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Fur Probe Reveals False Labeling

An investigation by the Humane Society of the United States has uncovered six instances of incorrectly advertised or mislabeled fur jackets.

WASHINGTON — An investigation by the Humane Society of the United States has uncovered six instances of incorrectly advertised or mislabeled fur jackets.

The disclosure on Thursday prompted neimanmarcus.com, saksfifthavenue.com and bloomingdales.com to make adjustments to their Web sites. Representatives from each Web site acknowledged they inadvertently advertised jackets with rabbit fur as faux fur and took steps to either remove the jackets or update their site.

Kristin Leppert, director of the Washington-based advocacy group’s fur-free campaign, said the organization’s inquiry also found Andrew Marc and Marc New York jackets were labeled as having polyester trim that was actually raccoon dog — a fox-size animal native to Asia — or raccoon dog and rabbit. In addition, a Preston & York jacket at dillards.com and a Ramosport jacket at Yoox.com were found to have been mislabeled and advertised incorrectly. Representatives of the companies either could not be reached or did not comment.

Misidentifying fur products violates the Fur Products Labeling Act and can lead to seizure of the goods and fines of as much as $5,000 for each violation, said the advocacy group.

Tests by the Humane Society last December also found mislabeled fur jackets.

"We’re seeing this season after season," said Leppert. "Retailers in the apparel industry in general aren’t taking this very seriously. We’re asking people to contact the [Federal Trade Commission] and push them to take action."

A Bloomingdale’s spokeswoman said an Aqua jacket was misidentified on its Web site.

"It is mislabeled on the site as faux fur, it’s not mislabeled in the store," said the spokeswoman. "It was just obviously an error, it wasn’t intentional."

Similarly, a Saks spokeswoman said it received written confirmation from its supplier that a jacket contained faux fur and not real and has removed it from the Web site.