April 6, 2012
As part of the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) systematic review of all current FTC rules and guides, the FTC requested input on the continuing need for the Wool Products Labeling Rules. The rules require labels on wool products disclosing the manufacturer's or marketer's name, the country where the product was processed or manufactured and information about the fiber content.
National Texile Association coordinated the comments of wool industry representatives -- American Sheep Industry Association, American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition, Cashmere and Camel Hair Manufacturers Institute and National Council of Textile Organizations.
The wool rules assure that consumers have access to objective information regarding fiber content, which is one of the best indicators of product value and performance. This is particularly true for wool because it is relatively expensive and, therefore, fiber content makes up a significantly higher percentage of value than is the case for other fibers.
Prior to the 2006 amendments, a very high portion of garments were found to be mislabeled as to the fineness of the wool fiber. Thanks to the 2006 amendments and the efforts to educate the trade, such fraudulent mislabeling is much less prevalent.
Processors, importers and traders should be reminded that they are responsible for carrying out all necessary tests concerning the raw material and its processing if they want to be sure of the quality, correct labeling and compliance with the rules.
In conclusion, the signators to the letter indicated that the continuation of the rule is necessary to assist American consumers in making informed choices regarding purchases of wool products by requiring accurate and concise fiber content labeling. It is also a tool to take action against the fraudulent mislabeling of less-expensive fibers than wool by unscrupulous processors, importers and retailers.