Sure, we’ve been reporting for some time on the government’s requirement to purchase products made from agricultural or biological materials (see here, here and here). But Sen. Tom Harkin thinks it’s time for an update.
During today’s confirmation hearing for former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, President-elect Barack Obama’s pick to head the Agriculture Department, the Iowa Democrat said he will use his position as chairman of the Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee to address the biobased procurement requirement, which Harkin inserted into the 2002 Farm Bill.
Specifically, Harkin said he would call every Cabinet secretary before the committee to ask them about the so-called BioPreferred Program, which is managed by the Agriculture Department.
Vilsack said he would make sure to spread the word to all of his potential colleagues, but told Harkin it would probably take awhile for most to get up to speed on the issue.
“I would ask you to give me a couple months to let them know about this before you call them up here,” Vilsack said.
“Done,” Harkin replied.