La Croix is in hot water after a new class-action lawsuit claims the luxe drink brand has been falsely advertised as “100 percent natural.”
The suit alleges that La Croix water contains numerous artificial ingredients like linalool, which is found in cockroach insecticide.
Law firm Beaumont Costales filed the suit on behalf of consumer Lenora Rice.
“The plaintiff Rice, desiring a healthy, natural beverage, was led to purchase LaCroix sparkling water because of the claims made on its packaging, advertising and website to be ‘innocent’ … However, LaCroix in fact contains ingredients that have been identified by the Food and Drug Administration as synthetic,” the lawsuit states.
“These chemicals include … linalool propionate, which is used to treat cancer; and linalool, which is used in cockroach insecticide.”
National Beverage Corp., which owns La Croix, fought back against the allegations and told CBS Philadelphia that the lawsuit was filed “without basis in fact or law regarding the natural composition of its LaCroix sparkling waters.”
So is La Croix actually bad for you? Linalool is an additive that’s used for flavoring and is found in spice plants, laurels and cinnamon. And while the chemical has been used in insecticides, PubChem found that the only documented toxic effects of linalool on humans are mild skin and eye irritation.
Roger Clemens, an expert and lecturer in food and regulation at the University of Southern California, told Popular Science that unless La Croix contained 50 percent linalool, consumers shouldn’t worry.
“It is very unlikely these naturally occurring substances pose a health risk when consumed at levels usually found in foods,” he says. “If there were a health risk, then citrus juices and spices, such as curry, would not be consumed or be part of the commodity market.”