British Ad Police Go After US Cotton


"Soft, sensual and sustainable, it's Cotton USA!".

Ads by Cotton USA, a marketing association for US grown cotton, have come under fire in the UK. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received three complaints challenging the term "sustainable", arguing that cotton is a "pesticide- and insecticide-intensive crop" that could "seriously deplete" groundwater supplies where it is grown in the US.

The cotton peddlers said that American cotton met "reasonable and generally accepted" definitions of sustainability, calling their cotton "natural, renewable, biodegradable and sustainable fibre."

Our own Green Basics on organic cotton might say otherwise.

Collin wrote in it: "Conventional cotton is one of the most chemically-dependent crops, sucking up 10% of all agricultural chemicals and 25% of insecticides on 3% of our arable land; that's more than any other crop per unit. That adds up to 1/3 of a pound of chemicals to produce enough cotton for a t-shirt, and 3/4 of a pound for a pair of jeans. And that's just not bad for the planet; 20,000 deaths occur each year from pesticide poisoning in developing countries, many of these from cotton farming, according to the World Health Organization (WHO)."

According to the Guardian, the ASA "concluded that because there was no universally agreed definition of sustainability and there appeared to be "a significant division of informed opinion as to whether cotton production in the US could be described as sustainable" the ad should not continue to run."

Good for them.::Guardian

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