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【METI Mobile】Consumer Protection through DNA Analysis

Consumer Protection through DNA Analysis

The label on your scarf says “100% Cashmere,” but how do you know it’s true? In Japan, the Household Goods Quality Labeling Act makes it illegal to lie about the fiber mix of textile products, yet there are many cases of “100% Cashmere” actually containing other fibers as well.

Detecting deception

Enter the “Cashmere Inspector.” These inspectors are specially qualified to identify fake cashmere products and prevent inferior items from entering the market. The proper title of these inspectors is “animal hair appraiser.” They are experts in using microscopes and other tools to identify the unique shape variations of real cashmere, a fiber of animal origin. With their practiced eye, these Cashmere Inspectors can even spot such fine details as area of origin and production environment.

The DNA genuine cashmere

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has recently approved a new method to identify cashmere using DNA analysis, a method proposed by Japan. A scientific means of authenticating cashmere is expected to improve the accuracy of fiber identification and reduce the number of fake products in secondary markets worldwide. In Japan, it is expected to reinforce the trustworthiness of cashmere products and ensure that consumers can make purchases with complete peace of mind.

DNA analysis courtesy of Boken Quality Evaluation Institute
(Photograph of DNA analysis courtesy of Boken Quality Evaluation Institute )

Last updated: 2016-06-23
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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