Press release

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GMOs-Consumer protection

EU Commission must act following high-street “organic” clothing fraud

It has emerged in Germany that massive quantities of "organic" clothes and textiles – sold by high street chains such as H&M, C&A and Tchibo – have been sourced from genetically-modified cotton in India.

Greens/EFA President Rebecca Harms commented:

"Although the fraud has only just emerged in Europe, it appears the Indian agriculture ministry discovered some time ago that GMO cotton was being sold as organic. This delay raises serious questions on who exactly has known about the fraud and for how long?

The Greens warned long ago that the rapidly growing demand for organic clothes raised a particular risk of fraud in third countries. The Commission previously indicated it would act on a Green proposal for EU organic producers to participate in certifying imports from third countries.

We call on the Commission to check affected supply lines and ensure that products are withdrawn if there is any doubt that they contain the organic materials that their labels claim.

We do not know how many consumers have already been cheated across Europe. Unfortunately consumers now need to be very skeptical when buying cheap, imported organic clothes and textiles."

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