A wildly inaccurate video that pushes the false claim that food can now be engineered to cause infertility specifically in Black people circulated across social media platforms in early 2022. Let’s take a look at the facts.
Social media posts that make shocking or extraordinary claims should be approached with a high degree of skepticism. This is especially true of claims that invoke expansive, far-fetched conspiracy theories. This example features a TikTok user (at bottom) and a clip (at top) from a baseless conspiracy theory “lecture” by Adams. The original video from 2017 attempted to falsely connect the development of this gene-silencing technology to horrifying examples of historic medical abuse of Black people in the United States, which included egregiously unethical reproductive experiments. It taps into longstanding distrust in the Black community of the medical community and of government.
Here is a full copy of the video:
Related: “Why false claims about Covid-19 vaccines and infertility are so powerful” (Anna North, Vox).
- “No, food cannot be engineered to create infertility in Black people” (Jill Terreri Ramos, PolitiFact).
- “Video makes misleading infertility claim about development of GM crops” (Taylor Thompson Fuller, AFP Fact Check).
NLP’s viral rumor rundown is a regular feature in The Sift, its weekly email newsletter for educators, and in Get Smart About News, its weekly email newsletter for the general public. You can subscribe to these newsletters here. Send suggestions, questions or feedback on this rumor or on the viral rumor rundown blog to firstname.lastname@example.org.