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Oeko-Tex develops cotton testing for GMO

Oeko-Tex helps companies throughout the global supply chain to test their organic cotton products for GMOs (genetically modified organisms). Organic cotton products seeking Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex certification will be required to undergo GMO testing. Currently, the GMO testing technology is limited to cotton. Samples are analyzed using RT-PCR (reverse transcription- polymerase chain reaction) technology, which can identify known genetically modified materials at a limit of 0.1 per cent. Test results indicate whether these GMOs were detected or not.

Today, about 70 per cent of cotton globally is genetically altered. For example, some forms of cotton have been engineered to be herbicide-resistant. Others have been infused with an insecticide to kill pests like boll weevils. The popularity of organic cotton has grown substantially in recent years. Consumers are increasingly worried about the environment and harmful substances in the products they buy for themselves and families. For them, organic foods and textiles are good choices, and products for which they are willing to pay a premium. But, in return for that extra investment, consumers expect the organic products they buy to be genuine and verifiable.

The new GMO testing gives manufacturers and marketers confidence that their organic cotton products meet regulatory and consumer expectations.