Competition Bureau Calls on Textile Dealers to Accurately Label Textile Articles Derived from Bamboo

Wed Mar 11, 2009 1:06pm EDT

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  OTTAWA, ONTARIO, Mar 11 (MARKET WIRE) -- 
The Competition Bureau is taking steps to ensure that textile dealers
comply with the Textile Labelling Act (TLA) and its regulations as they
apply to fabric labelled "bamboo".

    Following an increase in the number of articles claiming to be made from
the plant, the Bureau is working with the Retail Council of Canada and
the Canadian Apparel Federation to facilitate the compliance process for
textile dealers.

    Until August 31, 2009, textile dealers will be permitted to sell existing
stocks of textile articles that were in production, manufactured,
labelled or packaged, in the ordinary course of business, prior to March
11, 2009. After August 31, the Bureau will conduct marketplace
surveillance to ensure compliance with the TLA.

    The Bureau has published a document entitled: Guidance on Labelling
Textile Articles Derived from Bamboo to assist textile dealers with
compliance. While many products are labelled "bamboo", this is not an
acceptable generic name for a textile fibre unless natural bamboo has
been mechanically processed in a manner similar to the process for making
flax into linen-like fabrics. Most of the products currently in the
market are, in fact, man-made fibre derived from bamboo using a chemical
process, which produces a rayon fibre from bamboo pulp.

    An increase in claims of textiles being "bamboo", "made from bamboo" or
containing "bamboo fibres" has prompted the Competition Bureau to
reaffirm its position that, whenever an article is made of man-made rayon
fibres derived from bamboo, the generic fibre name must first make
reference to "rayon" or the corresponding chemical process outlined in
the Textile Labelling and Advertising Regulations and can be followed by
the words "from bamboo".

    Products made from man-made fibres derived from bamboo are often
accompanied by performance representations such as "naturally
antibacterial" or "protects you from UV rays, naturally." The Bureau
reminds industry participants that performance claims such as these must
be supported by proper and adequate testing. For additional information,
please see the document "Performance Representations not Based on
Adequate and Proper Tests" available on the Bureau's Web site.

    Similarly, labels on textile products containing man-made fibres derived
from bamboo often make environmental claims such as "eco-friendly,"
"organically grown," or "biodegradable." The Bureau is reminding industry
participants that environmental claims for textiles must meet the
requirements outlined in the Bureau's guidelines on Environmental
Environmental Claims: A Guide for Industry and Advertisers by June 2009.

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

    TECHNICAL BACKGROUNDER

    Guidance on Labelling Textile Articles Derived from Bamboo

    The Bureau is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the
Competition Act, the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act, the Textile
Labelling Act and the Precious Metals Marking Act.

    Labelling Law

    The Textile Labelling Act (TLA) and the Textile Labelling and Advertising
Regulations (TLAR) are statutes relating to the labelling, sale,
importation and advertising of consumer textile articles. They require
textile articles to be labelled accurately in order to help consumers
make informed purchasing decisions. The statutes set out specifications
for mandatory label information, such as the generic name of each fibre
found in an article and the dealer identification.

    The TLA and the TLAR also prohibit false or misleading representations.
The TLAR specifically prohibits a representation that "detracts from,
qualifies or contradicts any representation in the disclosure label." 

    As part of its mandate to inform industry of the proper application of
the TLA and the TLAR, the Competition Bureau wishes to clarify the proper
labelling of textile articles derived from bamboo.

    Bamboo Labelling

    Bamboo is not an acceptable generic name for a textile fibre unless
bamboo fibre has been mechanically processed from natural bamboo fibre,
similar to the process for making flax into linen-like fabrics.

    Paragraph 26 (2)Copyright of the TLAR states that: The generic name for a
textile fibre that is made from regenerated or precipitated cellulose is
"rayon", but where that fibre has been made by:

    - the cuprammonium process, "cupro", "cupro rayon", "cuprammonium" or
"cuprammonium rayon" may be used as its generic name;

    - the viscose process, "viscose" or "viscose rayon" may be used as its
generic name;

    - a modified viscose process so that it has a high wet modulus, "modal"
or "modal rayon" may be used as its generic name; or,

    - a solvent extrusion process, where no chemical intermediates are
formed, "lyocell" or "lyocell rayon" may be used as its generic name.

    The proper generic name will vary depending on which particular cellulose
process was used. Where an article is made of man-made rayon fibres
derived from bamboo, the generic fibre name must first make reference to
either "rayon" or the corresponding process outlined in the TLAR,
followed by the words "from bamboo". Examples of acceptable generic names
include "rayon", "viscose", "rayon from bamboo" and "viscose from
bamboo".

Contacts:
For media enquiries:
External Relations and Public Affairs Branch
Gabrielle Tasse
Senior Communications Advisor
819-953-7734

For general enquiries:
Competition Bureau
Information Centre
819-997-4282 / Toll free: 1-800-348-5358
TDD (hearing impaired): 1-800-642-3844
compbureau@cb-bc.gc.ca

Copyright 2009, Market Wire, All rights reserved.

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