USDA Gives OK for "Organic" Labeling for Third- Party Certified Textiles; National Organic Program Policy Clarified

On May 20, 2011, the United States Department of Agriculture's National Organic Program ("NOP") issued a Policy Memorandum (PM-11-14) addressing the labeling of textile products containing organic ingredients (such as organic cotton, wool or linen fabrics). The new policy supersedes the July 2008 NOP fact sheet entitled "Labeling of Textiles Under National Organic Program (NOP) Regulations."

Policy Memo PM-11-14 addresses the labeling of textiles that contain organic ingredients. Presently, any textile product produced in full compliance with USDA NOP regulations (listed and detailed here) may be labeled as NOP-certified organic and display the USDA organic seal. Where the product is labeled "organic" by a third-party certification body, such as the Organic Trade Association, all fibers identified as "organic" must be produced and certified under the NOP regulations.

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