Faux fur ruse

Major US retailers have been selling real fur clothes, labeled as faux fur.  Julie Creswell at the New York Times writes:

On the face of it, the real-for-fake switch might not seem to make business sense. But because many people are no longer buying real fur, manufacturers and retailers are scrambling to meet growing demand for faux fur. As a result, some products are being mislabeled.

“The lines between real and fake have gotten really blurry,” said Dan Mathews, a senior vice president with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. “In this global marketplace, there are fur farms in China that raise dogs for clothing that is labeled as fake fur here in the U.S. because that’s what the market best responds to.”

The retailers, The Neiman Marcus Group Inc., DrJays.com Inc., and Eminent Inc. settled with the Federal Trade Commission -- no fines or damages, but the retailers are prohibited "for 20 years, from violating the Fur Act and the Rules and Regulations Under the Fur Act."

I don't understand why that's a good thing -- having broken the law, they agreed to settle the lawsuit by agreeing not to break the law anymore, for a fixed amount of time -- but the FTC is apparently happy with the outcome.  They stress in their writeup that the retailers have not admitted guilt, and that they wouldn't necessarily have been able to prove it in a court of law.  The order "carries the force of law with respect to future actions.  Each violation of such an order may result in a civil penalty of up to $16,000."

I guess it's good, at least, to hear that real fur has become so unpopular in the US that they have to pretend it's fake to sell it.  And if three major retailers can't pass it off for the next 20 years, maybe it'll just totally die out.