.meta-below-title {display: none;}

Glossary: Organizations, Certifications, Standards, Testing and Government References

Organizations, Certifications, Standards, Testing and Government References

The items below are provided for information only. Inclusion of these organizations and

certification programs does not imply endorsement in any way by the SSA.

American National Standards Institute (ANSI)

http://www.ansi.org/about_ansi/overview/o.aspx?menuid=1: oversees the creation,

promulgation and use of thousands of norms and guidelines that directly impact businesses in

nearly every sector. ANSI is also actively engaged in accrediting programs that assess

conformance to standards – including globally-recognized cross-sector programs such as the ISO

9000 (quality) and ISO 14000 (environmental) management systems. Many sustainability


standards have been taken through ANSI accredited consensus processes, including some

product-specific standards and several national green building standards.

American Humane Certified: a voluntary, fee-based service available to producers of

animals in agriculture. The program provides independent, third party audited verification that

the care and handling of animals on enrolled farms meet the animal welfare standards set forth

by American Humane Certified. Producers who meet the standards may use the American

Humane Certified label on their products. Certifies wool products are produced humanely.

Annual independent on-site audits of more than 200 science-based standards and measures

conducted by Professional Animal Auditor Certified Organization (PAACO) trained and

certified auditors. Online Compliance Resources to provide regular mandatory audit updates,

and monitoring throughout the year. State-of-the-art, web-based independent video monitoring

that provides 24/7, real-time monitoring and instant alerts of potential problems to the producer

and American Humane. http://www.americanhumane.org/animals/programs/farm-animalwelfare.


Assembled in USA: See Made in USA below.

B Corporation: http://www.bcorporation.net

B Corp is to business what Fair Trade certification is to coffee or USDA Organic certification is

to milk. B Corps are certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and

environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. Today, there is a growing

community of more than 1,000 Certified B Corps from 33 countries and over 60 industries

working together toward 1 unifying goal: to redefine success in business.

BedFax: (www.bedfax.org) : Service provided by the Specialty Sleep Association (SSA) to

fulfill consumer demand for information and education of what is inside mattresses. SSA’s

BedFax RegisteredTM program allows manufacturers to demonstrate their commitment to

transparency in marketing.

Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association (BIFMA)

http://www.bifma.org/ : A non-profit organization that develops voluntary product and industry

standards that support safe, healthy and sustainable environments; publishes key industry

statistics; and advocates for legislation and government regulation. BIFMA International and

NSF International have released a consensus based sustainability standard that allows

manufacturers to certify products and earn recognition. The standard includes criteria for

evaluating materials selection and usage; energy and atmosphere; human and ecosystem health;

and social responsibility impacts. A corresponding product certification program also exists

called “level”. It is a product labeling program based on the ANSI/BIFMA e3-2011e Furniture

Sustainability Standard.


CSA: Canadian Standards development is the foundation of CSA Group. From our initial

charter in 1919, we have grown to become the largest standards development organization

(SDO) in Canada, with the widest subject area recognition. We also work with other SDOs

around the world as a key contributor to international and harmonized standards activities. Our

library of more than 3,000 standards and codes address subjects that affect the interests of

industry, consumers, regulators and the public at large. http://www.csagroup.org/us/en/home

Learn about CSA Group's accreditations, our recognized balanced matrix process, and how many

of our codes and standards are used by industries and regulators to help make the world a better,

safer, more sustainable place.

Standards Development: We are accredited in the U.S. and Canada to develop standards in a

wide range of subject areas that speak to product safety and performance, process improvement,

best practices and safer work environments.

CE Marking

Basics: The CE marking indicates a product’s compliance with EU legislation and so enables

the free movement of products within the European market. By affixing the CE marking to a

product, a manufacturer declares, on his sole responsibility, that the product meets all the legal

requirements for the CE marking, which means that the product can be sold throughout the

European Economic Area (EEA, the 28 Member States of the EU and European Free Trade

Association (EFTA) countries Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein). This also applies to products

made in other countries which are sold in the EEA.

However, not all products must bear the CE marking, only product categories mentioned in

specific EU directives on the CE marking. CE marking does not indicate that a product was

made in the EEA, but merely states that the product has been assessed before being placed on the

market and thus satisfies the applicable legislative requirements (e.g. a harmonized level of

safety) enabling it to be sold there. It means that the manufacturer has:

• verified that the product complies with all relevant essential requirements (e.g. health and

safety or environmental requirements) laid down in the applicable directive(s) and

• if stipulated in the directive(s), had it examined by an independent conformity assessment


It is the manufacturer’s responsibility to carry out the conformity assessment, to set up the

technical file, to issue the declaration of conformity and to affix the CE marking to a product.

Distributors must check that the product bears the CE marking and that the requisite supporting

documentation is in order. If the product is being imported from outside the EEA, the importer

has to verify that the manufacturer has undertaken the necessary steps and that the

documentation is available upon request.

More information for professionals

More information for consumers

CERES - Certification of Environmental Standards, GmbH:


CERES offers certification for organic farming and food processing, for Good Agricultural and

Good Manufacturing Practices in the food industry, and for organic textiles and biofuels:


• Organic Farming and Food Processing

• Inputs (materials) for organic farming

• GLOBALG.A.P. (Good agricultural practice)

• UTZ CERTIFIED (Sustainable coffee, cocoa and tea production)

• C.A.F.E. Practices (Sustainable coffee production for Starbucks)

• GOTS (Organic textiles)

• Bird Friendly® Coffee

Certified Biobased Product: is a USDA program that provides minimum percentages of

biobased content for certain products. USDA has set no minimum biobased content requirements

for finished mattresses, but has set a 12% minimum biobased content for “Bedding, Bed Linen,

and Towels.” Source: 7 CFR § 2902.17 (2011). USDA considers finished mattresses to be a

complex product for which it may define a minimum biobased content limit at some point in the


Certified Humane: http://certifiedhumane.org/ Humane Farm Animal Care (HFAC) is the

leading non-profit certification organization dedicated to improving the lives of farm animals in

food production from birth through slaughter.

The goal of the program is to improve the lives of farm animals by driving consumer demand for

kinder and more responsible farm animal practices.

When you see the Certified Humane Raised and Handled® label on a product you can be assured

that the food products have come from facilities that meet precise, objective standards for farm

animal treatment.

CertiPUR-US®: http://certipur.us/pages/about-certipur-us/

CertiPUR-US® foam certification program: a voluntary testing, analysis and certification

program for flexible polyurethane foam used as a cushioning material in home furnishings such

as adult mattresses, crib mattresses, upholstered furniture and some accessory comfort products.

