Ecobaby Organics, Inc.; Analysis of Proposed Consent Order To Aid Public Comment, 46950-46952 [2013-18611]

Download as PDF 46950 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 149 / Friday, August 2, 2013 / Notices Analysis of Agreement Containing Consent Order To Aid Public Comment The Federal Trade Commission (‘‘FTC’’ or ‘‘Commission’’) has accepted, subject to final approval, an agreement containing a consent order from Essentia Natural Memory Foam Company, Inc., a corporation (‘‘respondent’’). The proposed consent order has been placed on the public record for thirty (30) days for receipt of comments by interested persons. Comments received during this period will become part of the public record. After thirty (30) days, the Commission will again review the agreement and the comments received, and will decide whether it should withdraw from the agreement or make final the agreement’s proposed order. This matter involves respondent’s marketing and sale of memory foam mattresses. According to the FTC’s complaint, respondent represented that its mattresses do not contain volatile organic compounds (‘‘VOCs’’), are chemical-free, have no VOC off-gassing, lack the odors commonly associated with memory foam, and are made with 100% natural materials. The complaint alleges that respondent did not possess and rely upon a reasonable basis substantiating these representations when it made them. Moreover, the complaint alleges that respondent claims that tests show that the memory foam used in respondent’s mattresses is free of VOCs and Formaldehyde. The complaint alleges that tests do not support these claims. Thus, the complaint alleges that respondent engaged in deceptive acts or practices in violation of Section 5(a) of the FTC Act. Thus, the complaint alleges that respondent engaged in deceptive practices in violation of Section 5(a) of the FTC Act. The Commission does not typically challenge subjective claims, such as smell.2 However, a consumer acting reasonably under the circumstances is likely to interpret representations that a memory foam mattress lacks the common smell associated with memory foam to mean that the mattress is free of VOCs. The proposed consent order contains three provisions designed to prevent respondent from engaging in similar acts and practices in the future. Part I addresses the marketing of VOC-free mattresses. It prohibits respondent from making zero-VOC claims unless the VOC emission level is zero micrograms per meter cubed or the company possesses and relies upon competent and reliable scientific evidence that their mattresses contain no more than a trace level of VOCs based on the Green Guides’ guidance on making free-of claims.3 It also prohibits respondent from making chemical-free claims. Part II addresses VOC claims, odorfree claims and comparative odor claims, environmental benefit or attribute claims, certain health claims made about mattresses, and natural claims. It prohibits such representations unless the representation is true, not 1 In particular, the written request for confidential treatment that accompanies the comment must include the factual and legal basis for the request, and must identify the specific portions of the comment to be withheld from the public record. See FTC Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c). 2 See FTC, FTC Policy Statement on Deception, appended to Cliffdale Assocs., Inc., 103 F.T.C. 110, 174 (1984). 3 See Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims, 77 FR 62, 122, 62,123 (Oct. 11, 2012). sroberts on DSK5SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES you have to follow the procedure explained in FTC Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c).1 Your comment will be kept confidential only if the FTC General Counsel, in his or her sole discretion, grants your request in accordance with the law and the public interest. Postal mail addressed to the Commission is subject to delay due to heightened security screening. As a result, we encourage you to submit your comments online. To make sure that the Commission considers your online comment, you must file it at https:// ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/ essentianmfoamconsent by following the instructions on the web-based form. If this Notice appears at http:// www.regulations.gov/#!home. you also may file a comment through that Web site. If you file your comment on paper, write ‘‘Essentia, File No. 122 3130’’ on your comment and on the envelope, and mail or deliver it to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Room H–113 (Annex D), 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20580. If possible, submit your paper comment to the Commission by courier or overnight service. Visit the Commission Web site at http://www.ftc.gov to read this Notice and the news release describing it. The FTC Act and other laws that the Commission administers permit the collection of public comments to consider and use in this proceeding as appropriate. The Commission will consider all timely and responsive public comments that it receives on or before August 26, 2013. You can find more information, including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, in the Commission’s privacy policy, at http://www.ftc.gov/ftc/privacy.htm. VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:55 Aug 01, 2013 Jkt 229001 PO 00000 Frm 00046 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 misleading, and substantiated by competent and reliable scientific evidence. Part III addresses claims that testing supports respondents’ advertising claims for its mattresses. It prohibits any misrepresentations about the existence, contents, validity, results, conclusion, or