A viral post on whatsapp claims that Cadbury products are contaminated with the deadly HIV (AIDS) and warns people against consuming such products. The very vague post claims that a worker at the Company added his HIV-infected blood to the products, but fails to specify which of the wide ranges of Cadbury products is affected or the location of the factory where the alleged act was committed.
THIS IS JUST A HOAX!
Two factchecking websites, Snopes and AfricaCheck have conducted investigations about this particular claim: Snopes.com on the 25th of February 2018 and AfricaCheck on the 1st of March 2018. Both revealed that this claim is just a variant of an old and false rumour. Apparently, this particular rumour is nothing more than a variant of an old hoax that was previously aimed at Pepsi, with virtually no difference other than the substitution of one company’s name for another’s.
It also turns out that over the years, various food products, from pineapples to canned goods to soft drinks, have all been the subject of contamination related rumours and this particular claim is no exception.
DUBAWA tried to verify the source of the image using various digital tools. By splitting the image and uploading the top image to Tineye.com, we found out that the photo of the allegedly arrested worker at Cadbury is ACTUALLY the photo of Aminu Ogwuche, a suicide bomber who was accused of masterminding the 14 April 2014 bombing of a bus park in Nyanya. While Google Reverse Image Search shows that the bottom photo is just a random picture of cadbury products that have been on the internet as early as 2016.
THE CLAIM IS ENTIRELY FALSE!
The vagueness of the claim leaves it open to a lot of speculations, nevertheless, it is false irrespective of the position one takes. Cadbury, a British multinational confectionery which has been in existence since 1824, is the second-largest confectionery brand in the world after Mars, and operates in more than 50 countries worldwide. Each of these countries have operating plants where the chocolates are produced and distributed. In Nigeria, the cocoa processing plant is located in Akure South of Ondo State. As such, except the post specifically mentioned that the contamination occurred in Nigeria, it is very unlikely that a contamination in a manufacturing plant outside Nigeria, would affect the products here.
Furthermore, even if the contamination occurred elsewhere and the products were imported into Nigeria, it would still be inaccurate because HIV cannot survive outside its host!
HIV CANNOT EVEN SURVIVE OUTSIDE ITS HOST!
Information on the World Health Organization website, the specialized agency of the United Nations that is concerned with international public health, indicates that although HIV can be transmitted through human bodily fluids: blood, semen, vaginal fluid, breast milk, saliva or tears; the virus cannot survive outside its living host for long or even reproduce.
Additional analysis from Ms Joan Oduh, an expert on infectious diseases at the University Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada, supports the WHO report. She says, “HIV/AIDS cannot survive outside its host. Unlike hepatitis B which can survive for days outside the body of its host, HIV/AIDS cannot.”
Cadbury products are not infected with HIV/AIDS! There is no proof to show that a worker at the company added his infected blood to products and even if a HIV-infected blood was mixed with any foodstuff, the virus would not and CANNOT survive!