Certified flexible polyurethane foams have been independently laboratory tested and certified to

be made without ozone depleters; made without PBDE flame retardants; made without mercury,

lead and other heavy metals; made without formaldehyde; made without phthalates regulated by

the Consumer Product Safety Commission; and low VOC (Volatile Organic Compound)

emissions for indoor air quality (less than 0.5 parts per million). Learn more at www.certipur.us.

Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC): The federal government agency

charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death from thousands of

types of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. The CPSC is charged with protecting

consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard

or can injure children. CPSC laws impacting mattress manufacturers include CPSC 1632 and

1633 flammability testing requirements and the new CPSIA lead and phthalates testing



16 CFR Part 1632: CPSC-administered mattress flammability standard issued pursuant to the

Flammable Fabrics Act that requires new mattresses sold in the United States (including Puerto

Rico) to resist ignition from a smoldering heat source (such as a lit cigarette).

16 CFR Part 1633: CPSC-administered mattress flammability standard issued pursuant to the

Flammable Fabrics Act that requires mattresses sold in the United States (including Puerto Rico)

to resist ignition from an open-flame heat source (such as a lit match, lighter or candle).

Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA): signed into law on August 14,

2008, set new content requirements and other requirements for certain children’s products.

Source: Codified at 15 U.S.C. §§ 2051−2089, October 18, 2008 version.


For children’s products sold on or after August 14, 2009, no component may contain more than

300 parts per million (ppm) of lead. (The lead limit may be reduced to 100 ppm by August 14,

2011, if technologically feasible.) The law defines a children’s product as a consumer product

designed or intended primarily for children 12 years of age or younger.

In addition to the lead content limits noted above, the law requires that certain components be

tested for lead content and that such testing information be included on the certificates of

conformity that manufacturers are already required to issue with their products with regard to

Part 1632, 1633 and other applicable standards (if any). The CPSC, however, has stayed

enforcement of these new lead testing and certification requirements until February 10, 2011.

This stay will allow the CPSC (and possibly Congress) time to clarify a number of complex

issues involved with enforcing the new lead content provisions.

It is important to understand that the CPSC’s stay DOES NOT apply to the lead content

requirement itself, and does not affect a manufacturer’s existing obligation to meet other lead

content limits set in 16 CFR part 1303 (discussed below).

The CPSIA has exempted from the lead content limits and the lead testing/certification

requirements internal mattress components that are physically inaccessible to a child and certain

fabrics, fibers and other components. Specifically, CPSC regulation 16 CFR Part 1500.91

exempts the following textile materials:

(i) Natural fibers (dyed or undyed) including, but not limited to, cotton, kapok, flax,

linen, jute, ramie, hemp, kenaf, bamboo, coir, sisal, silk, wool (sheep), alpaca, llama,

goat (mohair, cashmere), rabbit (angora), camel, horse, yak, vicuna, qiviut, guanaco;

(ii) Manufactured fibers (dyed or undyed) including, but not limited to, rayon, azlon,

lyocell, acetate, triacetate, rubber, polyester, olefin, nylon, acrylic, modacrylic, aramid,



Aside from textiles that contain dyed fibers, the CPSC's regulation notes that textiles with "aftertreatment

applications, including screen prints, transfers, decals, or other prints" are excluded

from this exemption.

Other exemptions from the CPSIA lead requirements that could be relevant to mattress producers

include wood, paper and similar materials made from wood or other cellulosic fiber, and certain

types of printing inks.

Note that these exemptions will not apply if a material, component, or product is altered in a way

that may introduce lead in excess of the content limit to the product.

The combined impact of these exemptions will save mattress manufactures thousands of dollars

in testing and compliance costs.

The CPSC is conducting a separate rulemaking to define testing and certification procedures for

components in children’s products that do not qualify for these exemptions.

The CPSC has issued an enforcement policy for the lead requirements which details how the

Commission will initially use its enforcement discretion to implement these new rules.

For those products and components that must be tested for lead, the CPSIA requires

manufacturers to use a CPSC-accredited third party or in house testing labs. The CPSC has

released its criteria for obtaining accreditation. See also: list of accredited labs.


A second requirement that also took effect on February 10, 2009, bans the use of certain categories

of phthalates in “child care articles." (It is unclear at this time whether a mattress designed or

intended for use by children three years of age or younger is a child care article for these purposes).

A "child care article" may not contain more than 0.1% of DEHP, DBP, and BBP, which are banned

on a permanent basis, or DINP, DIDP, and DnOP, which are banned pending further review. Like

lead, the phthalates provision requires manufacturers to use a CPSC-accredited third party or inhouse

lab to meet testing and certification requirements. Like lead, the CPSC has advised that

physically inaccessible parts in finished products are exempt from the testing requirement.

Also in February 2009, the CPSC requested public comment on whether a mattress (and several other

products) intended for children three and under is used to "facilitate sleep." ISPA submitted

comments to the CPSC requesting that the agency find that mattresses are not child care articles for

these purposes. If the CPSC determines that a mattress does not meet this definition, the new

phthalates requirements would not apply to that product. At this time, the CPSC has not ruled on

ISPA’s request.

CPSC-accredited testing labs.


The following is a list of labs that have been accredited by the Consumer Product Safety

Commission as qualified to conduct 16 CFR 1632 and/or 16 CFR 1633 flammability testing for

children’s and adult mattresses and bedding. Also highlighted are those companies within this

group that are qualified to conduct lead and phthalates testing-an additional requirement for

products sold for use by children ages 12 and younger.

Bureau Veritas Consumer Products Services

Phone: 716-505-3641


16 CFR 1632 tests, plus lead & phthalates testing

Consumer Testing Laboratories Inc.

