FTC Staff: Labeling Company's Textile Products as 'Flax' Would Comply with Agency Textile Rules

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Federal Trade Commission staff, in response to a request by a law firm representing the textile company Naturally Advanced Technologies US Inc., stated that using the generic term "flax" for textile products made from the company's CRAiLAR® flax fibers and yarns would comply with the FTC's Textile Rules.

According to the staff opinion, based on information the law firm Pisani & Roll provided about the CRAiLAR® manufacturing process and the attributes of CRAiLAR® fibers, describing these fibers as flax on labels would comply with the Rules. The Rules require that textiles sold in the United States carry labels disclosing the generic names and percentages by weight of the fibers in the product, the manufacturer or marketer name, and the country where the product was processed or manufactured.

"We base these conclusions on your assertions that the CRAiLAR® process involves a manner of obtaining flax fibers that does not chemically alter them, that the attributes of the fibers differ from those of linen, and that international standards and practice as well as the U.S. government recognize the use of the term 'flax' to describe flax fibers that have not been chemically changed," the staff letter stated.

The staff opinion letter was sent to Pisani & Roll LLP on June 26, 2012. A copy of the letter can be found on the FTC's website and as a link to this press release. (The staff contact is Robert Frisby, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 202-326-2098.)

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