Down and Feather Labeling Program Sees Results
Bedding Industry’s Self Monitoring is Successful
NEW YORK, NY (March 15, 2007) – The American Down and Feather Council’s (ADFC) Labeling Compliance Program has been making a positive impact on the down and feather bedding industry. Launched in January 2006 with the goal of protecting retailers and consumers from mislabeled down and feather bedding products, the program has acted on and settled 13 complaints to date, with failing products either being removed from sale or re-labeled. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the International Association of Bedding and Furniture Law Officials (IABFLO) have been notified of manufacturers’ non-compliance with the ADFC program in six cases.
“The industry as a whole has welcomed the ADFC’s efforts to ensure labeling compliance,” says Stephen Palmer, chair of the ADFC, “It is important to us that retailers and consumers have confidence in our products and we can gain that confidence through rigorous efforts to self-police truth-in-labeling”
The success of the program is illustrated by the reactions of both retailers and government officials. In one case, an international retailer responded to the information that products on its shelves had failed testing by removing over one million units from its stores globally. In another case, the state of California required a large retailer to remove
a mislabeled item from sale at all of its stores in the state. Regulators in Utah have also taken steps to review incidences of mislabeling in their state.
The ADFC Labeling Compliance Program is designed to ensure that all natural fill bedding products sold in the U.S. are labeled correctly and that the quality meets the claims made on the label or packaging, as well as federal, state and industry labeling requirements.
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 International Down and Feather Bureau (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 or retailer. In the event that the manufacturer or retailer appeals the results, further testing by an IDFB-certified laboratory will be scheduled. If no appeal is made, or the appeals process confirms the failing results, the manufacturer or retailer will be given an opportunity to re-label the product or remove it from sale. If the situation is not remedied, the ADFC may bring the situation to the attention of the FTC or IABFLO for enforcement.
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 American Down and Feather Council, 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.