Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Public Roundtable Analyzing Proposed Changes to the Trade Regulation Rule on Care Labeling of Textile Wearing Apparel

The Federal Trade Commission ("FTC" or "Commission") is holding a public roundtable relating to its September 20, 2012 proposed changes to the Care Labeling Rule. The roundtable will explore issues relating to professional wetcleaning, care symbols, the Rule's reasonable basis requirements, and other issues raised in comments received in response to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking ("NPRM").

DATES: The public roundtable will be held on March 28, 2014, from 9:15 a.m. until 3:45 p.m., at the FTC's Satellite Building Conference Center, located at 601 New Jersey Avenue NW., Washington, DC. Requests to participate as a panelist must be received by February 28, 2014. Any written comments related to the agenda topics, the issues discussed by the panelists at the roundtable, or the issues raised in comments received in response to the NPRM must be received by April 11, 2014.

II. Issues for Discussion at the Roundtable

The roundtable will focus on the proposed amendment permitting a wetcleaning instruction and comments urging the Commission to require a wetcleaning instruction. The wetcleaning discussion also will address: (1) The cost of substantiating wetcleaning instructions; (2) The availability of wetcleaning services; (3) Consumer awareness of wetcleaning; and (4) The content of labels providing a wetcleaning instruction (e.g., instructing "professionally wetclean" versus "wetclean").

The roundtable also will explore issues relating to the use of care symbols and the Commission's proposal to clarify the Rule's reasonable basis requirements. These discussions will address: (1) The differences between ASTM and ISO symbols and between the 2005 and 2012 ISO symbols; (2) Whether to require that labels identify ISO symbols if used to comply with the Rule; (3) The change in the meaning of the circle P symbol in the ASTM system; (4) The absence of ASTM and ISO symbols for solvents other than perchloroethylene ("perc") and petroleum; (5) Consumer understanding of symbols; and (6) How to clarify the Rule's reasonable basis requirements. In addition, the roundtable will provide participants with an opportunity to discuss other issues raised by comments. A more detailed agenda will be published at a later date, in advance of the scheduled roundtable. In the interim, the Commission is particularly interested in receiving relevant consumer perception evidence.

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