Sunday, October 7, 2018

CHEMOPHOBIA FILES: LaCroix Water & Insecticide

In a campaign that The Food Babe would be proud of, a group of attorneys have filed a class action lawsuit against LaCroix.  The claim is that the ingredients are not natural and that they are components of roach killer. 

It is the 2018 equivalent to Vani Hari's misrepresentation that Subway's bread was made up of yoga mat chemicals. Remember that one?  Ah, simpler times. 

The ever-credulous media was quick to amplify the story. 



Without any critical analysis, the internet amplifies the sensational report. 

The attorneys claim that LaCroix contains linalool and limonene, two components of "cockroach insecticide".   It does, and it is. 

But was is linalool?   It sounds like a medical tool on the Three Stooges, but it really is the characteristic flavor of Froot Loops cereal.  It is a naturally-occurring volatile compound in fruits that imparts a fruity, floral note in fruit aroma.  

What is Limonene?   It is abundant in citrus peel and is a component of citrus aroma. 

These two natural compounds found in fruits are used to flavor fruit-flavored beverages.  Stop the freakin' presses. 

As for insecticidal properties?   Certain aromatics are known to be insect repellents.  Others bother birds.  My lab has shown that linalool and other compounds suppress microbial growth. That does not mean that they are dangerous to consume.

But in interest of a splashy headline and a lawsuit, there are those out there that will spin the truth to serve their own ignorance and greed. Linalool and limonene are not a health risk at the levels used, they are consumed when you eat many fruits and vegetables.  It is classic chemophobia, now weaponized to make a buck from a frivolous lawsuit.