interpretations of any test, study, or research. Parts IV though VII require Essentia to: Keep copies of advertisements and materials relied upon in disseminating any representation covered by the order; provide copies of the order to certain personnel, agents, and representatives having supervisory responsibilities with respect to the subject matter of the order; notify the Commission of changes in its structure that might affect compliance obligations under the order; and file a compliance report with the Commission and respond to other requests from FTC staff. Part VIII provides that the order will terminate after twenty (20) years, with certain exceptions. The purpose of this analysis is to facilitate public comment on the proposed order. It is not intended to constitute an official interpretation of the complaint or the proposed order, or to modify the proposed order’s terms in any way. By direction of the Commission. Richard C. Donohue, Acting Secretary. [FR Doc. 2013–18612 Filed 8–1–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6750–01–P FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION [File No. 122 3129] Ecobaby Organics, Inc.; Analysis of Proposed Consent Order To Aid Public Comment Federal Trade Commission. Proposed consent agreement. AGENCY: ACTION: The consent agreement in this matter settles alleged violations of federal law prohibiting unfair or deceptive acts or practices or unfair methods of competition. The attached Analysis to Aid Public Comment describes both the allegations in the draft complaint and the terms of the consent order—embodied in the consent agreement—that would settle these allegations. DATES: Comments must be received on or before August 26, 2013. ADDRESSES: Interested parties may file a comment at https:// ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/ ecobabyorganicsconsent online or on SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\02AUN1.SGM 02AUN1 sroberts on DSK5SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 149 / Friday, August 2, 2013 / Notices paper, by following the instructions in the Request for Comment part of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below. Write ‘‘Ecobaby Organics, File No. 122 3129’’ on your comment and file your comment online at https:// ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/ ecobabyorganicsconsent by following the instructions on the web-based form. If you prefer to file your comment on paper, mail or deliver your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Room H–113 (Annex D), 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20580. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Robin Moore (202–326–2167), FTC, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20580. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Pursuant to Section 6(f) of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and FTC Rule 2.34, 16 CFR 2.34, notice is hereby given that the above-captioned consent agreement containing a consent order to cease and desist, having been filed with and accepted, subject to final approval, by the Commission, has been placed on the public record for a period of thirty (30) days. The following Analysis to Aid Public Comment describes the terms of the consent agreement, and the allegations in the complaint. An electronic copy of the full text of the consent agreement package can be obtained from the FTC Home Page (for July 25, 2013), on the World Wide Web, at http://www.ftc.gov/ os/actions.shtm. A paper copy can be obtained from the FTC Public Reference Room, Room 130–H, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20580, either in person or by calling (202) 326– 2222. You can file a comment online or on paper. For the Commission to consider your comment, we must receive it on or before August 26, 2013. Write ‘‘Ecobaby Organics, File No. 122 3129’’ on your comment. Your comment—including your name and your state—will be placed on the public record of this proceeding, including, to the extent practicable, on the public Commission Web site, at http://www.ftc.gov/os/ publiccomments.shtm. As a matter of discretion, the Commission tries to remove individuals’ home contact information from comments before placing them on the Commission Web site. Because your comment will be made public, you are solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive personal information, like anyone’s Social VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:55 Aug 01, 2013 Jkt 229001 Security number, date of birth, driver’s license number or other state identification number or foreign country equivalent, passport number, financial account number, or credit or debit card number. You are also solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive health information, like medical records or other individually identifiable health information. In addition, do not include any ‘‘[t]rade secret or any commercial or financial information which . . . is privileged or confidential,’’ as discussed in Section 6(f) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and FTC Rule 4.10(a)(2), 16 CFR 4.10(a)(2). In particular, do not include competitively sensitive information such as costs, sales statistics, inventories, formulas, patterns, devices, manufacturing processes, or customer names. If you want the Commission to give your comment confidential treatment, you must file it in paper form, with a request for confidential treatment, and you have to follow the procedure explained in FTC Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c).1 Your comment will be kept confidential only if the FTC General Counsel, in his or her sole discretion, grants your request in accordance with the law