Phone: 479-636-8782


16 CFR 1632 tests, plus lead & phthalates testing.

Diversified Testing Laboratories

Phone: 336-227-7710


16 CFR 1632 tests

Element Materials Technology

Phone: 651-659-7521


16 CFR 1632 & 1633 tests, plus lead testing

Govmark Organization

Phone: 631-293-8944



16 CFR 1632 & 1633 tests

Intertek Testing Services

Phone: 616-656-1347


16 CFR 1632 & 1633 tests, plus lead & phthalates testing

Intertek Testing Services

Phone: 210-635-8100


16 CFR 1632 & 1633 tests, plus lead & phthalates testing

Milliken Pyroanalytical Center

Phone: 888-723-2876


16 CFR 1633 tests

QAI Laboratories

Phone: 918-437-8333


16 CFR 1632 & 1633 tests

Sealy Inc. Regulatory Compliance Laboratory

Phone: 336-861-3997



16 CFR 1632 & 1633 tests

SGS Life Science Services

Phone: 973-575-5252


16 CFR 1632 tests, plus lead & phthalates testing

TouchStone Systems & Services

Phone: 616-532-0060


16 CFR 1632 & 1633 tests


Phone: 847-664-3281


16 CFR 1632 & 1633 tests, plus lead & phthalates testing

Source: BedTimes Magazine, September 2014 Issue, Page 47

Original Source: www.cpsc.gov

Control Union (CU) http://www.controlunion.com/en

Control Union is a global network of inspection operations and dedicated laboratories. Our

specialty: Independent worldwide cargo surveying and superintendence. Through innovative

solutions, specialized services and product knowledge, we offer complete packages for logistics,

quality and quantity management. From the country of origin to the final destination, and with an

open mind towards clients’ demands.

The PCU Group is a network of independently operating service companies that mainly

operates under the trade name of Peterson and Control Union.

Control Union is a risk management expert, operating a global network of offices and

laboratories. It is a privately owned company founded in 1956 by a group of companies,

including Peterson in Rotterdam. Now, Control Union is fully owned by the Peterson and

Control Union Group.

The specialist activities of the group’s companies’ compromise:


• Commodity inspections and laboratory analyses for agricultural, mineral and consumer

products in dry or liquid form;

• Certification of processes and systems relating to food, feed, latex, fibres, textiles,

forestry, biomass and biofuel products for traceability, safety and sustainability.

• Collateral management for financed goods.

• Industrial testing and inspection related to the oil and gas industry for production and

exploration, both onshore and offshore.

Additional services:

• Logistics management, including 4th party concepts, distribution, storage and

transshipment, customs formalities, documentation and ships’ agencies.

• Non-toxic pest control and conditioning of goods and warehouses, gas measurements.

• Satellite based geo-information and automated data analyses.

• Projects in logistics management, commodity chains, project management,

sustainability, risk control.

• Pre-shipment inspections.

Our certification services are performed under the name of Control Union Certifications when a

centralized accreditation is involved. Laboratory services are executed by various Control Union

operations. Our sister company, TLR International Laboratories in Rotterdam, operates the

largest laboratory in the group and acts as a knowledge and competence center. Moreover, it

assists in the development of other Control Union laboratories.

To guarantee swift and reliable service, we operate offices in most of the major ports and

business areas, thus we offer a unique network to our clients. We firmly believe in a

decentralized organization in order to give room for creativity and entrepreneurship. This

approach enables the group to develop innovative and flexible solutions for our clients and avoid

bureaucracy. Nevertheless, all business units need to comply with our safety, Quality,

sustainability and financial management system.

For more details, please visit our website: http://www.controlunion.com/en/certifications

Eco3Home: an American Home Furnishings Alliance (AHFA) program that provides a

roadmap for home furnishings companies to create a corporate culture of conservation and

environmental stewardship. The first level is an environmental management system implemented

at the facility level called Enhancing Furniture’s Environmental Culture (EFEC). It results in

improved management of resources and raw materials; reduced energy and water consumption;

reduced waste disposal and increased recycling. The second level extends the corporate culture

of conservation and environmental stewardship throughout a company’s global supply chain and

is called Sustainable by Design (SBD). It targets four key areas: environmental impact of the

supply chain, global climate impact, overall environmental footprint and social responsibility.

The third and final level is a product registration program resulting in the companies being able

to use the Eco3Home hangtag. It requires manufacturers to provide safety, health and

environmental information for each piece or collection of registered product.

ECO-INSTITUT http://www.eco-institut.de/en/product-testing/: Provider of product and

emissions testing and quality assurance in regards to the legal national and international


requirements, trade and manufacturers associations, and consumer specialty requests. In respect

to the mattress industry, the ECO-INSTITUT tests mattresses for the inner spring, latex,

(viscoelastic) foam and polyurethane-type foam, and textiles. The ECO-INSTITUT services

certification according to the criteria of the ECO-INSTITUT Label, Blue Angel (RAL-UZ

38/117/119/130/148), or QUL (Quality Association for Environmentally-Agreeable Latex


ETL Listed Mark: Intertek's ETL Mark was born into a culture of innovation. It was in

Thomas Edison's lighting laboratories where it all began, and to this day we still breathe the

same air of innovation, safety and quality. We also understand a manufacturer's need to get new

products to market quickly to achieve the greatest success, therefore we have built speed,

responsiveness and urgency into our processes. Our commitment to helping customers gain the

certifications they need quickly and efficiently has never been greater.

The ETL Mark is proof of product compliance to North American safety standards. Authorities

Having Jurisdiction (AHJs) across the US and Canada accept the ETL Listed Mark as proof of

product compliance to published industry standards. Retail buyers accept it on products they're

sourcing. And every day, more and more consumers recognize it on products they purchase as a

symbol of safety.

Today, the ETL Mark is the fastest growing safety certification in North America and is featured

on millions of products sold by major retailers and distributors every day. Browse through our

most Frequently Asked Questions about the ETL Listed Mark.

Fair Trade International: http://www.fairtrade.net/about-fairtrade.html

Fair trade is an alternative approach to conventional trade based on a partnership between

producers and traders, businesses and consumers. The international Fairtrade system - made up

of Fairtrade International and its member organizations - represents the world's largest and most

recognized fair trade system.

Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) : https://us.fsc.org/

FSC is an independent, non-profit organization that protects forests for future generations.

We are an open, membership-led organization that sets standards under which forests and

companies are certified. Our membership consists of three equally weighted chambers --

environmental, economic, and social -- to ensure the balance and the highest level of integrity.

FSC US is based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and operates as a National Office of FSC

International, which is based in Bonn, Germany.

Global Network of Laboratories

Intertek is one of the world's largest Testing, Inspection and Certification companies. We have a

network of laboratories across North and South America, Europe and Asia to deliver safety

testing and certification for your products. Our teams around the world provide Global Expertise

with Local Service. No one partners with manufacturers better than Intertek to deliver the

services you need, when you need them, and where you need them.


Check out our white paper The Essential Guide to Product Testing & Certification

http://www.intertek.com/services/essential-guide-wp-web/ for more information on the standards

we test to for the North American market.

