The lawsuit, filed against LaCroix's parent company, National Beverage Corp., alleges that LaCroix actually contains synthetic ingredients, despite its claims of being "100% natural." Specifically, the lawsuit states that "testing reveals that LaCroix contains a number of artificial ingredients, including linalool, which is used in cockroach insecticide."
The firm behind the lawsuit, Beaumont Costales, is seeking damages for consumers who bought LaCroix under the assumption that it contained only natural ingredients. LaCroix's parent company, National Beverage Corp. has denied the allegations, stating: "All essences contained in LaCroix are certified by our suppliers to be 100% natural."
Lawsuit aside, how much do you need to worry about linalool showing up in LaCroix — and will you need to give up your beloved pamplemousse bubbly? The short answer is, blessedly, no. Linalool is actually a pretty common ingredient in items ranging from drinks to foods to cosmetics. Although it's classified as a "synthetic flavoring substance" by the FDA (and, for the record, it may cause skin and eye irritation), linalool also appears in plants, spices, and other things that most people would consider "natural."
And, as Roger Clemens, an expert in toxicology and food safety at the University of Southern California school of pharmacy, told Popular Science, the amount of linalool that's in a can of LaCroix almost definitely won't hurt you. Plus, it wouldn't just be LaCroix that'd be under regulatory scrutiny. "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," he said.
So, the next time you're craving a carbonated refreshment, feel free to grab a LaCroix and rest well knowing that your seltzer of choice probably isn't poisoning you.