Bloomberg Businessweek

Using DNA Markers To Spot Bogus Fabrics

Fake Egyptian cotton is common. This test may change that | “So what do the suppliers do? They cheat”

Faded Fabric

Shannon Pettypiece

In a small laboratory housed in a biotech incubator 90 minutes east of New York City are six bins tightly packed with sealed plastic bags of men’s dress shirts, sheets, and tufts of cotton ready to be spun into yarn. The materials are waiting to be DNA-tested with the same rigor you’d find in an FBI crime lab. But rather than seeking clues in a murder, the forensic scientists at biotech company Applied DNA Sciences are looking for a unique DNA stamp in the fibers to see whether the textiles are, in fact, made of the premium cotton their labels claim.

The products have been sent to Applied DNA Sciences by a

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