Federal Trade Commission (FTC): created in 1914 to prevent unfair methods of

competition in commerce. The FTC now has greater authority to police anticompetitive

practices. In 1938, Congress passed a broad prohibition against “unfair and deceptive acts or

practices.” Since then, FTC also has been directed to administer a wide variety of other

consumer protection laws. In 1975, Congress gave the FTC the authority to adopt industry-wide

trade regulation rules. FTC’s jurisdiction includes issuing guidance to prevent deceptive

environmental marketing claims, which has been issued in the form of the FTC’s Guides for the

Use of Environmental Marketing Claims or “Green Guides.”

FTC’s Green Guides: more formally known as the FTC’s Guides for the Use of

Environmental Marketing Claims, specifically address the application of Section 5 of the FTC

Act, which protects against unfair methods of competition or deceptive acts affecting commerce,

Source: 5 U.S.C. § 41-58, as amended. The Green Guides apply to environmental claims

included in labeling, advertising, promotional materials and all other forms of marketing,

whether asserted directly or by implication, through words, symbols, emblems, logos, depictions,

product brand names, or through any other means, including marketing through digital or

electronic means, such as the Internet or electronic mail. Source: 16 C.F.R. § 260.2. The Green

Guides were first issued in 1992 to help marketers ensure that the claims they are making are

true and substantiated. The Guides were revised in 1996, 1998, and another proposed revision

came out in 2010. The guidance they provide includes: 1) general principles that apply to all

environmental marketing claims; 2) how consumers are likely to interpret particular claims and

how marketers can substantiate these claims; and 3) how marketers can qualify their claims to

avoid deceiving consumers

Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS) http://www.controlunion.com/en/home/

A standard for the sustainable processing methods of latex products from their original organic

material. This includes standards for processing, manufacturing, packing, labeling, trading and

distribution of latex products. In addition this standard also focuses on human health, safety and

welfare, and environment in the manufacturing process of latex products. Source: GOLS.

GOLS has been introduced to ensure a sound supervision procedure of the route from field

level/farmer level to the certified organic latex product manufacturer.

There are several factors that should be mentioned with regards to this standard. The

manufacturers that may produce organic products under the GOLS logo would have to follow the

social and environmental regulations made mandatory through the standard. Moreover, this will

make the final consumer socially and environmentally responsible indirectly,

Consistency of the quality is one of the key focuses of this standard. To prevent introduction of

‘falsely certified’ products in to the market is one of the prime objectives of this standard. It will


protect the final consumer from being exposed to bogus products, while on the other hand will

safeguard the certified organic latex related manufacturers who follows the acceptable

procedures in their manufacturing processes. This standard describes the minimum requirements

to achieve GOLS certification for Latex collection points, Centrifuging, manufacturing and

processing units, retailers and brand owners. The standard covers the requirements of processing,

traceability, separation, identification, record keeping, quality control, environmental

management, social compliance, labeling and distribution of semi-processed and processed final

products made from certified natural rubber latex from organic origin.

Each Latex collection points, Centrifuging, manufacturing and processing units, retailers and

brand owners shall be audited (on-site) according to the standard (GOLS) annually in order to

maintain GOLS Certification.

For more details, please visit :


Global Organic Textiles Standard (GOTS): http://www.global-standard.org/thestandard.


The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is recognized as the world's leading processing

standard for textiles made from organic fibers. It defines high-level environmental criteria along

the entire organic textiles supply chain and requires compliance with social criteria as well.













• Organic certification of fibers on basis of recognized international or national standards

(IFOAM family of standards, EEC 834/2007, USDA NOP)

• Certification of fibers from conversion period is possible if the applicable farming

standard permits such certification

• A textile product carrying the GOTS label grade ‘organic’ must contain a minimum of

95% certified organic fibers whereas a product with the label grade ‘made with organic’

must contain a minimum of 70% certified organic fibers.

A standard developed to define world-wide recognized requirements about the organic status of

textiles, from post-harvest handling of the raw materials, through environmentally and socially

responsible manufacturing and labeling. Its purpose is to provide credible assurance to the

consumer that a finished product is “certified organic.” To achieve GOTS certification, a product

must meet one of its definitions for organic products and be certified by an independent thirdparty

certification organization approved by the GOTS International Working Group (IWG).

Licensing and labeling are governed by the GOTS IWG. GOTS can be used to certify a finished

product as “certified organic” if 95% of the product’s ingredients (by weight) are certified

organic and the manufacturer is in compliance with other GOTS requirements. GOTS also

allows a claim of “made with x% organic material…” if 70% or more of the product’s

ingredients (by weight) have been certified organic and the manufacturer, likewise, is compliant

with other requirements.


GOTS 4.0: The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is the worldwide leading textile

processing standard for organic fibers, including ecological and social criteria, backed up by

independent certification of the entire textile supply chain.

Version 4.0 was published on 1st of March 2014, 3 years after the Version 3.0 was introduced

and 9 years after the launch of the 1st Version. The high ecological and social requirements as

well as word-wide practicability and verifiability were considered in the revision work, in order

to achieve a reliable and transparent set of criteria.

GREENGUARD® Certified: GREENGUARD Certification

GREENGUARD Certified products are scientifically proven to meet some of the world's highest

chemical emissions standards, to help reduce the impact of indoor air pollution and the risks of

chemical exposure in order to create a healthier indoor environment.

GREENGUARD Certification standards follow guidance of the US Environmental Protection

Agency's (USEPA) testing protocol for furniture, the state of Washington's protocol for interior

furnishings and construction materials, Germany's Blue Angel Program, and California Section

01350, among others. The GREENGUARD Certification Program has test methods and emission

limits for three product groups: Building Materials and Furniture and Furnishings, Electronic

Equipment, and Cleaning and Maintenance Products. GREENGUARD Gold Certification

standard includes health based criteria for additional chemicals and requires lower total VOC

emission levels for sensitive populations.

GREENGUARD Certification helps manufacturers create -- and helps buyers identify -- interior

products and materials that have low chemical emissions, improving the quality of the air in

which the products are used. UL Environment acquired the GREENGUARD Certification

program in 2011, further advancing its mission of promoting global sustainability, environmental

health, and safety. http://www.greenguard.org/en/certificationprograms.aspx

Green Housekeeping Seal of Approval: categories for the Green Good Housekeeping

Seal now include cleaning and beauty products, paints and coatings, appliances, paper goods,

and food and beverages; eventually the Green Good Housekeeping Seal will be introduced in

more categories, including building products, home appliances, consumer electronics, textiles,

and children's products. The seal was introduced in 2009 by Good Housekeeping magazine and

the Good Housekeeping Research Institute (GHRI). A product must first be evaluated by the

scientists and engineers at GHRI and earn the Good Housekeeping Seal. It then must meet the

environmental performance requirements to earn the Green Good Housekeeping Seal. Reduction

of water use in manufacturing, energy efficiency in manufacturing and product use, ingredient

and product safety, packaging reduction, and the brand's corporate social responsibility are

among the factors considered.

