As manufacturers develop products made with renewable agricultural commodities or wastes, consumers have a difficult time comparing the “green” alternatives to products created using more oil, energy or raw materials. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) plans to change that dynamic with the BioPreferred Certified Biobased Product labeling program to certify products made from renewable plant or animal resources. “This label will make those decisions easier by identifying products as biobased,” says Kathleen Merrigan, USDA agriculture deputy secretary. According to the USDA, an estimated 20,000 biobased products are currently made in the USA and more than 100,000 jobs are dependent on biobased industry. Makers of biobased products may apply for certification after February 21, 2011.