Announced Actions for December 19, 2000

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Release of FTC Holiday Shopping Alert:

The Office of Consumer and Business Education, within the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, has recently released a Holiday Shopping Alert titled: "Buying Cashmere? Avoid Pulled Wool." The alert provides information about how products made of this type of premium wool fiber, which comes from the undercoat of the Cashmere (or Kashmir) goat, must be labeled -- a timely reminder as consumers head out to buy their Christmas and Hanukkah presents.

The alert's basic advice is also the simplest: If you're shopping for a gift of cashmere this holiday season, read the label carefully to make sure you (and the recipient) are getting what you pay for. According to the FTC, all wool products must have a label that reflects the true fiber content of the item. If the item contains a specialty wool - cashmere, camel hair, mohair, alpaca, llama or vicuna, for example, - it can be labeled with the name and percentage of the specialty fiber. So if a product is made of cashmere only, it can be labeled as "100% Cashmere" or "All Cashmere." But if it contains cashmere combined with sheep's wool, the label must disclose that it is made of both types of fiber.

The alert also specifically discusses "pashmina," a type of scarf or shawl that has become very popular. According to the Commission, while some manufacturers use the term "pashmina" to describe an ultrafine cashmere fiber and others use it to describe a blend of cashmere and silk, it is not a legally recognized labeling term. Accordingly, the fiber content of any item sold as a pashmina must be disclosed accurately, as it falls under the category of "wool products." If the item contains more than one fiber, this should be specified, and if it contains only cashmere, it should be labeled "100% Cashmere" or "All Cashmere." Finally, for all wool products, the FTC points out that in addition to an item's fiber content, the label must contain the country of origin, the name of the manufacturer or marketer, and a safe cleaning method.

For more information about buying Cashmere or how it is advertised and labeled, contact Carol Jennings, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 202-326-3010; or call the FTC toll-free at 1-877-FTC-HELP or go to www.ftc.gov.

Commission action regarding applications for approval:

Following a public comment period, the Commission has ruled on an application for approval of a divestiture from the following: Exxon Mobil Corporation. The application concerns the proposed divestiture of Exxon's jet turbine oil business to British Petroleum Exploration & Oil Company, as required by the Commission's proposed decision and order in Docket No. C-3907. The Commission vote to approve the application was 4-0, with Commissioner Thomas B. Leary not participating. (FTC File No. 991-0077; Docket No. C-3907; staff contact is Daniel P. Ducore, 202-326-2526; see press release dated November 30, 1999.)

Consent agreements given final approval:

Following a public comment period, the Commission has made final a consent agreement with the following: Novartis AG/AstraZeneca PLC. The Commission vote to finalize the consent order was 5-0. (File No. 001-0082; staff contact is Morris Bloom, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2707; see press release dated November 1, 2000.)

Copies of the documents mentioned in this release are available from the FTC's Web site at http://www.ftc.gov and also from the FTC's Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop and avoid them. To file a complaint, or to get free information on any of 150 consumer topics, call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357), or use the complaint form at https://www.ftc.gov/ftc/complaint.htm. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies worldwide.

Media Contact:

Office of Public Affairs
202-326-2180

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