IABFLO : International Association of Bedding and Furniture Law Officials:



ABFLO (Association of Bedding and Furniture Law Officials) was founded in 1936 and the

name was changed to IABFLO (International Association of Bedding and Furniture Law

Officials) in 2003. The association is made up of state officials who are responsible for the

enforcement of consumer oriented bedding and furniture laws in their respective states.




Instituto Certificazione Etica e Ambientale (ICEA): http://www.icea.info/en/

ICEA, Environmental and Ethical Certification Institute, is a Consortium that control and

certifies companies that carry out their activities in respect of people and nature, defending

workers dignity and rights of consumers.

With around 13 thousand controlled companies with strong ethical, environmental and social

value, 300 technicians and 28 Territorial Operative Structures in Italy and abroad, ICEA is

among most important bodies of the sector in Italy and in Europe, where it operates to favour a

fair and socially sustainable development that ranges from organic farming to other bio related


As a matter of fact ICEA certifications cover Food (organic food production and organic

aquaculture) Non-Food, (organic cosmetics and detergents, ecological textile, ecologic

furnishing, materials for eco-building, sustainable management of green areas, certification


Moreover ICEA carries out Research & Development activities to promote ecological

innovation of products and processes, Training activity meant for operators and

technicians/professionals of the organic sector, and is active in different projects of

International Cooperation, other than being active on the national level. ICEA together with

BIOL Italia organizes Prizes, Events and Campaigns of awareness rising to spread and share

culture, knowledge and values linked to organic.

IDFL Laboratory and Institute: http://www.idfl.com/

IDFL (International Down and Feather Testing Laboratory) is a global leader in down and

feather and textile product testing. IDFL is the world's largest down and feather institute. Since

1978 we have expanded our expertise to include textiles, synthetic fills and natural fills. IDFL

inspects and audits down and feather and textile factories and supply chains world-wide.

For more information about IDFL click here

Mission of IDFL

IDFL is committed to be the premier global laboratory and testing institute for filled textile

products. Our services will be cost effective and our client support will be the best in the

industry. Our reputation will be accuracy and integrity.

IDFL will provide fair, honest and trustworthy testing to help the industry instill confidence in

consumers that they are receiving quality products.


International Organization for Standardization (ISO): responsible for the ISO 9000,

ISO 14000, ISO 27000, ISO 22000 and other international management standards, including the

ISO 14000 series which deals with environmental management systems, eco-labeling, life cycle

assessment, product category rules, and environmental product declarations. ISO is not a

certification itself but rather a standard to which some certifications adhere.


International Sleep Products Association (ISPA): The industry’s trade organization

representing mattress manufacturers and suppliers throughout the world. ISPA provides

exclusive industry surveys and statistics, advocacy support, educational offerings, trade show,

safety research through its Sleep Products Safety Council, consumer research and education

through its Better Sleep Council, and publications – BedTimes and Sleep Savvy magazines.

ISPA has been active on mattress end-of-life issues and has formed the Mattress Recycling

Council, a non-profit corporation that is developing and implementing mattress recycling laws

enacted by several states. ISPA provides information on mattress recycling and disposal

facilities on its website. http://www.sleepproducts.org/ispa-earth/

Lanham Act: a federal law that provides for private litigation between competitors and

governs advertising claims to prevent false advertising. Many states have laws analogous to the

Lanham Act to protect consumers. Source: 15 U.S.C § 1125.

Made in USA: a label enforced by the FTC. Products using the Made in USA label without

qualification must be “all or virtually all” made in America. Products may also be advertised

using qualified claims, in accordance with the FTC standard, such as “Made in USA from

imported parts” or “Assembled in USA.” Automobiles, textiles, wool and fur products must

include a statement of U.S content; other products may voluntarily be advertised as containing

U.S. content but only in accordance with the FTC Made in USA standard. Source: 62 Fed. Reg.

no. 231, 63,756, Dec. 2, 1997.

National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Better Business Bureau: reviews national

advertising for truthfulness and accuracy and to foster public confidence in the credibility of

advertising. NAD provides an alternative to litigation for settling false advertising claims.

While the final case decisions are made public by NAD, they cannot be used for advertising or

promotional purposes. Source: Better Business Bureau.

NSF International: an independent, not-for-profit organization that provides standards

development, product certification, auditing, education and risk management for public health

and the environment. NSF International is an accredited, third-party certification body that tests

and certifies products to verify they meet these public health and safety standards. Products that

meet these standards bear the NSF Mark. The NSF Sustainability division offers a range of

sustainable business solutions, including standards development and certification for green

products such as carpet, flooring, fabrics and other building materials; and process verification

services such as greenhouse gas verification, environmental foot-printing, and environmental

management systems registrations. http://www.nsf.org/


OE 100 / Now OCS 100: see Textile Exchange

OE Blended: see Textile Exchange

OEKO-TEX® Standard 100: https://www.oekotex.


The OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 is an independent testing and certification system for textile

raw materials, intermediate and end products at all stages of production. Examples for items

eligible for certification: Raw and dyed/finished yarns, raw and dyed/finished fabrics and knits,

ready-made articles (all types of clothing, domestic and household textiles, bed linen, terry cloth

items, textile toys and more).

Criteria: Testing for harmful substances includes:

• illegal substances

• legally regulated substances

• known harmful (but not legally regulated) chemicals

• as well as parameters for health care

In their entirety the requirements clearly exceed existing national legislation.

Laboratory tests and product classes: OEKO-TEX® testing for harmful substances always

focus on the actual use of the textile. The more intensive the skin contact of a product, the stricter

the human ecological requirements to be met.

Accordingly there are four product classes:

• Product class I:

Textile items for babies and toddlers up to 3 years (clothing, toys, bed linen, terry cloth

items etc.)

• Product class II:

Textiles used close to the skin (underwear, bed linen, T-shirts etc.)

• Product class III:

Textiles used away from the skin (jackets, coats etc.)

• Product class IV:

Furnishing materials (curtains, table cloths, upholstery materials etc.)

