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New guidelines for labelling organic cotton products
May '10
The Japanese government has released a series of guidelines with respect to labelling of organic cotton products, which are distributed and traded in each and every corner of the country.

These guidelines from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan have been issued as a reply to the rising apprehensions that, now when organic cotton products are extensively available in Japan, the move towards labelling has been burdened with discrepancies, causing misapprehension and confusion as regards manufacturing, distribution and utilization of organic cotton products.

The guidelines state that, henceforth, labels will be in accordance with the Household Goods Quality Labelling Act. For example, if a product is tagged as 'organic cotton' then the label must depict, the proportion of organic cotton, in the overall product or if some parts of the product are distinguishingly labelled, then the percentage of organic cotton content in those parts should be indicated separately in the label.

It is further laid down that, if a product is partially created from organic cotton then the label must specifically assert that, “Composite product is made from xx% organic cotton”. Explicitly, this means that, cotton that is produced without utilizing any agricultural chemicals or fertilizers on a land on which, chemicals have not been used for at least three years and also holds a formal certification in this respect.

However, it should be noted that, guidelines contain no provisions as regards utilization of chemicals at the time of processing and thus, it follows that, these norms are specifically related only to fibre.

Moreover, the guidelines also specify that, if a product is tagged as an organic cotton product, then the industries engaged in its production need to be perceptible. Also, so as to elevate the information monitoring level, it is proposed that, the companies engaging on their own accord should go through objective evaluation.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk - India

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