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Re: My Essentia.com False Advertising and Lying to Consumer

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24 Apr 2012 16:03 - 15 Apr 2016 23:49 #11 by Phoenix
Hi yogiyoda,

Since there are no polyurethane foams made anywhere in the world that do not have petrochemicals in them (to differing degrees) ... it is clear to me that their foams are not petroleum free.

You can believe whatever you wish of course but there is evidence to show that their "latex memory foam" material contains no hevea milk (or at least none was found in the chemical analysis). Even their own site shows it contains SBR which is synthetic latex among the ingredients. Even the main components of SBR ( Styrene and Butadiene ) can by synthesized from either petrochemicals or from other sources.

This also has nothing to do with the "safety" of their foams as you point out ... only with their false claims and misleading statements on their website.

Your comments about natural vs synthetic are the topic of many posts in this forum and all over the internet as well and I agree it is completely misused and misleading in many cases. Same goes for the use of the term "organic".

By the way, where can I see the results of the foam testing you mentioned?


You can see them in the attachments in post #4 here .

Phoenix

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Last edit: 15 Apr 2016 23:49 by Phoenix.

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24 Apr 2012 16:39 #12 by yogiyoda
Thanks Phoenix,

Playing devil's advocate. Let's assume that the lab results are a legitimate analysis of Essentia foam. The analysis leaves open the possibility that at least one of the components was derived "possibly from Hevia 'Sap'." As for the two other compounds, the lab sees no evidence that they were derived from a 'natural' source. However, they aren't conclusively stating that they are not.

Either Essentia has innovated some new process which is unfamiliar to the lab, or they should be getting into trouble. And nit picking aside, if the lab results are accurate, it makes Essentia's marketing look very bad either way.

By the way, in the US, "organic" at least with foods has a very clearly defined meaning and can't be thrown around casually in marketing. Although I'm not sure about it's meaning in regards to mattresses.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organic_certificat...ed_States_of_America

(FYI - the meaning of "organic" in chemistry, although different, is also clearly defined)

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24 Apr 2012 16:59 - 24 Apr 2012 17:09 #13 by Phoenix
Hi yogiyoda,

That's not devils "advocate" ... that's just misreading the lab report which specifically says ...

Tests by TLC with three sprays (Gibbs, Copper Acetate and Anisaldehyde) that should detect naturally occuring Hevea rubber products) did not show any identifiable Hevea components.


As I say ... I go by "preponderance of the evidence" and on how truthful I believe all the information I have read or received really is.

Of course you are welcome to make whatever interpretations you feel is warranted or go to the whatever level of minute and unlikely possibilities you believe justifies the Essentia claims. I just don't believe them.

By the way, in the US, "organic" at least with foods has a very clearly defined meaning and can't be thrown around casually in marketing. Although I'm not sure about it's meaning in regards to mattresses.


Yes you are correct in this and it has been the topic of many posts in the forum (and elsewhere on the web) including some that are very recent. The Wikipedia article doesn't specifically mention textiles though which you can see here (the official source for the US) are somewhat different and GOTS certification can also be used to make an "organic" claim although not an NOP certified organic claim or use the USDA seal.

At this point ... there are only two manufacturers who make GOTS certified organic mattresses ... they are Organicpedic and Naturepedic , both of whom used Oregon Tilth as their certifying agent.

Phoenix

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Last edit: 24 Apr 2012 17:09 by Phoenix.

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24 Apr 2012 23:17 #14 by yogiyoda
Hi Phoenix,

That's not devils "advocate" ... that's just misreading the lab report which specifically says ...


Maybe it's not misreading the lab report but just reading it closely:

If it can be demonstrated by the manufacturer that the propylene glycol had been manufactured and refined from the natural sources, they can claim that the foam is made, in part, from natural materials, and possibly from Hevea 'sap'.


Also, I have seen no proof that that report is even legitimate analysis of Essentia foam. But I leave open the possibility that it is legit. I take it you did some due diligence verifying that it was. If it is legit analysis, the preponderance of evidence leads to petrol-chemicals being involved. However, as stated previously, I do believe there is room for doubt - possibly even "reasonable" doubt :)

But let's assume that Essentia foam is petroleum based memory foam. Think what you are asking me to believe. You want me to believe that this business was founded on a blatant lie that is easily disproved. And not only was this allowed, but the company has been continuing to grow for years - even with an A- BBB rating. ..while at the same time, in a reply to me in another thread, stating that you think that industries can do a good job of regulating themselves.

I'm sorry but if this company is allowed to blatantly lie to the public like that, there is something wrong. And I'm not sure that the foam and mattress industries can do anything about it internally. I too believe that there can be over regulation that hinders our freedoms and the economy. But I'm not naive enough to believe that pure laissez-faire capitalism can actually work in the real world. It would fail for the same reason Communism fails. Both philosophies fail to fully take into account the greed that is part of human nature. I'm glad there are some sensible enforced regulation in regards to traffic. I'm glad there are some sensible and enforced regulations around theft/murder etc. And I'm glad there are some sensible regulations around advertising and commerce. Where those regulations and enforcement go to far, the need to be dropped. Where the don't go far enough they need to be strengthened.

Now either Essentia is telling enough of the truth to make a reasonable argument, or there is something wrong with the system that needs fixed. And my money is that the solution won't be found from within the foam/mattress industry.

