Update: In February 2020, the plaintiff in that lawsuit, Lenora Rice, and her law firm admitted that the laboratory testing that was used in her complaint made no findings that LaCroix contained any artificial ingredients. Rice and her lawyers also confirmed they received no payment or compensation and agreed to the dismissal of the lawsuit with prejudice (meaning it cannot be brought again).
LaCroix is in the midst of a high-profile legal battle. A class action lawsuit was recently filled against National Beverage, which is the trendy seltzer’s parent company, alleging that despite claims to the contrary, the wildly popular carbonated drink isn’t “100 percent natural.”
In fact, the suit, which was filled by law firm Beaumont Costales on behalf of their client, Lenora Rice, claims test results show LaCroix actually contains several artificial ingredients, some of which may be harmful.
Among the worst offenders are limonene, which has been known to cause kidney toxicity and tumors and linalool propionate, which is a substance used in cockroach insecticide that is typically found in many flowers and spice plants.
“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 web site to be ‘innocent,’ ’naturally essenced,’ ‘all natural,’ and ‘always 100% natural.’ However, LaCroix in fact contains ingredients that have been identified by the Food and Drug Administration as synthetic,” the lawsuit states, according to CBS Philadelphia. “These chemicals include limonene, which can cause kidney toxicity and tumors; linalool propionate, which is used to treat cancer; and linalool, which is used in cockroach insecticide.”
Perhaps the most troubling aspect of the lawsuit is that the legal action alleges LaCroix and its parent company are aware of the synthetic chemicals present in the sparkling water drink, but are “intentionally misleading consumers” and leading them to believe the beverages are entirely natural.
However, National Beverage tells Us Weekly, “The lawsuit provides no support for its false statements about LaCroix’s ingredients. Natural flavors in LaCroix are derived from the natural essence oils from the named fruit used in each of the flavors.”
The statement went on to say, “There are no sugars or artificial ingredients contained in, nor added to, those extracted flavors.”
In a separate statement given to Newsweek, the Florida-based company went on to call the allegations “false, defamatory, and intended to intentionally damage National Beverage and its shareholders.”
“The lawsuit provides no support for its false statements about LaCroix’s ingredients. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers ‘natural’ on a food label to be truthful and non-misleading when ‘nothing artificial or synthetic (including all color additives regardless of source) has been included in, or has been added,’” that statement continued. “All LaCroix product labels include an ingredient statement indicating each product contains carbonated water and natural flavors. National Beverage stands by that ingredient statement and the fact that all the flavor essences in LaCroix are natural.”
Despite National Beverage’s strongly-worded repudiation of the lawsuit, it still aims to stop LaCroix from falsely promoting its products as natural and to award damages to those who purchased the drink under the assumption that it was made without any artificial ingredients.
Since Beaumont Costales filled a class action lawsuit, those who wish to be added to the list of plaintiffs can contact the firm at 773-831-8000.
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