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Applied DNA Sciences Signs Deal With USDA for Cotton Authentication

Supply chain transparency is more in-demand today than it has ever been, and advancements in technology have enabled the necessary authentication and verification brands and consumers alike are looking for.

Applied DNA Sciences, Inc., (APDN) a provider of DNA-based anti-counterfeiting technology, supply chain and product authentication solutions, signed an agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) this week to enhance its methods of identifying cotton fibers with DNA analysis.

Dubbed fiberTyping, the enhanced testing method would make it possible for a manufacturer or retailer to confirm the cotton they purchased is higher value extra-long staple cotton, lower value upland cotton or a blend. The process would also be able to differentiate cotton based on country of origin and could allow brands to keep cotton from countries known to use child labor out of their products.

“The program that has been initiated with the USDA takes the present fiberTyping assay to the next level,” Dr. Mike Hogan, VP of life sciences at APDN, said.

Based on analysis and advanced in genetic testing of cotton fiber, Hogan said a more complete look at cotton’s DNA may now be possible. And with the USDA agreement, APDN will work to verify sustainably and organically grown cotton and ensure that cotton wasn’t involved in human trafficking or child labor.

“Once such Enhanced fiberTyping is developed as a result of the new USDA collaboration, the goal will be to ask and to answer at the DNA level the important question: ‘Where did this raw cotton or yarn or cloth or finished garment really come from?’ thereby giving a new level of certainty to manufacturers, in terms of purchasing control, and to the end customer, more certainty as to the true nation of origin,” Hogan said.