In an effort to assist the farming industry and cut the nation's dependence on oil, President Obama is expected to issue rules to expand the emerging market for biobased products. According to USAToday reports, the presidential memo would require the federal government to track and increase its purchases of products made from plants and other renewable agricultural materials — products such as hand soap derived from soybeans, furniture from sunflower hull wood or disposable spoons from potatoes.

"We want to get to the point where we're using everything we grow and everything we raise" to create jobs, help the environment and reduce petroleum use, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in an interview. Obama is directing him to increase by 50 percent, within a year, the number of eligible products — now about 9,000.

These rules build on the Department of Agriculture's BioPreferred program, created by the 2002 Farm Bill. Last year, the USDA started a voluntary label that companies can place on their products if they prove a product is entirely or significantly biobased. The department has approved 500 products, many of which are now being repackaged to carry the "USDA Certified Biobased Product" seal.

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