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Cotton's clue: Using DNA to detect slavery in supply chains

Cotton's clue: Using DNA to detect slavery in supply chains

by Scott Corben

Shoppers lured by a bargain-priced T-shirt but concerned about whether the item is free of slave labour could soon have the answer - from DNA forensic technology.

James Hayward, chief executive of U.S.-based Applied DNA Sciences Inc. that develops DNA-based technology to prevent counterfeiting and ensure authenticity, said his researchers have been working in the cotton industry for up to nine years.

He said this was prompted by rising concerns about the global cotton industry, that provides income for more than 250 million people, using child and slave labour in harvesting the crop and the during the production process to make clothes.

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