Certification: The requirement for certification of textile products according to OEKO-TEX®

Standard 100 is that all components of an item have to comply with the required criteria without

exception – that means in addition to the outer material also sewing threads, linings, prints etc. as

well as non-textile accessories such as buttons, zip fasteners, rivets etc.

OneCert® : certifies to major organic markets email: info@onecert.com

• USDA National Organic Program (NOP)

• European Organic Regulations (EC 834/2007)

• Japan Agricultural Standard (JAS)

• Indian National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP)

• US/Canada Organic Equivalency Arrangement (USCOEA)

• Export Certificates for Japan (NOP Equivalent)

• Export Certificates for Taiwan (NOP Equivalent)


OneCert certifies organic textiles and inputs

• Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS)

• Organic Content Standards (OCS) 100 & Blended

Organic Trade Association (OTA): The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is the

membership-based business association for the organic industry in North America. Founded in

1985, OTA is the leading voice for organic agriculture and trade in the United States,

representing over 6,500 businesses across 49 states. Its members include growers, shippers,

processors, certifiers, farmers associations, distributors, importers, exporters, consultants,

retailers, and others. Organic products represented include organic foods, ingredients and

beverages, as well as organic fibers, personal care products, pet foods, nutritional supplements,

household cleaners and flowers.

Mission: OTA’s mission is to promote and protect organic trade to benefit the environment,

farmers, the public, and the economy. - See more at: https://ota.com/aboutota#


SATRA Technology Centre: http://www.satra.co.uk/portal/about.php

SATRA is an independent research and testing organization established in 1919. It has technical

facilities in the UK and China serving customers throughout the world. As well as testing

products and components to European and international standards across a wide range of

industry sectors, SATRA develops, manufactures and sells test equipment. SATRA is a Notified

Body for various European directives including personal protection equipment (PPE), which is

one of SATRA’s largest sector operations. SATRA has its own chemicals analysis laboratory for

testing restricted substances in accordance with European REACH, and US chemicals

regulations for which it is CPSC-accredited.

SATRA is considered a leading technical authority for footwear and leather. Companies from

these industries can become members of SATRA to gain exclusive access to SATRA test

methods, accreditation, consultancy, research facilities, technical training and factory production

management systems. A number of SATRA systems are recognised in the supply chain as setting

industry standards for quality and production efficiency.

As well as the knowledge and experience of its technologists, what distinguishes SATRA is the

volume of technical information it has published since 1935 in the form of magazines and books

to help promote quality, excellence and professionalism throughout consumer products

industries. Much of this information is now available online.

Scientific Certification Systems: SCS builds their own standards and acts as an

independent third party verifier for a variety of certification programs. Examples of verification

include: Recycled and Material Content, Biodegradable, No added formaldehyde, FSC Chain of

Custody, and Pesticide Free. http://www.scsglobalservices.com/about-scs

SACERT Soil Association Certification: http://www.sacert.org/

Soil Association Certification Limited is the wholly owned subsidiary of the Soil

Association. Over 70% of all organic products now sold in the UK carry the Soil Association

symbol. We are the UK’s largest organic certification body. Our team of certification officers,


technical staff and inspectors are experienced and dedicated. Working nationally and

internationally, we provide unrivalled support, before, during and after certification.

The Soil Association’s organic standards are more exacting than those set by either EU or UK

authorities. These standards put our principles into action, and are based on respect and integrity

- not profit.

Financial surplus from certification work is ploughed back into developing the organic

movement - and its market, through our owning body Soil Association.

Our long-standing expertise is just one of the things that sets us apart from other certification

bodies. We have been certifying product since 1973 and we are able to offer our licensees an

unrivalled service, technical knowledge and guidance through - and beyond - the certification


With our symbol on your packaging, you are sending a clear message to consumers that your

products meet a strict set of organic standards.

Specialty Sleep Association (SSA) www.sleepinformation.org : a non-profit association

promoting the full spectrum of new technology bedding. SSA members are retailers,

manufacturers and suppliers that develop, manufacture, market and sell innovative, newtechnology

mattress and bedding products including: visco-elastic memory foam beds; latex

rubber beds; airbeds; flotation beds; gel beds; adjustable beds; futons and convertible beds; beds

made from soy, bamboo, wool, 100% cotton; bed frames; and bedding. SSA’s BedfaxTM

program is a manufacturer self-declaration and labeling program designed to help consumers

understand the environmental and safety attributes of mattresses. Participating manufacturers

must display a “Consumer Disclosure Label” (CDL) describing the contents of components in

percentages by weight and providing additional information about environmental claims made

by the manufacturer.

Sustainable Furnishings Council: A green furnishings organization, Sustainable

Furnishings Council (SFC) is a non-profit coalition of suppliers, manufacturers, retailers, and

designers formed to promote sustainable practices within the furnishings industry. In 2008, SFC

launched a public advertising and in-store tagging program for consumers to identify retailers

and products that exceed SFC threshold sustainability standards. SFC maintains three levels:

Standard for retailers and manufacturers committed to improve their sustainability performance,

Exemplary for retailers and manufacturers meeting or exceeding proven levels of performance,

and the Designer specifically aimed at furniture designers. The Exemplary Level addresses:

reducing Stockholm chemicals throughout supply chain; life cycle certification; reuse and end of

life management; social equity; independent third party audited Social Equity Supplier Conduct;

educational content for climate change; use of Green-e certified renewable energy; tree-free

approach to all documents; recycling and reduced packaging; and innovation credits.



Textile Exchange

Textile Exchange is a membership-based non-profit organization dedicated to accelerating

sustainable practices in the textile industry. We envision a textile industry that protects and

restores the environment and enhances lives. Industry Integrity is foundational to the work of

Textile Exchange, and seeks to support the transparency and integrity of sustainability claims in

the marketplace. To learn more about Textile Exchange, visit our website:


TE Standards

The Textile Exchange standards have been developed through a multi-stakeholder approach to

support the integrity of product claims by providing verification from an independent third-party.

http://textileexchange.org/standards: http://textileexchange.org/content/industry-integrity-textileexchange

Mission: Textile Exchange inspires and equips people to accelerate sustainable practices in the

textile value chain. We focus on minimizing the harmful impacts of the global textile industry

and maximizing its positive effects.

What We Do

• Convene, inform and build capacity in our membership base and across the industry

• Advocate product and industry integrity

• Help bring positive innovations to scale

• Improve organic farmers’ visibility, access to stable markets, and better develop business

capabilities through education

• Create partnerships that accelerate sustainable practices across the global textile industry


The Content Claim Standard (CCS) applies the two Textile Exchange principles of maintaining

the identity of a raw material as well as tracking the raw material from input to the final product.

