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Showing posts from January, 2011

News: USDA Starts Label for Bio-based Products

I have been for a while thinking now that it would be good to have a clear labeling system for products that are produced in a sustainable way from sustainable raw materials (which usually means bio-based).
Well, today the USDA announced that a new, voluntary "Bio-preferred" label system was introduced that clearly labels bio-based products which the USDA defines as "those composed wholly or significantly of biological ingredients – renewable plant, animal, marine or forestry materials." The USDA hopes that the labeling system acts as a low investment high marketing return measure to promote the increased sale and use of these products in the commercial market and for consumers who wish to make educated and sustainable purchasing choices for their families. The labeling system is a small part in an overall strategy to decrease dependence on foreign oil, and increase the creation of domestic, green jobs.
For further details and regulations about the detail, I encour…

Investigation: What sustainable biotechnology companies are there in California? Part II: Sustainable Products

In my previous blog, I surveyed what companies are more closely associated with the biofuels field. Continuing on the survey for sustainable biotechnology companies in California, today, I want to cover companies that fall under the broad and often times overlapping category of industrial enzymes, bio-based chemicals and products.


Industrial enzymes are bio-catalysts often used to make other products the consumer ends up using. In the past, they have often been developed to substitute traditional chemical catalysts that can be toxic, and often are not specific enough. Sustainable chemicals and products often replace traditionally fossil-derived products and are usually the result of metabolic processes.

Update (2015-05-06): This is a highly dynamic field. Over short amounts of time, many start-up efforts have stopped. On the other hand, many new start-ups have sprung up.