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Egyptian Cotton Will Soon Come With a DNA-Authenticated Seal of Approval

Applied DNA Science’s SigNature T traceability system is being installed to ensure the authenticity of Egyptian cotton.

Applied DNA’s molecular tagging technology was purchased to tag two cotton varieties of Egyptian cotton, considered among the high-value in the world. The molecular tag and delivery system of Applied DNA, based in Stony Brook, N.Y., has been shipped and cotton tagging is expected to start within a month.

The system has already been installed in eight cotton gins worldwide, according to Applied DNA. The system includes the use of unique SigNature T molecular tags, Internet-based data collection linking evidence of tagging process quality to each bale identification, and bar code scanning of tagged packaged bales for inventory management and tracking.

“With receipt of this order for Egyptian cotton supply chain tagging and testing, we are moving to replicate our success in securing U.S. cotton through its supply chain,” said Dr. James A. Hayward, president and CEO of Applied DNA. “Given the uncertainty surrounding the provenance of Egyptian cotton in the marketplace and growing calls for increased transparency and traceability by consumers, brands and industry advocates, the implementation of our SigNature T cotton traceability system endeavors to ensure that the value of Egyptian cotton can be substantiated throughout its supply chain.”

The cotton fiber will be managed with strict protocols throughout the supply chain to ensure purity and traceability. As part of its renewed effort to increase product sustainability and improve conditions for Egyptian cotton supply chain workers, the Cotton Egypt Association recently teamed with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization to cooperate on the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) pilot launch in Egypt.

Egypt produced roughly 240 million pounds of cotton in the prior 2018 growing season. The sustainability drive is part of the strategy of the Cotton Egypt Association to modernize and solidify the Egyptian Cotton brand, The association also introduced a new accreditation process last year in partnership with Bureau Veritas that uses DNA technology to root out counterfeit goods.