The U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Organic Program recently released a memo requiring labels using the term "organic" to follow strict guidelines. This move, as well as a USDA investigation of a bedding retailer that was instigated by the Specialty Sleep Association, has created repercussions throughout the bedding industry, the website Fibre 2 Fashion reported.
"The NOP's new policy memo is one of several dictates recently issued from U.S. government agencies, including the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), that affect how bedding products may be marketed to consumers now and going forward," said Dale Read, president of SSA, the source noted. "The SSA Environmental and Safety seal and tag program should be viewed as a tool-kit for mattress manufacturers eager to streamline the process of substantiating product claims, because much of the work has already been done for them."
Claiming that a finished product, such as a mattress, is "organic" is in violation of the NOP's labeling law. According to USDA NOP standards, only crops and livestock can be defined as organic, therefore, even though the bedding in question may contain organic cotton, the bedding itself would not be considered organic.