A 50-second-long-video showing a person unwrapping a mini-cake bar and breaking it apart to reveal pills hidden inside, is going viral on social media platforms. A person can be heard speaking in the background in Kashmiri, “The people who have conscience will share this video, those who don’t will not. Your one share will save someone’s life. This video I received from a friend who requested me to share this. This is lopo chocolate and see the pills in this. This can be hazardous for someone’s health.”
Several users shared the video with the caption “Medicine pills found in LOPO chocolates.”
On carefully analysing the video, we spotted “Luppo” written on the wrapper of the cake, and not “Lopo” as the claims mention. Following this, we looked up keywords “Luppo cake pills” on Facebook and found that the video has been in circulation since 2019 with slightly varied claims about the pills in the cake.
A clearer version of the video was also uploaded on YouTube in November 2019 with the title “Şölen Luppo cakes with pills?” In this video, we were able to spot a crack in the middle of the cake. Additionally, the person very hastily crumbles one part of the cake, while being very careful with the other side where pills can be seen. This raises questions; did the person already know the exact spot where the pills were “hidden,” and why was the “hunt” immediately halted after two tablets were found? Was the person aware that there were no more pills?
Notably, Luppo is a brand by Turkish company Solen. We came across a two-year-old article by Turkish fact checking organisation Teyit.org verifying the viral video. It stated, “When the video is carefully examined, the deformation in the cake is noticed. The product is not sold in Turkey, it is an export product and the results of the inspections are clean. “
Further, Teyit was also able to trace the original source of the video to an Iraqi YouTube channel, Wishe Press. It also pointed out that “another product exported from Turkey seen in the video is Aspiliç, belonging to As Tavukçuluk. As Tavukçuluk’s biggest export market is Iraq, which further strengthens the possibility that this video was shot in Iraq.”
Additionally, a 2019 report by Snopes that a spokesperson for Sölen confirmed that that particular product is only sold in Iraq.
Notably, Turkey has launched its Operation Peace Spring in 2019 which led to a boycott attempt of its product in Northern Iraq. “It is stated that the reason for the emergence of such videos may be attempts to boycott (Turkish products),” Teyit noted.
We also came across a Facebook post by Erbil Health Protection Affairs Directorate, dated November 6, 2019- around the time when the video first surfaced- clarifying “that the sample of the cake (Luppo cake) has been tested in the laboratory and is edible.”
The same was also highlighted in the Teyit report, “the production processes of food products undergo both internal and independent inspection . No findings were found in the laboratory results of independent inspectors for Şölen Chocolate.”
Viral claim that there are pills in Luppo cakes is not true. The video has been in circulation for the past three years and has been debunked multiple times.