It can be used for any raw material on a business-to-business basis.



The Global Recycled Standard is an international, voluntary, full product standard that sets

requirements for third-party certification of recycled content, chain of custody, social and

environmental practices, and chemical restrictions. The GRS is intended to meet the need of

companies looking to verify the recycled content of their products (both finished and

intermediate products) and to verify responsible social, environmental, and chemical practices in

the production of these products. The objectives of the GRS are to define requirements to ensure

accurate content claims, good working conditions, and that harmful environmental and chemical

impacts are minimized. The standard covers processing, manufacturing, packaging, labeling,

trading and distribution of all products made with a minimum of 20% recycled material (the

minimum content percentage for labeling with the GRS v3 logo is 50%).




The Organic Content Standard (OCS) is a standard for tracking and verifying the content of

organically grown materials in a final product. The Organic Content Standard (OCS) applies to

any non-food product containing 5-100% organic material. It verifies the presence and amount of

organic material in a final product. It tracks the flow of a raw material from the source to the

final product and this process is certified by an accredited third party. It allows for transparent,

consistent and comprehensive independent evaluation and verification of organic material

content claims on products. http://textileexchange.org/OCS


The TE Recycled Claim Standard verifies the presence and amount of recycled material in a final

product through input and chain-of-custody verification from a third party. It allows for

transparent, consistent and comprehensive independent evaluation and verification of recycled

material content claims on products. http://textileexchange.org/RCS


The TE Responsible Down Standard (RDS) ensures that down or feathers are sourced from

responsibly treated geese, ducks, or other waterfowl, and tracks the material through the supply

chain. The chain of custody of the certified down is backed up by TE’s Content Claim Standard.



The Responsible Wool Standard is currently in development. This is designed to be a global

standard that will protect animal welfare, influence best practices, ensure traceability and

ultimately give consumers clear and trustworthy information that will allow them to make

responsible choices. http://textileexchange.org/Wool


Wool is an important fiber in the textile industry; it has a long history, and an even longer future.

Its versatility, performance characteristics, and comfort give it great value in a range of

applications, and keep it as a perennial favorite among consumers.

Wool owes its unique properties to the sheep that grow it, and we owe it to the sheep to ensure

that their welfare is being protected. To this end, Textile Exchange has initiated the development

of the Responsible Wool Standard. The RWS is designed to be a global standard that will

protect animal welfare, influence best practices, ensure traceability, and ultimately give

consumers clear and trustworthy information that will allow them to make responsible choices.

Work on the RWS began in February 2014, after H&M contacted TE about addressing their

wool supply. The decision was made to involve the full industry, and as a result the development

of the standard is being done through the International Working Group. This group represents the

broad spectrum of interested parties, including animal welfare groups, brands, farmers, supply

chain members, industry associations, as well as apparel, home, and carpeting brands.

Work on the RWS began in February 2014, after H&M contacted TE about addressing their

wool supply. The decision was made to involve the full industry, and as a result the development

of the standard is being done through the International Working Group. This group represents the

broad spectrum of interested parties, including animal welfare groups, brands, farmers, supply

chain members, industry associations, as well as apparel, home, and carpeting brands.


UL: UL is a global independent safety science company with more than a century of expertise

innovating safety solutions from the public adoption of electricity to new breakthroughs in

sustainability, renewable energy and nanotechnology. Dedicated to promoting safe living and

working environments, UL helps safeguard people, products and places in important ways,

facilitating trade and providing peace of mind.

UL’s global network provides performance and durability testing, chemical and emission testing,

flammability and GREENGUARD Certification for furniture and bedding products. We provide

the knowledge and expertise to help navigate growing complexities across the supply chain from

compliance and regulatory issues to trade challenges, such as REACH and California Proposition


USDA National Organic Program USDA-NOP: http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/nop

What is organic?

Organic is a labeling term that indicates that the food or other agricultural product has been

produced through approved methods that integrate cultural, biological, and mechanical practices

that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. Synthetic

fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, and genetic engineering may not be used. Consumer


Our Mission

Ensuring the integrity of USDA organic products in the U.S. and throughout the world. About Us

+ Reports | USDA Organic Seal



Glossary: volatile organic compounds (VOCs)

volatile organic compounds (VOCs): any compound of carbon, excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides or carbonates, and ammonium carbonate, which participates in atmospheric photochemical reactions or whose composition makes it possible for them to evaporate under normal indoor atmospheric conditions of temperature and pressure. Sources: 40 CFR 51.100(s) and EPA VOCs Definition.

EPA notes that information about VOCs present at low concentrations normally found in indoor air is highly dependent on how the VOCs are measured. The range of VOC measurement methods and analytical instruments is large, and none can measure all VOCs. Therefore, marketing claims regarding VOCs should be substantiated with a description of how the VOCs were measured so that a professional may correctly interpret the results. EPA states that without such a description, the statement would have little practical meaning.
Source: EPA: An Introduction to Indoor Air Quality (IAQ).


Glossary: sustainable forest management

sustainable forest management: a set of processes and practices that permits the goods and services derived from the forest to meet present-day needs while at the same time securing their continued availability and contribution to long-term development. Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Examples of forest certification programs include American Tree Farm System (ATFS), Canadian Standards Association (CSA), Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), and the Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC).


Glossary: substantiation of claims

substantiation of claims: providing back up for marketing claims that may include using competent and reliable scientific evidence, defined as tests, analyses, research, studies or other evidence based on the expertise of professionals in the relevant area, conducted and evaluated in an objective manner by (third party) professional persons qualified to do so, using procedures generally accepted in the profession to yield accurate and reliable results. Source: 16 C.R.F. §260.5, FTC’s Green Guides.


Glossary: recycled content

recycled content: materials recovered or otherwise diverted from the solid waste stream, either during the manufacturing process (pre-consumer), or after consumer use (post-consumer) that are used in a new product. Spilled raw materials and scraps that undergo only a minimal amount of reprocessing and are normally reused in the original manufacturing process (as opposed to being diverted from the solid waste stream) do not qualify as recycled content. See also: pre-consumer and post-consumer recycled content. Source: 16 C.R.F. §260.7(e), FTC’s Green Guides.


Glossary: recyclable

recyclable: identifies material that can be collected, separated, or otherwise recovered from the solid waste stream for reuse, or in the manufacture or assembly of another package or product, through an established recycling program. Source: 16 C.R.F. § 260.7(d), FTC’s Green Guides. The FTC’s Green Guides state that proper qualification of a recyclable marketing claim may or may not be necessary under the following circumstances.

