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Martin Murray

FTC Fines For Mislabelling Material

By January 8, 2013

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FTC fines The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has fined a number of companies for mislabeling products. Back in 2010 the FTC wrote to manufacturers that had been labeling clothing as made from bamboo to remind them they could be breaking the law by labeling rayon as bamboo. Manufacturers have been using bamboo in the process of creating rayon, but cannot call the resulting fabric as bamboo.

The FTC have fined four companies for ignoring their earlier requests; Macy's was fined $475,000, Amazon fined $455,000, K-Mart fined $250,000, and Leon Max $80,000. Some retailers who avoided the fine have been labeling their products "100 percent rayon, made from bamboo".

The Competition Bureau in Canada that has been working with the FTC and last week announced that labels and advertising have been corrected on 450,000 textile items, as well as on 250 websites that sell clothing and textile products. Investigations by the FTC found that rayon derived from bamboo was no more natural or environmentally friendly than rayon derived from oak and beech trees.

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Comments

January 10, 2013 at 7:45 am
(1) Adam C. Straw says:

The rayon labelled as bamboo has been a real scam over the past few years. I have seen a number of shops pop up where they say they sell just “bamboo” but they have like one bamboo dish and a bunch of rayon shirts. Total scam.

January 11, 2013 at 9:52 pm
(2) Jeremy Langford says:

The bamboo con has been around for a while. I am surprised that Amazon got the largest fine.

January 11, 2013 at 10:16 pm
(3) Kelly Grifenstein says:

The FTC has been a bit lenient on these retailers, I imagine that they made a lot more money selling items made (or not made) of bamboo.

January 12, 2013 at 7:33 am
(4) Josh Cohen says:

What I don’t read here is that the solvents used to make rayon from bamboo (or other plants) is carbon disulfide, a toxic chemical that is a known human
reproductive hazard. So it doesn’t matter if its bamboo or paper, making rayon is toxic to the environment.

January 12, 2013 at 7:34 am
(5) Collette Marie Barbosa says:

I was reading that the clothes company Patagonia does not use rayon with bamboo as it uses chemicals that go into the environment and can cause health problems, not that it seems to matter to Chinese companies. So please pay attention when you are buying stuff, remember to check where and how it is made.

January 12, 2013 at 8:45 am
(6) Charles Richman says:

As far back as 2010 the FTC has warned companies about their labeling. They put out a warning that some companies just plainly ignored, so they got fined. Here is a link to that message from the FTC.

http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2010/02/bamboo.shtm

January 12, 2013 at 4:10 pm
(7) Bella Carvalho says:

I am glad that someone is standing up for the consumer. This is obviously a way of playing on the “eco-friendly” requirements of people.

January 13, 2013 at 11:59 pm
(8) Ellie Rodrigues says:

Why don’t these companies just change the labelling to say “Rayon made from Bamboo” or “made from sustainable forests”, wouldn’t that be acceptable. I am sure I have seen that label in other stores

January 14, 2013 at 2:29 am
(9) Deb White says:

Rayon is a fiber that can be made from the cellulose of any plant or tree so companies use bamboo as it a plant that can be grown very quickly, i.e. sustainable. I know that when companies use bamboo they are really stretching the truth, but at least they are using bamboo, even if the end product is not really “bamboo”.

January 14, 2013 at 3:54 am
(10) Shannon Collins says:

Like the other comments, this bamboo thing has been a real money maker for companies that are trying to make out their products are “environmentally friendly”, when they are selling the same rayon rubbish as before, albeit at a much higher price. I’m glad to see the FTC doing something.

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