Applied DNA Introduces “GeoTyping” Beta Program Through February 2018 to Brands and Retailers Demanding Cotton Fiber Authenticity
GeoTyping™ and SigNature® T DNA Tagging will Trace Global Cotton Substitution to Country-of-Origin
STONY BROOK, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Applied DNA Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:APDN; “Applied DNA”, “the Company”), today announced it will introduce a GeoTyping™ Beta Program, for the month of February, to brands and retailers interested in identifying country-of-origin in cases of cotton fiber substitution. Applied DNA is asking those interested to provide cotton samples suspected to contain cotton from Uzbekistan (“Uzbek cotton”).
The “GeoTyping™ Beta Program uses a known library of biomarkers that designate the DNA fingerprint of the cotton cultivar, including genus, species and one of 70 different geographic-cultivar-dependent genotypes. In 2017, Applied DNA identified two biomarkers for Uzbekistan cotton, and has continued to advance its DNA assays and broaden the validation of the GeoTyping program.
It is an expansion of Applied DNA’s end-to-end SigNature® T cotton traceability system, enabling the identification of the country of origin for cottons that may be substituted for the cotton specified on labels. For example, “Grown in America” cotton might be substituted by an inferior quality of cotton sourced off-shore. This technology ensures the country-of-origin is properly identified on labels, and can help to prevent the entry of cotton cultivated by human rights abusers.
“Our SigNature T cotton traceability system provides substantial advantages over current supply chain management authentication, such as RFID, data dots or ‘certificates of authenticity’,” said Dr. James A Hayward, president and CEO of Applied DNA. “Today, uncertainty of cotton supply chains remains if there is no way to physically trace the fibers to their source, and verify through DNA testing at yarn, fabric and finished goods. You cannot put an RFID on every single fiber and expect it to remain on the finished good. SigNature T combined with the GeoTyping Beta Program, provides full traceability that is seamless, economical and exact.”
“Our high-resolution cotton GeoTyping assays can provide proof of the sourcing crimes and human rights abuses in the CASH Investigation expose.” Hayward continued. “GeoTyping complements SigNature T tagging. Should non-compliance be suspected in a SigNature T-participating textile, GeoTyping serves as the means to identify the source of cotton fiber substitution.”
Recent reports have scrutinized hidden human rights abuses in global cotton supply chains. On November 28, 2017, on prime time French television, the CASH Investigative Team reported Uzbek cotton was handpicked by forced labor organized on a large scale (approximately 1 million people) by the Uzbek government. A significant amount of this cotton was shipped (some with missing or misleading statements of origin), to Bangladesh manufacturers that supply products to many U.S., U.K. and E.U. brands. The report also showed that suppliers who manufacture in South Korea, China and Europe also received Uzbek cotton.
Posing as a European importer, the CASH team also captured a conversation on hidden camera in which an Uzbek cotton product manufacturer offered to designate the country of origin (as opposed to Uzbekistan) that the buyer would prefer be stated on the origination documents. The Uzbek exporter stated this was a very common measure undertaken for companies purchasing Uzbek cotton products, and that the risk of being caught falsely stating that the product was manufactured in Bulgaria, for example, was almost non-existent.
Many of the potentially affected brands had publicly pledged to boycott Uzbek cotton in compliance with government laws, or were participating in global cotton initiatives that promulgate sustainability credits and ethical purchasing standards. Nonetheless, these brands were wittingly or unwittingly using manufacturers in their supply chain who were buying Uzbek cotton, providing the opportunity for cotton obtained via human rights abuse to enter their supply chains.
GeoTyping is meant to complement, not replace, SigNature T tagging. The cost of this assay is comparatively higher due to the equipment, reagents, and maintenance associated with maintaining the extensive and annually-changing library of genomes against which single samples must be compared. SigNature T tagging provides a method to trace any fiber tested in a dedicated supply chain back to the intended original source; it can also be assigned meaning such as year, gin, or other attribute not possible from cotton’s inherent DNA. Should non-compliance be suspected in SigNature T-participating textiles, GeoTyping can serve as the means to identify the source of cotton fiber substitution.
Applied DNA in concert with The Himatsingka Group utilizes an integrated cotton DNA authentication platform that incorporates a physical molecular tracer combined with genotyping. Together these technologies serve to preserve the integrity and purity of the cotton fiber at its precise point of origin – the date, time, place and the social and environmental practices used to produce the cotton. The collaboration with The Himatsingka Group provides for tagging at source, testing compliance at every step in the supply chain, and tracing of fabric and finished goods to the original source. This SigNature® T platform includes an IT tracking framework that is blockchain-ready, and permits the brand-owner, retailer or consumer to confirm the content and origin of the cotton fibers contained within their home textiles and garments. Nine cotton gins participate in the US.
“The Himatsingka Group is pleased with the commencement of the ‘GeoTyping’ project which will ensure global cotton mapping capabilities and further enhance transparency across the cotton value chain, thus bringing greater value to the consumer,” stated Shrikant Himatsingka, Managing Director & Group CEO, Himatsingka Group.
For further information on the GeoTyping Beta Program, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disclaimer: Applied DNA has no affiliation with CASH Investigative team. The Company did not travel with the CASH Investigative team. However, our staff have been direct witness to the abundant presence of Uzbek cotton at firms manufacturing well-respected global textile brands.
About The Himatsingka Group
The Himatsingka Group is a vertically integrated Textile major with a global footprint. The Group focuses on the manufacturing, retailing and distribution of Home Textile products. On the manufacturing front, the Group operates amongst the largest capacities in the world for producing Bedding Products, Bath Products, ultrafine count Cotton Yarn and Decorative Fabrics. Spread across Asia, Europe and North America, its retail and wholesale distribution divisions carry some of the most prestigious brands in the home textile space and cater to private label programs of major retailers across these geographies. With a team of over 6000 people, the Group continues to expand reach and build capacities in the textile space.
About Applied DNA Sciences
Applied DNA is a provider of molecular technologies that enable supply chain security, anti-counterfeiting and anti-theft technology, product genotyping and DNA mass production for diagnostics and therapeutics.
We make life real and safe by providing innovative, molecular-based technology solutions and services that can help protect products, brands, entire supply chains, and intellectual property of companies, governments and consumers from theft, counterfeiting, fraud and diversion. The proprietary DNA-based “CertainT®” platform can be used to identify, tag, test, and track products, to help assure authenticity, origin, traceability, sustainability and quality of products.
SigNature® DNA describes the core technology ingredient that is at the heart of a family of uncopiable, security and authentication solutions such as SigNature® T and fiberTyping®, targeted toward textiles and apparel, BackTrac™ and DNAnet®, for anti-theft and loss prevention, and digitalDNA®, providing powerful track-and-trace. All provide a forensic chain of evidence, and can be used to prosecute perpetrators. Applied DNA Sciences is also engaged in the large-scale production of specific DNA sequences using the polymerase chain reaction.
The Company’s common stock is listed on NASDAQ under the symbol APDN, and its warrants are listed under the symbol APDNW.
The statements made by APDN in this press release may be "forward-looking" in nature within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements describe APDN's future plans, projections, strategies and expectations, and are based on assumptions and involve a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the control of APDN. Actual results could differ materially from those projected due to our history of losses, limited financial resources, limited market acceptance, market competition and various other factors detailed from time to time in APDN's SEC reports and filings, including our Annual Report on Form 10-K filed on December 28, 2017, which is available at www.sec.gov. APDN undertakes no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements to reflect new information, events or circumstances after the date hereof to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events, unless otherwise required by law.
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Source: Applied DNA Sciences, Inc.