• Marketer may make an unqualified recyclable claim if a “substantial majority” of consumers/communities have access to recycling facilities\

• Marketer should qualify recyclable claim (e.g. package may not be recyclable in your area) if only a “significant percentage” of consumers/communities have access to recycling facilities.

• Marketer should qualify recyclable claim (e.g. product is recyclable only in the few communities that have recycling programs) if less than a “significant percentage” of consumers/communities have access to recycling facilities. Sources: 16 C.R.F. § 260.16, FTC’s Green Guides.


Glossary: renewable

renewable: a material that is replenishable and replenished on some reasonable time scale, including but not limited to wood, fibers, plant-based plastics, and biobased fuels. Source: paraphrased from BIFMA e3-2008 Furniture Sustainability Standard § 3.39. FTC states that renewable material should be quantified (what it is, how it is sourced, why it is renewable). For product that contains less than 100% renewable materials (excluding minor, incidental components), quantify the percent renewable. Source: 16 C.F.R. § 260.15, FTC’s Green Guides.


Glossary: product category rules (PCRs)

product category rules (PCRs): a set of rules for developing an environmental product declaration for a given product category and that determine the scope, boundaries, functional unit, assessment criteria, product and environmental performance information, etc., that all manufactures must use to help ensure consistency with regards to data, calculations and methodology. PCRs are introduced in ISO 14025. Source: ISO 14025.


Glossary: organic

https://ota.com/what-ota-does/publicpolicy/fiber-and-textiles; http://www.globalstandard.org/the-standard.html/

1. (specific to U.S. food/fiber) marketing label that indicates that the food or other agricultural product has been produced and certified under the authority of the U. S. Department of Agriculture National Organic Program (NOP) using approved methods that integrate cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. Source: USDA. Also, the primary goal of organic agriculture is to optimize the health and productivity of interdependent communities of soil life, plants, animals and people.
Source: https://ota.com/what-ota-does/publicpolicy/fiber-and-textiles

2. (specific to finished textile products) Marketing label that denotes finished textile products that have earned certification under the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS).
GOTS ensures the organic status of textiles, from harvesting of the raw materials, through  environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing up to labeling to provide credible assurance to the consumer. Source: GOTS.

It is important for marketers to use caution when approaching use of the term “organic.” Using an organic label on a product requires understanding of complex distinctions between certifying organizations to ensure that marketers do not contribute to consumer confusion around the term organic. For instance, the NOP allows marketers to identify specific organic fibers in textile products and use of statements identifying the percentage of organic fibers. However, most finished textile products (including mattresses) cannot use the USDA organic seal or imply that the finished product is certified by NOP. The NOP seal is reserved for use by those that farm or harvest the crop or livestock and that meet the NOP requirements for certification. For products that require additional manufacturing and processing of the organic fibers, a third-party organization has been recognized by NOP—GOTS—for certification of those finished products.
The NOP’s May 20, 2011 Policy Memo (PM) titled “Labeling of Textiles that Contain Organic Ingredients” (revised October 31, 2011), provides clarification on use of the term organic and states that, “Textile products that are produced in accordance with the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) may be sold as organic in the U.S. but may not refer to NOP certification or display the USDA organic seal.” Source: PM 11-14 Labeling of Textiles that Contain Organic Ingredients Rev02 10 31 11. Textile manufacturers and a limited number of mattress manufacturers have been successful in achieving GOTS certification and earning the opportunity to market their finished product as organic or certified organic through GOTS, which has its own nuances related to marketing and using the GOTS label and seal. Source: GOTS. Manufacturers of most finished products, including mattresses, that do not earn GOTS certification for the entire product may not refer to the entire product as an "organic" product, but may reference the type(s) of organic fiber, together with the percentages of the specific organic fiber(s) that are contained in the finished product. Source: PM 11-14 Labeling of Textiles that Contain Organic Ingredients Rev02 10 31 11.

While the FTC examined the term organic in its recent “Proposed Revisions to Green Guides,” they did not add instruction on labeling beyond referring readers back to the NOP. Therefore, ensuring proper substantiation of claims around use of the highly regulated term “organic,” requires careful consideration of the requirements of the previously mentioned certification and labeling organizations. One retailer that mistakenly advertised a mattress containing organic cotton fiber as a “USDA organic” mattress in its store catalog and its advertising was the subject of a complaint and NOP investigation. Source: Complaint Case NOPC-107-10, resolved 4-4-11, link not available. The investigation resulted in the store having to remove all such claims and provide substantiation that the crop components used in the mattress had indeed been certified as organic by NOP. The mattress store was warned that future violations of the NOP regulations could result in civil penalties of up to $11,000 per violation.

Since this complaint was resolved, NOP has recognized GOTS and provided clarifications on how to properly market textile products giving marketers better resources for ensuring that they will not be in violation of these strict marketing requirements. See also: in the “Organizations…” section of this document, National Organic Program and Global Organic Textile Standard.


Glossary: natural

natural: the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) cites the following:

• The Textile Products Identification Act defines a “natural fiber” as “any fiber that exists as such in the natural state.” Source: 15 U.S.C. § 70b, Sec. 4 (2013), The Textile Products Identification Act.

• The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines “natural” meat and poultry as “a product containing no artificial ingredient or added color” and which “is only minimally processed.” Source: USDA, Meat and Poultry Labeling Terms.

• The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) defines “natural flavor or natural flavorings” as substances containing the flavoring constituents derived from specified items, such as spices, fruits, vegetables, herbs, plant materials, meat, seafood, and eggs. The FDA informally considers “natural” to mean that nothing artificial or synthetic (including colors regardless of source, including the addition of beet juice) is included in, or has been added to, the product that would not normally be expected to be there.
Source: FDA, “CFR – Code of Federal Regulations Title 21.”

Given the difficulties in developing a definition of “natural” that would be appropriate in multiple contexts beyond the fiber and food categories, the FDA and the FTC have declined to establish a general definition of this term. Likewise, the FTC states that it lacks a basis to provide general guidance on the use of the term. Nevertheless, the agency states that in theory a marketer may use the term, provided that, as with all environmental marketing claims, the marketer can substantiate the environmental benefit claimed, including implied claims. The FTC cautions that adequate substantiation is especially important to the extent that reasonable consumers perceive “natural” claims as general environmental benefit claims or comparative claims. Source: 16 CFR Part 260, FTC’s Green Guides. See also: general environmental claim and substantiation of claim.