For the first-time, organic cotton fibers will be tagged, tested and tracked throughout a certified global supply chain, ensuring from field to store shelves, the organic cotton fiber is 100 percent, DNA-authenticated organic.

Applied DNA Sciences announced last week that Texas-based ginning partner Woolam Gin is the first U.S. gin to be awarded the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS v5.0) certification using the company’s ability to track and trace.

Through Applied DNA’s SigNature T traceability system, U.S. cotton farmers will have protection for their organic cotton that can now be verified as authentic, and not blended with any other products at any point in the supply chain.

The GOTS certification coupled with USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP) certification for organically grown cotton is the highest possible measurement standard, according to Applied DNA.

The DNA-authenticated organic cotton will hit retail beginning in Spring ’18.

“In an environment where consumers are demanding more information about the origin and authenticity of their products, Applied DNA is proud to partner with Woolam Gin to integrate molecular tagging,” said Dr. James Hayward, Applied DNA president and CEO. “Participating in the supply chain of certified organic cotton now sets the precedent for our participation in other certified organic supply chains, providing the assurance that both the manufacturers and consumers demand,” he continued.

Jimmy Wedel, president of Texas Organic Cotton Marketing Cooperative, said the GOTS certification of its ginning process utilizing the Applied DNA SigNature T molecular tag will help forge better relationships with its partners. The Texas Organic Cotton Marketing Cooperative grew almost 80 percent of all the organic cotton in the U.S. in 2015.

“Use of the molecular tag will give an added level of traceability, transparency and trust that are an important value to our cooperative and its members,” he added.