Health Column: Does La Croix contain insect pesticides?

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Sparkling water has been the newest rave since soda has been linked to cancer and a multitude of other diseases. However, recently the sparkling water company La Croix has been sued for allegedly putting insidious ingredients in their self-proclaimed “healthy alternative.”

The lawsuit was filed after testing was done on the drink, revealing that it contains several artificial ingredients such as linalool – a chemical commonly used in cockroach pesticides. The class-action lawsuit claims that La Croix has employed false advertising claiming the drink to be 100 percent natural when it contains multiple ingredients that are identified as harmful by the FDA.

“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,” the lawsuit states. The lawsuit aims to stop La Croix from falsely advertising their ingredients.

However, various companies along with La Croix have claimed that these substances are not dangerous. A report in Popular Science raises doubts about the claims that the chemicals technically qualify as synthetic or dangerous. The report says limonene is a “naturally occurring chemical” and a “major component of oil extracted from citrus peels.” It is commonly used to give food a lemony flavor and fragrance, according to Popular Science.

There are also several holes in the lawsuit. It does not explain exactly where or how the product was tested for the presence of chemicals. Various studies that have analyzed linalool and a chemical compound have found that although it is used in insecticides – that doesn’t mean it’s poisonous to humans. The FDA claims the only real risk to humans is a mild skin or eye irritation, mostly from the chemical’s use in aerosol forms, and various studies have even found that linalyl propionate may help fight cancer.

As the La Croix lawsuit continues it raises important questions about the advertising surrounding supposedly all natural and health food marketing.

Cover photo courtesy of USA Today. 

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