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Cambodia Pushes for
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Bra to Detect Breast Cancer
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September 15, 2007
Women's Wear Journal
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Cambodia Pushes For Tariff
Cambodian trade officials are urging the US government to pass legislation to cut tariffs on goods from 14 of Asia's least developed countries.
They believe the measure will help to protect Cambodia's apparel industry after safeguards on Chinese exports to the US expire at the end of next year.
The Tariff Relief Assistance for Developing Economies, or TRADE Act, is already before the US Senate.
Duty relief for poor nations is also being considered within the stalled Doha round of World Trade Organization negotiations.
"We know our quality is the same as the Chinese, we are fighting only over the price," said Commerce Minister Cham
Prasidh, adding that US tariffs on Cambodian garment exports are between 15% and 25%.
The US accounts for around 70% of Cambodia's apparel exports.
Vietnam to Track Apparel
Vietnam is on the verge of setting up a task force to track its apparel exports in an attempt to pre-empt any anti-dumping lawsuits.
According to local media, a draft plan is being submitted to the government by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoTI).
The task force will include officials from MoTI, the General Department of Customs, Vietnam Textiles and Apparel Association (Vitas), and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
It hopes that by tracking the volume and price of garment shipments it will be able to prevent a sudden surge in exports or dip in prices that might trigger anti-dumping lawsuits from other countries.
Vietnam's apparel exports in the first eight months of this year jumped 30% to US$5.1bn. The US is its largest customer, accounting for 60% of Vietnam's overall garment exports.
In August buyers from companies including Adidas, Ann Taylor, Liz Claiborne and Kohls urged the Vietnamese government to reinstate its export monitoring system.
They argued that the current Certificate of Origin (COO) system does not mirror data collected by the US since it does not require the apparel category or unit price value and is prone to irregularities.
They say this makes it more likely the US will request anti-dumping investigations against Vietnam - and makes buyers wary about placing orders with suppliers based there.
The US is currently reviewing data on apparel imports from Vietnam with a view to deciding whether there is any basis to initiate an antidumping investigation.
The monitoring program began on January 11, when Vietnam joined the World Trade Organization, and is scheduled to remain in place until January 19, 2009. Reviews are planned every six months.
Bra to Detect Breast Cancer
A smart bra to detect the early stages of breast cancer is being developed by scientists at the University of Bolton.
The bra will aim to detect the rise in cell temperature that occurs before cancer cells can be identified through conventional screening methods.
The fabric from which the bra is made will use a textile structure that is flexible, comfortable, breathable, light and able to integrate antennas to measure radiation emitted by the body.
Natural radiation from the body is emitted in the microwave region of the electromagnetic spectrum, and is measured using microwave radiometry
Microwaves are able to penetrate depths of up to 4cm, directly measuring tissue thermal radiation.
The microwave radiometer consists of an electronic switch, circulator, isolator, low-noise amplifier, filter, amplitude detector and miniature reference noise source with the temperature sensor. These component parts must be designed in miniature sizes and plastic materials.
The MRT technique is highly sensitive and can detect very small temperature variations in the region of +/- 0.2ºC. When used in combination with mammography, this technology has an accuracy rate of 85% - which can increase up to 97%.
The wearable early detection/warning system for breast cancer is designed to be used like a thermometer to monitor breast health.
Any increase in temperature should prompt the wearer to seek advice from a doctor and specialist help for further investigation and treatment.
by Lawrence O. Brown
11,000 Textile Workers To
Nearly 11,000 textile workers are to begin
strike action after continuing pay negotiations between unions and
employers' associations failed to be resolved.
Factories that will be affected include Söktas, Narin Tekstil, Yünsa,
Saray Hali, Kasar, Dual, Pisa Tekstil, Altinyildiz, Bahariye, Kordsa and
Talks are still on-going with a further nine companies, and if no deal is
reached another 1,000 workers will join the dispute.
The strike action could lead to losses of $3bn according to Aynur Bektas,
chairman of the Turkish Garment Industry Association (TGSD).
Talks between the Union of Textile, Knitting and Garment Industry Workers
of Turkey and the Turkish Textile Employers' Association (TUTSIS) have
been ongoing since April.
TUTSIS has been calling for a wage freeze for the first half of 2007 and a
3% increase for the second half of the year. But the union argues that
with the inflation rate predicted to be around 7.5% at the end of this
year, workers will effectively suffer a cut in their real income.
The New Zealand Retailers Association has released a statement to calm scares about the levels of formaldehyde found in a batch of clothing imported into the country from China.
The association said that New Zealand's TV3's Target show applied the wrong test when making claims about levels of formaldehyde in clothing in a recent
It has worked with the Ministry of Consumer Affairs to investigate claims that formaldehyde was present at high levels in clothes tested. Retailers supplied lists of clothing for Government and independent tests at laboratories in New Zealand and overseas.
John Albertson, CEO of the NZ Retailers Association, said that tests conducted by AgResearch in New Zealand, the SGS Textile testing centre in Shanghai and Intertek in Hong Kong confirmed that formaldehyde was not detected in pants and other garments tested.
"This testing process will continue. However scientists tell us that the testing process used by the Target show is flawed because it is not based on accepted international standards.
"Put simply they applied the wrong test and have now been forced to admit this. It would have taken the same amount of time to get the test right as to get it wrong."
"Initial Tests carried out independently at separate laboratories (Ag Research, SGS and
Intertek) all confirm that free formaldehyde is non detectable in the products submitted by retailers for testing.
"We expect these tests to be replicated across the range of products submitted for testing both in the Government process and independent retailer testing."
International safe standards are 30 parts per million free formaldehyde for infant garments, 75ppm free formaldehyde for garments which contact the skin and 300ppm free formaldehyde for other garments or fabrics.
It was reported last month that a batch of clothing imported into New Zealand from China, including school shorts, a T-shirt and
pajamas, had up to 900 times the amount of formaldehyde deemed safe by the World Health Organization.
Woolworths Changes Panty
Woolworths has backed down on its policy of allowing customers to return underwear they have tried on.
Customers will no longer be allowed to try on women's and girls' panties and men's and boys' underwear.
Woolworths admitted to allowing customers to try on panties in the fitting room and permitted them to return them if they are ill-fitting.
A Cape Argus visit to three Woolworths stores in the city confirmed that customers could try on panties in the changing rooms.
The retailer confirmed that this was permitted "provided that customers do so over their existing underwear". But one of the store assistants said this was hard to monitor.
At other branches, assistants said a new policy allowed customers to fit and return underwear which was then resold if "in a saleable condition".
Now Woolworths said: "In the light of international standards regarding the fitting of underwear and recent customer feedback, Woolworths policy has been reviewed.
"Woolworths no longer allows customers to try on women's and girls' panties or men's and boys' underwear.
"Bras may still be fitted.
"Swimwear may still be fitted provided the protective strip is not removed. We no longer accept returns of panties or underwear."
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