Cotton Law and Legal Definition

The growing and sale of cotton is subject to state and federal regulation to ensure proper sales practices and quality of cotton and prevent boll weevil infestation. Almost all cotton grown in the United States is classified and graded by the Agricultural Marketing Service, a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), at the request of growers who pay a fee for the service. Cotton classification is not mandatory, but growers usually find it essential to marketing their crop and for participation in the USDA price support program. The USDA classes all cotton tendered for delivery on futures contracts on the New York Cotton Exchange and provides arbitration classing services to the industry world-wide. Classification services also are provided to individual buyers, manufacturers, breeders, researchers, and others upon request.

Under the federal Textile Act and Rules, which are enforced by the Federal Trade Commission, if you advertise or sell clothing or household items containing cotton, the product labels must accurately reflect the fabric content.

The following is an example of a state statute incorporating federal cotton standards:

"The official cotton standards of the United States, as established and promulgated from time to time by the Secretary of Agriculture of the United States, shall, while they are in effect, be the official cotton standards of this state on which all cotton which is of or within the grades of the said official standards shall be sold in the state."