The FTC cut down deceptive bamboo labeling

Release time:2013-02-28      Source:admin      Reads:

According to the FTC, the companies’ textile product labels and advertisements - such as “bamboo,” “100% bamboofiber labels,” or “55% Bamboo/45% Cotton” - constituted unfair or deceptive advertising because the products were made of rayon and not actual bamboo fibers woven into fabric. The settlement does not constitute an admission of wrongdoing by any of the retailers.

The recent trend of marketing products as made of bamboo is an attempt to appeal to the growing market of consumers that consider “green” the new black. However, the process for manufacturing rayonfabric labels are hardly eco-chic -- rayon is a man-made fiber that is created from the regenerated cellulose of many plants and trees, including bamboo.

In August 2009, the FTC distributed a business alert, cautioning textile manufacturers and sellers that if a product is not made directly with bamboo fiber, it may not be advertised as “bamboo,” even if bamboo was used somewhere in the production process. Rather, textile products composed in whole or in part of regenerated cellulosefiber labels should be labeled using the generic fiber name: rayon. The FTC also said that if bamboo is used as the raw material, the product can be labeled “rayon made from bamboo,” which accurately indicates that bamboo was used to make the rayon without implying that the product has the environmentally-friendly qualities of pure bamboo fiber.

And, consistent with current law, the settlement orders allow the companies to avoid future liability by obtaining a “good faith” guaranty from suppliers certifying that products are not mislabeled, falsely invoiced, or falsely advertised. This “good faith” provision does not apply, however, if the company knew or should have known that products were mislabeled. The orders make clear that if the commission sends a warning letter about improper labeling, that company is on notice and is thus precluded from relying on a supplier’s guaranty to avoid liability.It is clear that the FTC is intent on cutting down all misleading bamboo claims.

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