The popular beverage brand LaCroix claims that their beverages are “all natural,” but a new class action lawsuit says that the drinks are filled with synthetic ingredients. As a result, people who believe they’re getting nothing but pure ingredients are ingesting processed foods like any other soft drink. Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins speaks with Scott Hardy from Top Class Actions about this issue.

For more information on the case, visit


Farron Cousins: The LaCroix brand of bottled sparkling water has kind of become a national phenomenon. In fact, their sales have been so high in the last couple years, they just became a multi-billion dollar company, but they market these sparkling waters as all natural. That’s part of the appeal. However, recent studies have actually found that not only are they not all-natural, but some of the synthetic ingredients they’re using might actually be harmful for human beings to consume. Joining me now to talk about this issue as well as the class action lawsuit that’s now been filed against La Croix is Scott Hardy from Top Class Action. Scott, thanks for joining me today.

Scott Hardy: Thank you very much, Farron. I appreciate your time.

Farron Cousins: Let’s talk about this class action that’s been filed against LaCroix over this all natural labeling, which is what they market their product as. They say this is all natural, and we’re finding out that’s not all true, is it?

Scott Hardy: Right. That’s an issue that we see a lot in the class action space, are companies that are marketing these products as all-natural, trying to hit that fit and healthy crowd, making sure that their messages is out there that, hey, we’re good to drink, we’re good to eat. Trust us. It’s all natural, and then you start digging deeper, and then you find out that, hey, actually maybe some of these ingredients you have, especially in what could be seen as a diet product like LaCroix, that it’s not actually all natural, and there may be some issues there.

Farron Cousins: Here’s the thing, there’s nothing wrong if you have a product that’s going to have any kind of processed foods in it, even synthetic, manmade, whatever. Lots of foods have that. However, it all comes down to the marketing. LaCroix here is trying to get into this, people trying to be healthier, paying attention to what they put in their bodies. They don’t want the processed sugars. They don’t want all of that, so they go to LaCroix instead thinking it’s a better opportunity, something better for them. What LaCroix has done by saying it’s all natural when in fact it looks like it’s not, they’re taking away that informed decision from the consumer, aren’t they?

Scott Hardy: Yes, they are, and you have to wonder when you have a tasty beverage like LaCroix, that many people love to drink. In fact, when I was at my gym, one of my trainers walked in with eight cases. He loves this stuff so much, and he thinks it’s healthy. I’m not saying it’s not healthy, but I think that you have to look at these beverages and say, “Is it actually all natural? What are the ingredients, and what are these possibly synthetic ingredients that they’re putting in to make a zero calorie or close to zero calorie beverage so tasty?”

Farron Cousins: That is what’s interesting here, because the class action lawsuit that’s been filed right now is only focusing on the fact that it’s not all natural, but some of these synthetic compounds that have been found in LaCroix, I’m going to try to read some of the names here.

Scott Hardy: Good luck.

Farron Cousins: Ethyl butanoate, limonene, linalool, and linalool propionate. Some of those have been linked to adverse health reactions in consumers, possible cancers. However, this lawsuit is not actually charging any of that has happened. It’s just that these exist in the product, and they’re clearly not all-natural. Is that correct?

Scott Hardy: That’s correct. This class action alleges that doing this research, that the attorneys have found that there are these ingredients that are obviously a tongue twister to say, and that may actually do things like damage your kidneys, and cause possible long standing problems, but the class action lawsuit absolutely does not allege these damages have occurred. It just states that these possible synthetic ingredients are in this beverage, and if they are, then LaCroix has to go ahead and label their products correctly, and give people a heads up. If I’m putting something in my body that could damage my kidneys, and an issue with these beverages is that people like my trainer are buying cases and cases of them at a time, and drinking cans and cans and cans every day. If they think that it’s all natural, but these ingredients could possibly damage your kidneys, then I want to know. If I had somebody just go ahead and drink this line of beverages every day, and then they said, “Well, now I got really sick.” What happened? Now my kidneys are failing.

You’re drinking all these synthetic ingredients that are not good for your body, and we could see a similar issue with beverages like La Croix, when you have these synthetic ingredients that are almost impossible to say, that are being created in a lab to make your drink taste better, and then if you’re drinking a bunch of cans a day, you might get sick, and you wouldn’t even know why.

Farron Cousins: Exactly, and look, again, it all comes down to deceptive marketing. La Croix wanted to tap into a healthier market, people being more body conscious, in doing so, they decided to fudge their label, and that’s what started this world of problem for them. There is more information available. You could find it in the link in this video, If you think you may have been duped by this, or if you just want more information, Scott Hardy, Top Class Actions. Thanks for telling us this story today.

Scott Hardy: Thank you, Farron. I appreciate your time.

Farron Cousins is the executive editor of The Trial Lawyer magazine and a contributing writer at He is the co-host / guest host for Ring of Fire Radio. His writings have appeared on Alternet, Truthout, and The Huffington Post. Farron received his bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of West Florida in 2005 and became a member of American MENSA in 2009. Follow him on Twitter @farronbalanced