and the public interest. Postal mail addressed to the Commission is subject to delay due to heightened security screening. As a result, we encourage you to submit your comments online. To make sure that the Commission considers your online comment, you must file it at https:// ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/ ecobabyorganicsconsent by following the instructions on the web-based form. If this Notice appears at http:// www.regulations.gov/#!home. you also may file a comment through that Web site. If you file your comment on paper, write ‘‘Ecobaby Organics, File No. 122 3129’’ on your comment and on the envelope, and mail or deliver it to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Room H–113 (Annex D), 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20580. If possible, submit your paper comment to the Commission by courier or overnight service. Visit the Commission Web site at http://www.ftc.gov to read this Notice and the news release describing it. The FTC Act and other laws that the Commission administers permit the 1 In particular, the written request for confidential treatment that accompanies the comment must include the factual and legal basis for the request, and must identify the specific portions of the comment to be withheld from the public record. See FTC Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c). PO 00000 Frm 00047 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 46951 collection of public comments to consider and use in this proceeding as appropriate. The Commission will consider all timely and responsive public comments that it receives on or before August 26, 2013. You can find more information, including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, in the Commission’s privacy policy, at http://www.ftc.gov/ftc/privacy.htm. Analysis of Agreement Containing Consent Order To Aid Public Comment The Federal Trade Commission (‘‘FTC’’ or ‘‘Commission’’) has accepted, subject to final approval, an agreement containing a consent order from Ecobaby Organics, Inc., a corporation (‘‘respondent’’). The proposed consent order has been placed on the public record for thirty (30) days for receipt of comments by interested persons. Comments received during this period will become part of the public record. After thirty (30) days, the Commission will again review the agreement and the comments received, and will decide whether it should withdraw from the agreement or make final the agreement’s proposed order. This matter involves respondent’s marketing and sale of natural latex mattresses. According to the FTC’s complaint, respondent makes three types of claims about these mattresses. First, respondent claims that its mattresses are certified by the National Association of Organic Mattress Industry (‘‘NAOMI’’), an independent third-party certifier with appropriate expertise in evaluating whether respondent’s mattresses meet objective standards. However, the complaint alleges that NAOMI is an alter ego of respondent and not an independent third-party certifier and, indeed, awarded its seal to its own products without applying objective standards. Accordingly, the complaint alleges that such representations are deceptive practices in violation of Section 5(a) of the FTC Act. Second, respondent represents that its mattresses are chemical-free; Formaldehyde-free; free of VOCs, such as Toluene and Benzene; and without toxic substances. The complaint alleges that respondent did not possess and rely upon a reasonable basis substantiating these representations when it made them. Thus, the complaint alleges that respondent engaged in deceptive practices in violation of Section 5(a) of the FTC Act. Third, respondent claims that tests show that its mattresses are VOC-free, chemical-free, and Formaldehyde-free. The complaint alleges that tests do not support these claims. Thus, the E:\FR\FM\02AUN1.SGM 02AUN1 sroberts on DSK5SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 46952 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 149 / Friday, August 2, 2013 / Notices complaint alleges that respondent engaged in deceptive acts or practices in violation of Section 5(a) of the FTC Act. The proposed consent order contains four provisions designed to prevent respondent from engaging in similar acts and practices in the future. Part I addresses the marketing of VOC-free and chemical free mattresses. It prohibits respondent from making zeroVOC claims unless the VOC emission level is zero micrograms per meter cubed or the company possesses and relies upon competent and reliable scientific evidence that their mattresses contain no more than a trace level of VOCs based on the Green Guides’ guidance on making free-of claims.2 It also prohibits respondent from making chemical-free claims. Part II addresses VOC claims, nontoxic claims, environmental benefit or attribute claims, and certain health claims made about mattresses. It prohibits such representations unless the representation is true, not misleading, and substantiated by competent and reliable scientific evidence. Part III addresses representations about third-party certifications. It prohibits any misrepresentations about the degree to which an independent third-party certifier has evaluated respondents mattresses based on environmental or health attributes, or evaluated those attributes based on the application of objective standards. Part IV addresses claims that testing supports respondents’ advertising claims for its mattresses. It prohibits any misrepresentations about the existence, contents, validity, results, conclusion, or interpretations of any test, study, or research. Parts V through VIII require Ecobaby to: keep copies of