CSE, Inc., et al., File No. 0823181, Proposed Consent Agreement #543916-00001

Submission Number:
Adrienne Makita
Initiative Name:
CSE, Inc., et al., File No. 0823181, Proposed Consent Agreement
Please see the attached document for my comments in their entirety. rics made with whole fibers taken from the bamboo stalk, and fibers and subsequent fabrics made with regenerated cellulose which has been derived from the pulp of a bamboo plant. As is mentioned in the Complaint, this distinction is made on the respondent’s website. I suggest that the labeling of their garments as made from ‘bamboo fabrics,’ is not “bamboozlement” but rather using one word, “bamboo,” where another word or reasonably manageable phrase for “fiber made using a unique, patented, carefully controlled, ISO certified process with bamboo cellulose as the raw material” was unavailable. This was the convention in the marketplace. A solution might be to define a generic term for the patented process by which the major ‘bamboo fiber’ manufacturers make their product, since the manufacturers claim that it varies from the rayon process as we are commonly familiar with it. An investigation into the uniqueness of the process seems to be in order. Short of that, using the brand name of the individual fiber manufacturer in addition to the generic “viscose” (ex: Tanboocel® viscose) is apparently allowable under existing labeling law, I’m surprised it was not suggested to ‘bamboo fabric’ and goods companies that they make use of this existing rule before bringing charges against them and releasing the sensational “Bamboozled” alert. As far as the stipulation that items sold as “viscose from bamboo” or variations thereof must be substantiated as actually made from bamboo as the raw material, your orders aren’t entirely clear as to exactly what qualifies as substantiation. I hope that no more would be expected of a company purchasing goods made of ‘bamboo fabric’ than “organic cotton” ie, a retailer wouldn’t be expected to physically follow every batch of t-shirts from field to shelves. Some guidance and elaboration in that area seems in order. “Bamboozled” states that ‘bamboo fabric’ is rayon which is “made using toxic chemicals in a process that releases pollutants into the air.” The proposed orders require companies making environmental claims substantiate those claims with evidence. There are statements from bamboo fiber manufacturers as to their practices, standards and impact, and Bambrotex even offers tours of the facility. It seems the best way to gain solid ground for charges about discharged pollutants might be for representatives from the Commission to take them up on that. Short of travelling to China, please consider that most ‘bamboo fibers’ for fabric that I’m aware of in the marketplace have been made by companies with processes that are certified up to Oeko-Tex Standard 100, and ISO 14001:2004, and while the manufacturers don’t claim that their processes are entirely impact-free, with “green” being so subjective it seems reasonable for companies to use these certifications as selling points. The Commission further charges, and announces: “even if the rayon is manufactured using bamboo as the cellulose source, rayon does not retain any natural antimicrobial properties of the bamboo plant.” In “Bamboozled” it is stated that “there’s no evidence” to support the claim that what we have been calling “bamboo fabric” has anti-microbial properties. Neither the Complaint nor the Alert cite a source to support this surprising claim. There are several available sources indicating that bacteria or fungus are suppressed by the presence of the ‘bamboo fabric.’ Fiber manufacturer Bambrotex states that they have SGS testing certificates verifying the anti-mic