Natural Products Expo West 2006 - Selling Strange Water

[This is part 2 of a series of guest posts by Siel from Green LA Girl. Part 1 can be found here. -Ed.] TreeHugger's been poking fun at strange water marketing for a while, but that hasn't dampened the enthusiasm of the bottled water industry much -- not yet, at least. The Natural Products Expo West was flooded with companies hawking water by touting new scientific discoveries, age-old Chinese remedies, and of course, lots and lots of little plastic bottles.Some of the highlights:

Sanfaustino -- "The calcium water." This slightly bubbly, calcium-infused H2O is said to be good for your bones, but can't be good for the environment -- The sleekly-packaged water was lugged to the US all the way from Italy to be handed out on silver platters by women in LBDs.

Coolwater Trim -- The dietary supplement water. This funny-tasting water's marketed as a weight-loss aid, much like Skinny Water. Basically, it's water shipped over from Ireland -- with a mysterious "natural" additive called Appetrim.

Zaqua -- "The wetter water." Zaqua's pH is "adjusted" to 9.5, which apparently gives the water a wetter feeling. According to Zaqua, "pure water alone is not very effective at rehydrating human beings." Um, seriously?

e-Water -- The fulvic acid water. Wikipedia doesn't have an entry for fulvic acid yet, but according to the e-Water bottle, the acid "renders trace minerals into highly "bio-available" electrolytes." Apparently, fulvic acid's been used in Chinese traditional medicine for centuries -- though we're betting it wasn't in bottled water form...

Penta Water -- "The World's Cleanest-Known Bottled Water." Penta hired a singer-songwriter who performed pretty, "organic" songs to great applause. The water itself? Well, Penta's made Guardian UK's "Bad Science" column, and one retired chemistry professor, Stephen Lower, has been hard at work to debunk Penta's claims at "maximum hydration, purity and taste."

In fact, Stephen's site's a great overall resource for finding out more about these and other "AquaScams." The site's aim: to "help consumers make more informed decisions before offering up their credit cards to those in the business of flogging pseudoscience." Read, and find out what this stuff called water really is.

[Once again, a big "thanks" to Siel from Green LA Girl!]