The Humane Society has just released the results from another round of tests on fur-trimmed products from national U.S. retailers, and in four cases they found that the advertised “raccoon” fur was actually “raccoon dog,” a canine indigenous to Asia. This is one case where the FTC is squarely to blame for creating the problem in the first place, because in 1951 they decided that trade trumps scientific classification and declared “that this animal should be referred to as ‘Asiatic raccoon’ in advertising and labeling.”
If you are one of the many Americans who are opposed to real fur, the problem is obvious: you bought “faux fur” and received real. Or–if you are ok with some types of fur–you thought you were purchasing one species but instead took home a garment trimmed with fur from a species of dog.
But even if retailers and designers were to stop falsely advertising and labeling raccoon dog fur today, consumers would still be left with less than ideal information about what is really on the jacket they’re purchasing.
That’s because, despite “raccoon dog” being this animal’s common name (that is, the non-Latin name which is generally used), the Federal Trade Commission inexplicably decided in 1951 that this animal should be referred to as “Asiatic raccoon” in advertising and labeling under the Fur Products Labeling Act.
So how do you keep from buying a dog fur coat? Well, here’s the Humane Society’s list of companies that have claimed they do not sell real fur products.
“Investigation Results Find Raccoon Dog Most Misrepresented Fur Sold in America” [Humane Society] (Thanks to Pierre!)