Press Releases

American Down and Feather Council Enforcing Truth-In-Labeling Laws

June 11, 2006

ADFC Seeks to Protect Retailers and Consumers from False Claims

NEW YORK, NY – What is in a pillow? Without the manufacturer’s label it is almost impossible to determine the percentage of down cluster, the feather content, or the type of feathers in a natural fill bedding product. Consumers at every level of the supply chain need accurate information to make informed decisions about purchases, and it is in recognition of this that the American Down and Feather Council (ADFC) has initiated its Labeling Compliance Program. The program is designed to ensure that all natural fill bedding products sold in the U.S. are labeled correctly and that the fill meets the claims made on the label or packaging. Manufacturers who are members of the ADFC and participate in the Labeling Compliance Program may display the ADFC Seal of Approval on their products.

The ADFC seeks to identify labeling violations and take appropriate action to protect consumers, the retailers selling the products and the integrity of the industry in general. The Labeling Compliance Program requires that down and feather products meet International Down and Feather Bureau (IDFB) testing standards, as well as state and federal labeling requirements. The ADFC compliance program encompasses the following categories: down cluster, species identification, fill power, oxygen number, turbidity, fill weight and thread count.

Before reaching the conclusion that a product is in violation of truth-in-labeling laws, the ADFC requires clear evidence – through testing – of inaccurate labeling. All sampling, classification and testing of the filling material is conducted in accordance with IDFB testing standards and performed by an IDFB certified testing laboratory. If, after at least two rounds of testing (in which a minimum of eight items are tested), it is concluded that mislabeling has taken place, the ADFC will contact the manufacturer. In the event that the manufacturer appeals the results, further testing by an IDFB-certified laboratory will be scheduled. If appeals testing indicates mislabeling has occurred the ADFC may take recourse by:

  • Terminating the manufacturer’s ADFC membership, thereby withdrawing their right to display the Seal of Approval on products
  • Pursuing civil action against the manufacturer
  • Requesting that retailers remove the product from shelves
  • Reporting the findings to the relevant state regulatory authorities
  • Reporting the findings to the FTC

Although the majority of down and feather bedding manufacturers accurately label their products, there are many instances of mislabeling. Retailers are encouraged to look for the ADFC Seal of Approval on their merchandise; the seal indicates that the manufacturer belongs to the ADFC and participates in the Labeling Compliance Program.

The American Down and Feather Council (ADFC), a section of the Home Fashion Products Association, is a voluntary association of manufacturers of natural fill bedding products, as well as dealers, buyers, sellers and processors of feathers and down for use in home fashion products. The goal of the ADFC is to further the common interests of the down and feather products industry and to maintain and improve product quality. The objective of the ADFC Labeling Compliance Program is to ensure all natural fill bedding products sold in the U.S. are labeled correctly and that the quality of the products meets or exceeds the claims made on the label or packaging.