne, Ph.D., Director of FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, and by Dennis Keefe, Ph.D, Director of FDA’s Office of Food Additive Safety, FDA highlights its commitment to assisting plant biotechnology developers to foster innovation and ensure that consumers can confidently trust FDA’s high safety standards.  Plant biotechnology consists of methods used to introduce new traits or characteristics to a plant (e.g., plants resistant to insect pests, plants with reduced food waste, or plants with reduced levels of harmful elements, amongst others).  To assist developers in this field, FDA has a voluntary premarket Plant Biotechnology Consultation Program, which provides developers with the opportunity to engage with FDA to help navigate the appropriate regulatory pathways.  The program includes individualized advice from FDA’s biotechnology and food safety experts prior to a plant-based product being permitted to enter the market and allows for biotechnology developers to consult with these FDA experts throughout the entire development, data collection, and evaluation process.

DOE EERE Deadline For Concept Paper Submissions For Funding Opportunity Approaches

On March 27, 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) reminded funding opportunity applicants of the upcoming March 29, 2019, deadline for concept paper submissions on commercial truck, off-road vehicle, and gaseous fuels research.  On March 1, 2019, EERE BETO announced a funding opportunity of up to $51.5 million for new and innovative research technologies for trucks, off-road vehicles, and the fuels that power them.  This opportunity addresses research priorities in gaseous fuels research, including biopower, natural gas, and hydrogen.  It also focuses on heavy-duty freight electrification, hydrogen infrastructure, and fuel cell technologies for heavy-duty applications, and energy efficient off-road vehicles.  Full applications are due on May 15, 2019.  For additional information and other application requirements, see the EERE Exchange website.

NWF Publishes Report Linking The RFS Biofuel Mandate To Environmental Harm

In March 2019, the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), a conservation organization working across the U.S., published a report called New Research Findings Link Biofuel Mandate to Environmental Harm.  According to the report, the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and its implementation are leading to environmental disaster which involves the destruction of the monarch butterfly habitat, climate change acceleration, and drainage of western aquifers, amongst other issues.  The research referred to in the NWF report was prepared by the University of California-Davis, University of Wisconsin, and Kansas State University.  Scientists at the aforementioned institutions have assessed the direct connection between the U.S. biofuels policy and specific economic and field-level environmental changes since RFS’ inception ten years ago.  The report summarizes some of these connections and outlines measures Congress and the Administration must take to prevent further damage.


Check Out BRAG at ABLC 2019

Hosted by Biofuels Digest, the Advanced Bioeconomy Leadership Conference (ABLC) will take place in Washington, D.C. at the Mayflower Marriot Hotel from April 3-5, 2019.  The Biobased Renewable Products and Advocacy Group (BRAG®) and B&C are proud sponsors of this event and encourage interested parties to register.  B&C’s Director of Chemistry, Richard E. Engler, Ph.D., will be moderating the Regulatory Workshop session on April 3, 2019, at 5:10 p.m. (EDT).

9th European Algae Industry Summit

From April 10-11, 2019, the 9th European Algae Industry Summit will take place in Lisbon, Portugal.  On March 26, 2019, the final program agenda was released, containing further details of each presentation including the title and main themes of each speaker.  Some of the key conference topics include:

Exploring the Use of Algae for Cosmetics;
Highlighting the Sustainable Quality of Algae for Animal Feed;
Financing and Partnering: Investors Perspectives on Strategy and Expansion;
Exploring Best Practices of Algae Used in Agricultural Products;
Emerging End-Market:  Algae-based Chemicals and Materials;
Regulation and Standardization:  Moving Towards Clearer Guidelines to Encourage Products Development;
State of the Industry:  Current Outlook and Predictions;
Marketing Efficiently Algae Novel Food and Nutritional Products; and
New Developments in Process Technologies.

Other News


Plastics News, “Sealed Air, Kuraray Join Forces for Plant-based Packaging
CNBC, “Starbucks Announces Trials for Recyclable and Compostable Cups
Baltimore Sun, “Maryland Senate Passes Renewable Energy Bill; House Outcome Uncertain
ScienceDaily, “First Evidence Bacterial-induced Apoptosis in Algae
Coatings World, “Clariant Launches First Bio-based Pigment Red 254
North Carolina Biotechnology Center, “bluebird bio Dedicates New Biomanufacturing Plant in Durham, “Alkos Launches Bio-based Cellulose-made Pencils
Elsevier, “Electrochemistry for Biofuels Waste Valorization:  Vinasse as a Reducing Agent for Pt/C and its Application to the Electrolysis of Glycerin and Vinasse, “EU Committed to Ensuring Sustainability of Bioenergy:  Ambassador
Gulf News, “Abu Dhabi Pioneers World’s First Desert Ecosystem
The Gazette, “Front Group Taking Aim at Biofuels
The European Sting, “This Mexican Company is Making Biofuel from Cactus Plants
Renewable Energy Magazine, “Neste to Open First Commercial Fueling Site in California Offering Neste MY Renewable Diesel
Competition Policy International, “Spain: CNMC Approves Mechanisms for Biofuel Certification
CBC News, “Most Styrofoam Isn’t Recycled. Here’s How 3 Startups Aim to Fix That
The Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®) helps members develop and bring to market their innovative biobased chemical products through insightful policy and regulatory advocacy. BRAG is managed by B&C® Consortia Management, L.L.C., an affiliate of Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.
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