Testing of textiles made from organic cotton for genetically modified organisms (GMO)

Frequently asked questions

1. For which cotton products can the new test for genetically modified organisms (GMO) be used?

The test for genetically modified organisms (GMO) is relevant for products made of organic cotton or with organic cotton parts. The test is mandatory for these products.

The test must be carried out if the term “organic” is used in the certificate text or product group description.

If products are made from conventionally manufactured cotton, the test can be carried out upon request.

2. When do applicants have to have their products tested for genetically modified organisms (GMO)?

Testing for genetically modified organisms (GMO) is necessary if the tested product is made of organic cotton or contains certain proportions of organic cotton, and the applicant requests that the article is declared as “organic” on the certificate.

3. Does the GMO test prolong the lead time of the test samples in the laboratory test?

No. The test takes around 10 days and can be carried out in parallel to the other OEKO-TEX® laboratory tests.

4. What happens with products for which there are different preliminary certificates (GMO tested or not GMO tested)?

Products already tested for GMO in line with the STANDARD 100 are accepted along the textile chain.

If a test sample includes GMO tested and non-tested components, the term “organic” may only be used on the STANDARD 100 certificate when a GMO test has been successfully carried out for the entire test sample.

5. Is it necessary for all cotton components of a ready-made item of clothing (accessories, zips, belts, ribbons) that GMO are not detectable?

No, in general only the fabric is tested. Small accessories of a ready-made item of clothing do not need to be tested for GMO.

6. How is the qualitative test for GMO carried out on a submitted sample (e.g. an item of clothing)?

A mixed sample is always tested using the dual approach. The test samples are taken from different places on the material.

7. It is known that the DNA test for the determination of different cotton variants is very precise for raw cotton and grey goods (yarns and fabrics). But how accurate is this test for processed textiles such as bleached, dyed or finished cotton?

The test is just as applicable for processed textiles as for raw cotton.

8. Which limit is set for the GMO test as there is currently no benchmark for textiles (like there is for food)?

The result of the test is a yes/no declaration that confirms whether or not the material sample contains genetically modified cotton.

9. Is the organic cotton test also necessary for articles with a GOTS certificate?

Yes. GOTS certification is based on different certificates, a laboratory test there is not mandatory.

The OEKO-TEX® test for genetically modified organisms (GMO) gives reliable information on whether the end product contains GMO.

10. Are test reports from other testing laboratories also recognised for the GMO test?

No. Proofs from other testing laboratories that the products have been tested for genetically modified organisms (GMO) are not recognised.