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24 Apr 2012 23:47 #15 by yogiyoda
Hmm, I just re-read the above. Seems in my haste to make a point, I may have accidentally inferred that you were naive and also that you believed in pure laizze-faire capitalism. That was not my intention. I was simply trying to strongly state my belief that sensible regulations can be beneficial. Sorry for any offense.

Geez, maybe those aliens are starting to dissolve my spine. If so, at least I might finally get some sleep :/

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25 Apr 2012 06:07 - 25 Apr 2012 14:31 #16 by Phoenix
Hi yogiyoda,

No offence taken :)

Also, I have seen no proof that that report is even legitimate analysis of Essentia foam. But I leave open the possibility that it is legit. I take it you did some due diligence verifying that it was. If it is legit analysis, the preponderance of evidence leads to petrol-chemicals being involved. However, as stated previously, I do believe there is room for doubt - possibly even "reasonable" doubt


The analysis is not the basis for the questions about them ... it just confirmed what seemed obvious to me and to many others about the misleading nature of their claims. Regardless of any doubt that you may have ... it's clear to me that their site contains a great deal of misleading and inaccurate information. You can do your own research though and I suspect that the more you learn about mattress materials and the industry in general and Essentia in particular the more likely you would be to see the same picture.

But let's assume that Essentia foam is petroleum based memory foam. Think what you are asking me to believe. You want me to believe that this business was founded on a blatant lie that is easily disproved. And not only was this allowed, but the company has been continuing to grow for years - even with an A- BBB rating. ..while at the same time, in a reply to me in another thread, stating that you think that industries can do a good job of regulating themselves.


I'm not asking you to believe anything. I'm telling you what I believe and the reasons why. I think this thread and the one I linked to earlier contains more than enough information about Essentia for anyone to make up their own minds in any way they may choose. I think the main page of the site provides an overview that deals with most of the rest of your comments and questions about the industry (and how truthful and accurate much of the information that consumers are exposed to really is) and what I believe are the solutions to them.

IMO, the solutions already exist in the dozens of smaller and local manufacturers and better sleep shops that exist across the country. The reason for this site ... and others ... is to play a role in giving consumers the resources they need to know how to tell the difference between bogus stories and factual information and to help them find the outlets that really are dedicated to quality, service, value, and transparency and helping people make better choices with their money.

Phoenix

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Last edit: 25 Apr 2012 14:31 by Phoenix.

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29 Apr 2012 14:40 #17 by yogiyoda
I think what you are doing is helping lots of people. I know from experience that the major mattress manufactures and chains are making and selling some really poor quality mattresses for too much money. What your doing is helping people make better decisions.

But that being said, either Essentia is telling enough of the truth to make a reasonable case for their more concrete statements, or there is something wrong with the system that needs fixed.

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29 Apr 2012 16:50 #18 by Phoenix
Hi Yogiyoda,

But that being said, either Essentia is telling enough of the truth to make a reasonable case for their more concrete statements, or there is something wrong with the system that needs fixed.


This is exactly my point. Essentia has not made a reasonable case for their "extraordinary" claims and even some of their their own information contradicts their own claims or other public information that can be validated. If someone claims to make "latex memory foam" ... doesn't it make sense to you that this claim could be validated if such a thing doesn't exist anywhere else? Doesn't it make sense if the materials in their mattress appears by any reasonable standard of measurement to include the very things they are denigrating ... that they should provide some evidence of the accuracy of their claims rather than just playing on people's desire to buy something "green" or "healthy" with no evidence to back up? Their claims are based on "believe what we are telling you" but have no substance in many cases.

This doesn't mean that their materials are "bad" or "unhealthy" or "unsafe", only that they are not accurately described and that people are buying their mattresses based on information that is in many cases clearly misleading and contradictory. There are many people who believe what they most "want" to believe and don't have the knowledge to validate what is being said. This is common in the industry at all levels and is one of the main reasons for this site.

The "burden of proof" shouldn't be on consumers but on the manufacturers ... especially in an industry where false claims and misleading information is endemic.

If they have a reasonable case ... let them make it based on facts that can be verified. "Believe what I am telling you because we are good people and can be trusted" IMO is not a reasonable case in this and many other industries. Buying on the beliefs or approval of others that are uninformed or misled is also not "making a case". It only goes to show how easy it is to mislead people.

This is not just an "Essentia" issue ... even though they are more blatant than many others ... it is an industry wide issue.

Phoenix

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29 Apr 2012 21:38 #19 by koala

yogiyoda wrote: Hmm, I just re-read the above. Seems in my haste to make a point, I may have accidentally inferred that you were naive and also that you believed in pure laizze-faire capitalism. /


I honestly stopped reading about halfway through your last post, but this made me chuckle.

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01 May 2012 22:03 #20 by budgy
If that test is indeed of a sample of Essentia's 'natural memory foam' then it is quite clear that it is far from natural.

If we choose to validate the idea that petrochemicals are 'natural' then realistically everything in the world is natural. And the whole idea loses all of its meaning. I do understand the sentiment behind the remark itself too. But I would much sooner say that crude oil is 'natural', petrochemicals are not; they are refined through incredibly complex human guided processes and nature does not have much to do with it.

Other manufacturers do not get away with calling polyurethane foams natural, yet alone organic. If this is the case with Essentia they deserve to be called out for it. And it would cost them very little in the long run to have their natural claims verified if they are indeed true. Why they have not done so yet really only emboldens the skepticism regarding their claims.

As with all big questions, the burden of proof lies on those that make the bold claims.

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