advertisements and materials relied upon in disseminating any representation covered by the order; provide copies of the order to certain personnel, agents, and representatives having supervisory responsibilities with respect to the subject matter of the order; notify the Commission of changes in its structure that might affect compliance obligations under the order; and file a compliance report with the Commission and respond to other requests from FTC staff. Part IX provides that the order will terminate after twenty (20) years, with certain exceptions. The purpose of this analysis is to facilitate public comment on the proposed order. It is not intended to 2 See Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims, 77 FR 62, 122, 62,123 (Oct. 11, 2012). VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:55 Aug 01, 2013 Jkt 229001 constitute an official interpretation of the complaint or the proposed order, or to modify the proposed order’s terms in any way. By direction of the Commission. Richard C. Donohue, Acting Secretary. [FR Doc. 2013–18611 Filed 8–1–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6750–01–P FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION [File No. 122 3128] Relief-Mart, Inc.; Analysis of Proposed Consent Order To Aid Public Comment Federal Trade Commission. Proposed consent agreement. AGENCY: ACTION: The consent agreement in this matter settles alleged violations of federal law prohibiting unfair or deceptive acts or practices or unfair methods of competition. The attached Analysis to Aid Public Comment describes both the allegations in the draft complaint and the terms of the consent order—embodied in the consent agreement—that would settle these allegations. SUMMARY: Comments must be received on or before August 26, 2013. ADDRESSES: Interested parties may file a comment at https:// ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/ reliefmartincconsent online or on paper, by following the instructions in the Request for Comment part of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below. Write ‘‘Relief Mart, File No. 122 3128’’ on your comment and file your comment online at https:// ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/ reliefmartincconsent by following the instructions on the web-based form. If you prefer to file your comment on paper, mail or deliver your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Room H–113 (Annex D), 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20580. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Robin Moore (202–326–2167), FTC, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20580. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Pursuant to Section 6(f) of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and FTC Rule 2.34, 16 CFR 2.34, notice is hereby given that the above-captioned consent agreement containing a consent order to cease and desist, having been filed with and accepted, subject to final approval, by the Commission, has been DATES: PO 00000 Frm 00048 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 placed on the public record for a period of thirty (30) days. The following Analysis to Aid Public Comment describes the terms of the consent agreement, and the allegations in the complaint. An electronic copy of the full text of the consent agreement package can be obtained from the FTC Home Page (for July 25, 2013), on the World Wide Web, at http://www.ftc.gov/ os/actions.shtm. A paper copy can be obtained from the FTC Public Reference Room, Room 130–H, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20580, either in person or by calling (202) 326– 2222. You can file a comment online or on paper. For the Commission to consider your comment, we must receive it on or before August 26, 2013. Write ‘‘Relief Mart, File No. 122 3128’’ on your comment. Your comment—including your name and your state—will be placed on the public record of this proceeding, including, to the extent practicable, on the public Commission Web site, at http://www.ftc.gov/os/ publiccomments.shtm. As a matter of discretion, the Commission tries to remove individuals’ home contact information from comments before placing them on the Commission Web site. Because your comment will be made public, you are solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive personal information, like anyone’s Social Security number, date of birth, driver’s license number or other state identification number or foreign country equivalent, passport number, financial account number, or credit or debit card number. You are also solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive health information, like medical records or other individually identifiable health information. In addition, do not include any ‘‘[t]rade secret or any commercial or financial information which . . . is privileged or confidential,’’ as discussed in Section 6(f) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and FTC Rule 4.10(a)(2), 16 CFR 4.10(a)(2). In particular, do not include competitively sensitive information such as costs, sales statistics, inventories, formulas, patterns, devices, manufacturing processes, or customer names. If you want the Commission to give your comment confidential treatment, you must file it in paper form, with a request for confidential treatment, and you have to follow the procedure explained in FTC Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR E:\FR\FM\02AUN1.SGM 02AUN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 149 (Friday, August 2, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 46950-46952]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-18611]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION

