Mother Earth Living

Test Your Organic Cotton Knowledge

Take our cotton pickin' quiz
By Vivienne Jannatpour
September/October 2005
Add to My MSN


Content Tools

Related Content

Scheckter’s Organic Energy Drink Hits U.S. Market

Scheckter’s Organic Beverages introduces Scheckter’s OrganicEnergy, a natural, vegetarian-approved o...

What Does Your Clothing Tag Say?

With its new clothing tags, Levi’s encourages consumers to donate unwanted clothes to Goodwill.

AFFINA Launches Line of Organic Cotton Towels

New nature-inspired brand AFFINA announces the launch of its Seaweaves line of 100 percent certified...

Eco-Decor Delights: Plover Organic Cotton Bedding & Kitchen Textiles

Patters and personality galore, Plover Organic’s organic cotton bedding and kitchen textiles add jus...

Organic cotton options for your bedding, towels and clothing are now widely available, but do you know exactly what you’re buying?

1. What is required to qualify for an “organic cotton” label?
a. no pesticides used in fields for three years
b. fertilized without the use of chemicals or sewage sludge
c. approved by a third-party certifier
d. all of the above

2. Of all the pesticides used in the United States, what percent is used on cotton crops?
a. 5 percent
b. 15 percent
c. 25 percent
d. 35 percent

3. True or False? No chemicals are used in processing organic cotton.

4. How much more than conventional does organic cotton really cost?
a. 0–20 percent more
b. 21–50 percent more
c. 51–80 percent more
d. 81–100 percent more

ANSWERS

1. d. All of the above. To grow cotton organically, farmers may not use synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, irradiation, sewage sludge or genetic engineering for three years. Instead, they use beneficial insects that prey on harmful pests, improve soil health with organic compost, rotate crops to alleviate soil-borne pathogens, and pull weeds by machine or hand.

2. c. About 25 percent of all pesticides used in the United States are applied to cotton. Globally, about 10 percent of all pesticides are used on cotton. In California, five of the top nine pesticides used on cotton are carcinogenic, endangering farm workers’ health and causing environ- mental degradation. SustainableCotton.org

3. False. Federal organic-fiber standards regulate the on-farm production of raw fiber, but there are no standards for the fiber after it leaves the farm. This means cotton can be treated with sizing agents, chlorine bleach or heavy metal-containing dyes and still legally be “organic.”

4. b. 21 to 50 percent. Raw cotton’s cost per pound is only 25 cents more for organic than conventional, but the organic market is still small, so it lacks economies of scale (Pesticide Action Network North America, (PANNA.org). To support the organic cotton industry, buy organic clothing, towels and bedding and ask retailers to stock organic cotton products.








Post a comment below.

 








Subscribe today and save 58%

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living!

Welcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $14.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $19.95.