Why should organic cotton be tested for harmful substances?

Growing cotton organically, without pesticides is important for protecting the environment and people surrounding the cotton fields. Many processes between the field and the finished product have the potential to add toxins. That's where STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® comes in.

Including the term "organic" in the STANDARD 100 certificate scope is optional.

If descriptions such as "organic" or "made of organically grown cotton" are included on a STANDARD 100 certificate, the products have been tested for genetically modified organisms (GMOs) during the OEKO-TEX® laboratory tests. GMO screening builds confidence in organic cotton claims.

Organic cotton is certified on a separate certificate from other cotton. If requested, GMO testing is also available for products made with conventionally grown cotton.

Requirements if organic cotton is declared:

Organic Components

All pre-certified main component materials made of cotton must also contain the term “organic” in the scope. Accessories are exempt.

Certificate of Origin

Valid organic origin certificate submitted with the application for STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® certificate

GMO Testing

Negative GMO test results in addition to the regular testing program for STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX®

GMO Screening Process within STANDARD 100

1. The sample is shredded and the cotton fibers are mechanically and enzymatically degraded. The genetic material (DNA) is isolated from the fiber and purified.

2. Genetic modifications are classified by specific marker genes in the DNA. These genes can be identified on a molecular-biological level. Control reactions are used to prove that the DNA is unmodified and to exclude false-negative results.

Application Process for STANDARD 100 Certification of Organic Cotton

Follow the standard procedures for application and renewal, plus:

  • Complete the "Organic Cotton Claim" section of the normal STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® application form
  • Include organic basis certificate(s) (GOTs or other traceability certificate)
Ben Mead
Managing Director
Hohenstein Institute America