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Four US retailers pay dear for mislabeling products
15
Dec '15
The Federal Trade Commission got a court order under which the orders bars four US retailers from mislabeling and advertising rayon textiles as made of bamboo and orders them to pay civil penalties totaling $1.3 million.

Under the court order, Bed Bath & Beyond will pay $500,000; Nordstrom $360,000; JC Penney $290,000; and Backcountry.com LLC will pay $150,000 for allegedly violating the FTC Act and the agency's Textile Rules.

“It's misleading to call bamboo that has been chemically processed into rayon simply bamboo,” said Jessica Rich, director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection.

“With consumers in the midst of their holiday shopping, it's important for them to know that textiles marketed as environmentally friendly alternatives may not be as 'green' as they were led to believe,” she added

According to a FTC press release, the four companies broke the law by continuing to misrepresent or mislabel rayon products as bamboo despite receiving warning letters from the FTC in 2010.

The Commission charged the companies with violating the Textile Act and the Textile Rules and with violating the FTC Act by falsely and deceptively selling the mislabeled products, despite knowing that doing so was illegal.

Specifically, Bed Bath & Beyond's mislabeled items, also sold through its subsidiary BuyBuy Baby, included dozens of bamboo textiles, including Aden + Anais Bamboo 3-Pack Muslin Swaddles and Bamboo Blend Napkins.

Nordstrom sold similar products online and in its stores, including a Gypsy 05 Bamboo Racerback Hi-Lo Dress and Degree Six Clothing the Bamboo Long Sleeve Tee.

JC Penney too sold numerous bamboo products in its stores and online, including Muk Luks 4-pk Men's Bamboo Socks. It also falsely claimed bamboo gave the products antimicrobial properties.

Similarly, Backcountry.com sold bamboo textiles, such as Bridgedale Bamboo Crew Sock – Men's and also made anti-microbial claims for its bamboo products.

The proposed orders settling the FTC's charges are identical, aside from the civil penalty amounts and prohibit the companies from violating the FTC's Textile Act and Rules by failing to properly identify the fibre content.

The FTC also announced that it is sending letters to other retailers to help protect consumers from deceptive bamboo claims, especially during this busy shopping season.

These letters will implore retailers to check their own inventories and ensure proper labeling and advertising of rayon textile products. (AR)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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