FACT CHECK: No, One Million Pounds Of Rat Meat Is Not Being Sold As Boneless Chicken Wings
An Instagram post claims one million pounds of rat meat is being sold as chicken wings in the U.S.
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There is no evidence rat meat is being sold as chicken wings. The rumor appears to stem from a satirical website.
The Instagram post shows what appears to be a pile of dead, skinned rats along with a breaking news chyron that reads, “One Million Pounds Of Rat Meat Being Sold in America.” Text included in the image clarifies the alleged rat meat is being sold as “boneless chicken wings.” (RELATED: Did North Carolina Scientists Create A T. Rex Embryo Using Chicken DNA?)
There is, however, no evidence of this. Check Your Fact searched press releases and social media posts from the Department of Agriculture, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) but found no mention of rat meat being sold as “chicken wings.” There are likewise no active recalls, market withdrawals or safety alerts related to chicken wings on the FDA’s website.
The claim appears to be a resurfaced version of a rumor that was debunked in 2017 and 2018. An internet search reveals the Washington, D.C.-based CBS affiliate WUSA9 debunked a claim in 2017 that alleged more than a million pounds of rat meat was being sold as “boneless chicken.”
“This issue was debunked by the FDA and was reported on in 2017 and 2018,” said an FSIS spokesperson in an email to Check Your Fact. The spokesperson directed Check Your Fact to the WUSA9 debunk from 2017 and a 2018 article from AFP Fact Check debunking the same claim. In both articles, the FDA denied the viral claim.
The rumor appears to have satirical origins. A March 2018 blog post that included the same image shared in the Instagram post cited a website called tmzbreaking.com as its source. That website now redirects to viralcocaine.com, a self-proclaimed “satirical news blog,” but an archived version of the tmzbreaking.com homepage from September 2017 shows it labeled itself as “the most notorious fauxtire & satire entertainment website in the world.”