Popular sparkling water company LaCroix is facing a lawsuit that alleges its products are mislabeled as "all-natural," and the allegations are weighing on the shares of its parent company National Beverage.
The lawsuit, filed in a Cook County, Illinois, circuit court, claims that LaCroix contains ethyl butanoate, limonene, linalool and linalool propionate — ingredients it says are non-natural and synthetic compounds. Linalool is an aromatic oil often found in cockroach insecticide, and many of the reports about the suit have touted this fact.
The suit also says limonene is known to cause kidney toxicity and tumors, while linalool propionate is used to treat cancer.
However, 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.