NEWS Rabbonim Say Sample Shatnez Testing Not Enough-by Yated Ne'eman Staff
Gedolei horo'oh are warning the public that shatnez has been found in numerous series of imported suits, many of which originate in China, Eastern Europe and Turkey, where wool and linen fibers are often found in combination. An expert told us that factories in these countries sometimes use remnants that they acquire and thus small amounts of clothing can have problems which would not show up if only a sample is tested.
With growing awareness of the prohibition increasing demand for clothing items free of shatnez is leading importers and suppliers from the general population to be more selective in choosing which products to import. A number of clothing providers are sending every single item, rather than just a few samples, to a shatnez laboratory for testing.
According to an open letter by HaRav Shmuel Halevi Wosner and HaRav Nissim Karelitz, clothing manufactured in various corners of the globe for consumers everywhere winds up in Israel, where sellers often rely on sample checks and testing by unauthorized labs. In some cases they even attach a tag with the words "Naki mishatnez" ("free of shatnez"), misleading the consumer public into thinking the item has been properly checked.
HaRav Wosner and HaRav Karelitz write that unless a given article of clothing bears a tag from an authorized shatnez lab reading "Naki michashash shatnez" it should not be worn, regardless of the seller's promise it does not contain shatnez.