FAIRBANKS, Alaska - In this week's 'Health Watch' we took a look at LaCroix beverage's natural flavor, following a law suit that deemed the drink misleading. Among the top selling sparkling waters, LaCroix is beating out products such as giants like Pepsi & Coke with it's appeal, simple ingredients. A new lawsuit alleges LaCroix's "natural claims" as false. Testing revealed a number of artificial ingredients, including one used in cockroach insecticide. LeCroix's parent company denies the allegations saying, "All of our ingredients are certified as natural." But the folks at the organic consumer's association spoke about the term 'natural'.
Katherine Paul, with Organic Consumers Association, said, "There is no FDA or definitions. There are no regulations."
Charlotte Vallaeys, of consumer reports, says that's rarely the case.
"We found that 81 percent of consumers think it should mean no artificial ingredients were used," she said.
For instance, one of the most concerning claims in the LaCroix lawsuit is that it contains linalool, an ingredient in cockroach insecticide.
"Certain additives can be used in the natural flavor that don't have to show up on the ingredients list, and vice versa, just because something is natural, doesn't mean it's safe," she said.
But according to pub chem, it's a natural plant-product, commonly used as flavoring agents. Consumer Reports is asking the FDA to come up with a definition for natural, so that this can be regulated. The Makers of LaCriox said in a statement, "National beverage emphatically denies all allegations contained in the lawsuit and negative press articles related to it. There are no sugars nor artificial ingredients contained in, nor added to, our LaCroix products."
As for that cockroach insecticide, experts say there is no reason to believe LaCroix is unsafe. Keep in mind chocolate is toxic to dogs, that doesn't mean it's unsafe for you.