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Consumers may pay higher price for textile articles labelled as bamboo

04
Feb '10
The Competition Bureau announced that more than 450,000 textile articles have been re–labelled and over 250 Web pages corrected asa result of the Bureau's efforts to ensure that textile articles derived from bamboo are accurately labelled and advertised.

As part of this initiative, the Bureau contacted a variety of retailers, importers, manufacturers, sellers, processors and finishers to inform them of its concerns regarding certain textile labelling and advertising. The Bureau's actions included letters and emails, as well as direct discussions, on–site inspections and in one instance, independent testing.

The Bureau took action because of concerns over potentially misleading labelling and advertising in the marketplace with respect to textile articles labelled "bamboo". While such textile articles may be derived from bamboo pulp, they have not been made from natural bamboo fibre and are, in fact, rayon fibres made through a chemical process. Consumers may be paying a higher price for such articles on the assumption that the articles have environmentally friendly or health–enhancing qualities. The Bureau is not aware of any consumer textile articles made of natural bamboo fibre currently being sold in the Canadian marketplace.

Officers from the Bureau conducted marketplace monitoring to verify that the labelling of textile articles derived from bamboo was accurate and conformed to the requirements of the Textile Labelling and Advertising Regulations. As a result, the Bureau identified 27 dealers offering products for sale with inaccurate labels. In addition, through Internet monitoring, officers from the Bureau identified 94 online merchants advertising and selling products that were either inaccurately labelled or advertised in a misleading manner.

In March 2009, the Bureau committed to conducting ongoing marketplace surveillance to ensure that consumers have access to accurate information about the products they are purchasing.These activities represent important steps in fulfilling this commitment.

The Bureau will continue to monitor the marketplace and will continue to act on complaints involving false or misleading labelling and advertising related to textile fibre products. Businesses that have questions about how to ensure they are complying with the Textile Labelling Act and its regulations should consult the document entitled "Guidance on Labelling Textile Articles Derived from Bamboo" and should not hesitate to contact the Bureau with their questions.

The Competition Bureau is an independent law enforcement agency that contributes to the prosperity of Canadians by protecting and promoting competitive markets and enabling informed consumer choice.

Canadian Competition Bureau


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