News-Releases Index | Applied DNA Sciences
Applied DNA Introduces "GeoTyping" Beta Program to Brands and Retailers Demanding Cotton Fiber Authenticity (1/18/18)
Applied DNA Sciences, Inc. today announced it will introduce a GeoTyping™ Beta Program, for the month of February, to brands and retailers interested in identifying country-of-origin in cases of cotton fiber substitution. Applied DNA is asking those interested to provide cotton samples suspected to contain cotton from Uzbekistan ("Uzbek cotton").
The "GeoTyping™ Beta Program uses a known library of biomarkers that designate the DNA fingerprint of the cotton cultivar, including genus, species and one of 70 different geographic-cultivar-dependent genotypes. In 2017, Applied DNA identified two biomarkers for Uzbekistan cotton, and has continued to advance its DNA assays and broaden the validation of the GeoTyping program.
It is an expansion of Applied DNA's end-to-end SigNature® T cotton traceability system, enabling the identification of the country of origin for cottons that may be substituted for the cotton specified on labels. For example, "Grown in America" cotton might be substituted by an inferior quality of cotton sourced off-shore. This technology ensures the country-of-origin is properly identified on labels, and can help to prevent the entry of cotton cultivated by human rights abusers.
Recent reports have scrutinized hidden human rights abuses in global cotton supply chains. On November 28, 2017, on prime time French television, the CASH Investigative Team reported Uzbek cotton was handpicked by forced labor organized on a large scale (approximately 1 million people) by the Uzbek government. A significant amount of this cotton was shipped (some with missing or misleading statements of origin), to Bangladesh manufacturers that supply products to many U.S., U.K. and E.U. brands. The report also showed that suppliers who manufacture in South Korea, China and Europe also received Uzbek cotton.
GeoTyping is meant to complement, not replace, SigNature T tagging. The cost of this assay is comparatively higher due to the equipment, reagents, and maintenance associated with maintaining the extensive and annually-changing library of genomes against which single samples must be compared. SigNature T tagging provides a method to trace any fiber tested in a dedicated supply chain back to the intended original source; it can also be assigned meaning such as year, gin, or other attribute not possible from cotton's inherent DNA. Should non-compliance be suspected in SigNature T-participating textiles, GeoTyping can serve as the means to identify the source of cotton fiber substitution.
Applied DNA in concert with The Himatsingka Group utilizes an integrated cotton DNA authentication platform that incorporates a physical molecular tracer combined with genotyping. Together these technologies serve to preserve the integrity and purity of the cotton fiber at its precise point of origin - the date, time, place and the social and environmental practices used to produce the cotton. The collaboration with The Himatsingka Group provides for tagging at source, testing compliance at every step in the supply chain, and tracing of fabric and finished goods to the original source. This SigNature® T platform includes an IT tracking framework that is blockchain-ready, and permits the brand-owner, retailer or consumer to confirm the content and origin of the cotton fibers contained within their home textiles and garments. Nine cotton gins participate in the US.
For further information on the GeoTyping Beta Program, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disclaimer: Applied DNA has no affiliation with CASH Investigative team. The Company did not travel with the CASH Investigative team. However, our staff have been direct witness to the abundant presence of Uzbek cotton at firms manufacturing well-respected global textile brands.
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