[File No. 122 3129]


Ecobaby Organics, Inc.; Analysis of Proposed Consent Order To Aid 
Public Comment

AGENCY: Federal Trade Commission.

ACTION: Proposed consent agreement.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The consent agreement in this matter settles alleged 
violations of federal law prohibiting unfair or deceptive acts or 
practices or unfair methods of competition. The attached Analysis to 
Aid Public Comment describes both the allegations in the draft 
complaint and the terms of the consent order--embodied in the consent 
agreement--that would settle these allegations.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before August 26, 2013.

ADDRESSES: Interested parties may file a comment at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/ecobabyorganicsconsent online or on

[[Page 46951]]

paper, by following the instructions in the Request for Comment part of 
the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below. Write ``Ecobaby Organics, 
File No. 122 3129'' on your comment and file your comment online at 
https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/ecobabyorganicsconsent by 
following the instructions on the web-based form. If you prefer to file 
your comment on paper, mail or deliver your comment to the following 
address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Room H-113 
(Annex D), 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20580.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Robin Moore (202-326-2167), FTC, 
Bureau of Consumer Protection, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, 
DC 20580.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Pursuant to Section 6(f) of the Federal 
Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and FTC Rule 2.34, 16 CFR 2.34, 
notice is hereby given that the above-captioned consent agreement 
containing a consent order to cease and desist, having been filed with 
and accepted, subject to final approval, by the Commission, has been 
placed on the public record for a period of thirty (30) days. The 
following Analysis to Aid Public Comment describes the terms of the 
consent agreement, and the allegations in the complaint. An electronic 
copy of the full text of the consent agreement package can be obtained 
from the FTC Home Page (for July 25, 2013), on the World Wide Web, at 
http://www.ftc.gov/os/actions.shtm. A paper copy can be obtained from 
the FTC Public Reference Room, Room 130-H, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., 
Washington, DC 20580, either in person or by calling (202) 326-2222.
    You can file a comment online or on paper. For the Commission to 
consider your comment, we must receive it on or before August 26, 2013. 
Write ``Ecobaby Organics, File No. 122 3129'' on your comment. Your 
comment--including your name and your state--will be placed on the 
public record of this proceeding, including, to the extent practicable, 
on the public Commission Web site, at http://www.ftc.gov/os/publiccomments.shtm. As a matter of discretion, the Commission tries to 
remove individuals' home contact information from comments before 
placing them on the Commission Web site.
    Because your comment will be made public, you are solely 
responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any 
sensitive personal information, like anyone's Social Security number, 
date of birth, driver's license number or other state identification 
number or foreign country equivalent, passport number, financial 
account number, or credit or debit card number. You are also solely 
responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any 
sensitive health information, like medical records or other 
individually identifiable health information. In addition, do not 
include any ``[t]rade secret or any commercial or financial information 
which . . . is privileged or confidential,'' as discussed in Section 
6(f) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and FTC Rule 4.10(a)(2), 16 CFR 
4.10(a)(2). In particular, do not include competitively sensitive 
information such as costs, sales statistics, inventories, formulas, 
patterns, devices, manufacturing processes, or customer names.
    If you want the Commission to give your comment confidential 
treatment, you must file it in paper form, with a request for 
confidential treatment, and you have to follow the procedure explained 
in FTC Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c).\1\ Your comment will be kept 
confidential only if the FTC General Counsel, in his or her sole 
discretion, grants your request in accordance with the law and the 
public interest.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ In particular, the written request for confidential 
treatment that accompanies the comment must include the factual and 
legal basis for the request, and must identify the specific portions 
of the comment to be withheld from the public record. See FTC Rule 
4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Postal mail addressed to the Commission is subject to delay due to 
heightened security screening. As a result, we encourage you to submit 
your comments online. To make sure that the Commission considers your 
online comment, you must file it at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/ecobabyorganicsconsent by following the instructions on the web-
based form. If this Notice appears at http://www.regulations.gov/#!home. you also may file a comment through that Web site.
    If you file your comment on paper, write ``Ecobaby Organics, File 
No. 122 3129'' on your comment and on the envelope, and mail or deliver 
it to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the 
Secretary, Room H-113 (Annex D), 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., 
Washington, DC 20580. If possible, submit your paper comment to the 
Commission by courier or overnight service.
    Visit the Commission Web site at http://www.ftc.gov to read this 
Notice and the news release describing it. The FTC Act and other laws 
that the Commission administers permit the collection of public 
comments to consider and use in this proceeding as appropriate. The 
Commission will consider all timely and responsive public comments that 
it receives on or before August 26, 2013. You can find more 
information, including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, in 
the Commission's privacy policy, at http://www.ftc.gov/ftc/privacy.htm.

