Faux Fur or False Advertising?Published October 3, 2008
I always thought that "Faux Fur" meant "false fur", designed to mimic the "real thing". I applauded the industries, which manufactured this synthetic material as it potentially saved the lives of many animals raised or hunted for their hides and pelts. It seemed to me to be environmentally sound and animal friendly, while at the same time offered an excellent alternative for consumers. However, an email arrived in my mailbox this morning, which startled me and made my blood boil. After an investigation into the Chinese fur trade initiated in 2004 and 2005, by three animal protection groups, it was learned that 70% of fur jackets are mislabeled as "faux fur" and contain Raccoon Dog fur. MSNBC reported, late in 2006 that because of these investigations Macy's pulled from its stores and website, two styles of hooded jackets, which had been, advertised as faux fur. The manufacturer of the jackets claimed not to be aware of the material, and immediately removed it from their clothing line. Raccoon Dog The Humane Society of the United States, in April 2008, filed a false advertising complaint with the US Federal Trade Commission, alleging that at least 20 United States retailers were mislabeling their products as faux fur, when in fact they were manufactured with Raccoon Dog fur. Additionally, HSUS alleged that 70% of all fur garments were mislabeled as faux fur, but contained not only Raccoon Dog fur, but coyote, rabbit or other animal skins. Laboratory testing revealed Raccoon Dog as the species, which were used on fur-trimmed jackets that each contained at least one violation of the federal Fur Products Labeling Act, in their advertising or labeling. Several of these products were misnamed as faux fur and Ecological fur, Kristin Leppert, director of the HSUS fur-free campaign said, "To our knowledge, no single furbearing animal has ever before been so mistreated and completely misrepresented to the public. Banning Raccoon Dog fur is the only way to protect American consumers and these animals from the systematic and horrific abuse—including being skinned alive—they undergo in China and other countries." Moreover, while the United States prohibits the import of dog and cat fur products, the law does not protect the Raccoon Dog, and presently there is no law requiring the industry to label products containing fur valued under $150.00 Raccoon Dogs are members of the canine family native to the dense woodlands and forests of Asia. While they are not very aggressive, they are secretive, and prefer to play dead when cornered. They are a monogamous species and mate for life, in the wild. A silent canid, they do not bark, but curl their tails into an inverted U to express dominance. What you can do to help: Urge your representative to close this loophole. A convenient petition is available online through Care2's Campaign site where your signature counts. Read more about the Raccoon Dog's precarious position and more about the species, provided by HSUS, visit: http://www.hsus.org/web-files/PDF/legislation/110_furlabeling_raccoondogs_HR891.pdf Are you concerned about the "faux fur" industry? Leave a comment and share your opinions.
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