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New EU Labeling Requirements Take Effect

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New European Union textile labeling regulations came into effect May 8th, a year after their passage by the European Parliament. The regulations provide for the introduction of new fiber names, recognizing the growing prominence of branded and advanced fibers, and also address the marking of the fiber composition of textile products. For products that are at least 80% textiles, the fiber composition must now be labeled at all stages of processing and commercial distribution.

Additionally, the rules require makers to label animal inputs such as fur or leather, or any other animal derived materials. Products must be labeled, “contains non-textile parts of animal origin,” to allow consumers – particularly allergy sufferers – to identify them.

The rules are now in effect only for any newly marketed products entering the EU, but will become mandatory for all products on the market on November 9, 2014.

European Union Parliament members have also established a commission to investigate the possible role of dyes, biocides, and nano particles in contributing to skin irritation and allergies. They adopted a clear and unified definition of a nano particle in the recent regulations. The commission will potentially make further study into the issue of origin labeling, which the EU currently lacks. It is believed that origin labeling would allow EU citizens to make more informed choices about their products, and would likely boost sales of products manufactured in the EU.

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