Analysis of Agreement Containing Consent Order To Aid Public Comment

    The Federal Trade Commission (``FTC'' or ``Commission'') has 
accepted, subject to final approval, an agreement containing a consent 
order from Ecobaby Organics, Inc., a corporation (``respondent'').
    The proposed consent order has been placed on the public record for 
thirty (30) days for receipt of comments by interested persons. 
Comments received during this period will become part of the public 
record. After thirty (30) days, the Commission will again review the 
agreement and the comments received, and will decide whether it should 
withdraw from the agreement or make final the agreement's proposed 
order.
    This matter involves respondent's marketing and sale of natural 
latex mattresses. According to the FTC's complaint, respondent makes 
three types of claims about these mattresses. First, respondent claims 
that its mattresses are certified by the National Association of 
Organic Mattress Industry (``NAOMI''), an independent third-party 
certifier with appropriate expertise in evaluating whether respondent's 
mattresses meet objective standards. However, the complaint alleges 
that NAOMI is an alter ego of respondent and not an independent third-
party certifier and, indeed, awarded its seal to its own products 
without applying objective standards. Accordingly, the complaint 
alleges that such representations are deceptive practices in violation 
of Section 5(a) of the FTC Act.
    Second, respondent represents that its mattresses are chemical-
free; Formaldehyde-free; free of VOCs, such as Toluene and Benzene; and 
without toxic substances. The complaint alleges that respondent did not 
possess and rely upon a reasonable basis substantiating these 
representations when it made them. Thus, the complaint alleges that 
respondent engaged in deceptive practices in violation of Section 5(a) 
of the FTC Act.
    Third, respondent claims that tests show that its mattresses are 
VOC-free, chemical-free, and Formaldehyde-free. The complaint alleges 
that tests do not support these claims. Thus, the

[[Page 46952]]

complaint alleges that respondent engaged in deceptive acts or 
practices in violation of Section 5(a) of the FTC Act.
    The proposed consent order contains four provisions designed to 
prevent respondent from engaging in similar acts and practices in the 
future. Part I addresses the marketing of VOC-free and chemical free 
mattresses. It prohibits respondent from making zero-VOC claims unless 
the VOC emission level is zero micrograms per meter cubed or the 
company possesses and relies upon competent and reliable scientific 
evidence that their mattresses contain no more than a trace level of 
VOCs based on the Green Guides' guidance on making free-of claims.\2\ 
It also prohibits respondent from making chemical-free claims.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ See Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims, 77 
FR 62, 122, 62,123 (Oct. 11, 2012).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Part II addresses VOC claims, non-toxic claims, environmental 
benefit or attribute claims, and certain health claims made about 
mattresses. It prohibits such representations unless the representation 
is true, not misleading, and substantiated by competent and reliable 
scientific evidence.
    Part III addresses representations about third-party 
certifications. It prohibits any misrepresentations about the degree to 
which an independent third-party certifier has evaluated respondents 
mattresses based on environmental or health attributes, or evaluated 
those attributes based on the application of objective standards.
    Part IV addresses claims that testing supports respondents' 
advertising claims for its mattresses. It prohibits any 
misrepresentations about the existence, contents, validity, results, 
conclusion, or interpretations of any test, study, or research.
    Parts V through VIII require Ecobaby to: keep copies of 
advertisements and materials relied upon in disseminating any 
representation covered by the order; provide copies of the order to 
certain personnel, agents, and representatives having supervisory 
responsibilities with respect to the subject matter of the order; 
notify the Commission of changes in its structure that might affect 
compliance obligations under the order; and file a compliance report 
with the Commission and respond to other requests from FTC staff. Part 
IX provides that the order will terminate after twenty (20) years, with 
certain exceptions.
    The purpose of this analysis is to facilitate public comment on the 
proposed order. It is not intended to constitute an official 
interpretation of the complaint or the proposed order, or to modify the 
proposed order's terms in any way.

    By direction of the Commission.
Richard C. Donohue,
Acting Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2013-18611 Filed 8-1-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6750-01-P