A video of a packaged cake product has been going viral globally, showing tablets concealed inside the snack when opened. The clip has been circulating in India lately with the claim that the 'Chinese' brand has "released its new cake with tablets inside". The posts further claim that the intake of the pills have been causing paralysis among children.
The posts on Facebook are being shared with the caption:
"The Chinese company, luppo, has released a cake, hidden a tablet inside, that causes children to become paralysis. Please share this message across all groups"
Th 50 second clip shows several packets of the Luppo brand cake snack, with one being opened by an unseen individual. The cake-like content of the packet is emptied and crumbled to reveal 2 small pills hidden inside the confectionery. The accompanying images alongside the video at times show children in hospitals, and another 'Chamak' brand of wafer biscuits.
This varied iteration of the post with images of paralysed children is also being heavily shared on WhatsApp.
This video was shared multiple times across Facebook, as viewed below.
BOOM has also received this verification request on its WhatsApp helpline multiple times.
The video can be traced back to October 2019 and has no origins in India, nor is there any Luppo brand of cake available in India. BOOM found that the frames of the video can be broken down to reveal Turkish script. When slowed down by 75 per cent to 0.25 speed, it is also visible that there are holes on the surface of the cake that has been 'opened' in the video.
Additionally, the 'luppo' brand of cake is also a Turkish product from the Şölen company based in Istanbul, not a Chinese brand. On looking up the Şölen luppo cake brand, it is revealed that the fake video claims had been viral globally from the US to Mexico stating that the product is available in USA and Israel, which it isn't either unless ordered online in the US.
While it is medically not possible for any oral drug to induce paralysis, it is unclear from the video when and by whom the tablets were added to the 'coconut cream' cake. The language spoken towards the end of the video at the 00:46 second mark, as picked up by social media comments confirmed by Teyit is Sorani, a dialect of Kurdish spoken in the Iraqi Kurdistan region. Another clue pointing towards the origin of the video being Iraq, is the brand of chicken as seen in the refrigerator (Ace Aspiliç) another Turkish product, with it's largest export market being Iraq.
A spokesperson for Sölen spoke with Teyit, confirming that that particular product (Luppo coconut cream cake) is only sold in Iraq. The company also emphatically rejected the authenticity of the viral video to international fact checkers Snopes. A spokesperson for the Sölencompany conveyed in a statement to Snopes that the footage was "delusive, groundless and false" and said it was "produced entirely with the object of defamation." The spokesperson said the company was already seeking to take legal action against those responsible. Sölen also released documentation related to the safety standards and certifications of the manufacturing process of the plant where the Luppo coconut cream cake was produced. The inspections are conducted by Swiss company SGS.
The company spokesperson also highlighted that several filtration systems were used in producing and processing the batter, cream, chocolate and filling components of various Luppo bars, in their statement to Snopes. These systems block any particle greater than 700 microns (0.7 millimeters) in height or width, which also renders it is effectively impossible for a foreign object such as the "tablets" as shown in the viral footage to be inserted at source.
The Iraqi origin of the video also can be confirmed with Teyit's journalist sources in the region uncovering information a boycott attempt against Turkish goods launched in Northern Iraq after Turkey's Peace Spring Operation into Northern Syria. It is stated that the reason for the emergence of such videos may be attempts to boycott.
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