A class-action lawsuit claims that everyone's favorite sparkling beverage, LaCroix, isn't as "natural" as it brands itself to be. In fact, plaintiffs are taking the bourgeois drinking brand to court, alleging that their ingredients aren't as "innocent" as their website packaging makes them sound.
All of this happened after law firm Beaumont Costales filed the suit on behalf of consumer Lenora Rice, and found through testing that several artificial ingredients, including linalool, is used in cancer treatments and cockroach insecticides.
According to the lawsuit, "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.’" But the lawyers found that "LaCroix in fact contains ingredients that have been identified by the Food and Drug Administration as synthetic."
The suit also alleges that LaCroix and its parent company, National Beverage, are fully aware of the synthetic chemicals in their drinks but are "intentionally misleading consumers" because, well, they know what their audience likes and wants. The class-action suit seeks to stop LaCroix from marketing its products as natural, and to pay damages to those who bought the drink under the assumption it was.
While parties interested in joining the list of plaintiffs are welcome to contact the Beaumont Costales law firm at 773-831-8000, National Beverage Corporation is denying the allegations.
In a statement, National Beverage stuck to LaCroix's initial claims, saying “All essences contained in LaCroix are certified by our suppliers to be 100 percent natural.”
But even if they're not, don't worry LaCroix drinkers. Linalool, although used in insecticides and cancer treatments, is actually found in the spice plants, laurels and cinnamon, according to New York Post.
PubChem, an open chemistry database, found that the only documented toxic effects of linalool are mild skin and eye irritations. Another expert in the field of food and regulation told Popular Science that LaCroix would have to contain linalool amounts upward of 50 percent in order to cause any worry.
The internet, whose many millennial users adore the sparkling beverage, was quick to react to the news of their favorite drink containing sketchy ingredients.
"I'm just playing devil's advocate here, but maybe people who buy trendy overpriced cans of water DESERVE to drink cockroach poison. Discuss amongst yourselves," said one person on Twitter who's going to be receiving a lot of mentions this afternoon.
Another non-plussed person added, "Sippin on a LaCroix while reading about the LaCroix lawsuit. There’s more [stuff] in other drinks that we consume on a daily."
She's not wrong! In a series of events that reeks of "The lady doth protest too much," LaCroix's official account has been responding to people's tweets about the class-action lawsuit by sending out the same legal-approved response every two or three minutes:
"We categorically deny all allegations," writes the beverage company. "Natural flavors in LaCroix are derived from the natural essence oils from the named fruit used in each of the flavors. All essences contained in LaCroix are certified by our suppliers to be 100% natural. More info [here]."
Our guess is that the internet is going to have a field day updating their already overflowing repository of LaCroix memes.
Linalool is primed to make its way into this LaCroix joke from the summer:
New LaCroix flavors!
-Transported in a truck near bananas
-Hint of hint of lime
-Single Skittle dissolved in water
-Imagine like, a strawberry but with low battery
-Previous tenant squeezed a lemon
-Possible kiwi sighting
-Wait nope, wasn't a kiwi
In fact, most memes drag the drink for tasting like nothing.
"LaCroix tastes like when my foot falls asleep," reads another viral tweet on the subject. People are hilariously free-associating all the flavors LaCroix is reminiscent of. "LaCroix tastes like when people say the word 'moist'," shared another.
"LaCroix tastes like my ability to retain information for exams if the exam I’m studying for is what certain fruits taste like," reads another hilarious tweet. Another person chimed into the fun to add, “Every Lacroix flavor tastes like it was created by someone who didn’t want to admit he’d never tasted fruit so had a friend quickly describe it to him.”
The memes are so abundant, there's sure to be another influx incorporating the pesticide scandal once everyone gets out of their jobs and onto Instagram.
LaCroix die-hards: will you keep drinking?