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FACTCHECK

Debunked: No, a factory in England is not growing human meat for consumption

A widely shared clip from a Channel 4 documentary is satirical.

For general Factchecks not about Covid (2)

A CLIP FROM a British television show which purports to show a lab in the process of growing human meat for consumption is satire and not factual.

The clip is from the Channel 4 mock documentary Gregg Wallace: The British Miracle Meat that was first aired on Monday 25 July.

In it, Wallace visits the secret factory of a company called Good Harvest, which has found out a way to provide good quality meat grown from human cells.

In the clip most widely shared, Wallace speaks to the factory foreman about how they grow human meat. The man talks him through the process, before going on to say people can sign up and get paid for parts of themselves for “extraction”.

The clip has been shared by multiple accounts on Facebook, Twitter and TikTok, with commentary and captions suggesting that people believe the clip is real.

One post on Facebook received over 1,900 “likes”, 111 comments and was shared over 7,200 times. The post is captioned “Soylent Green anyone?”, referring to the food made from humans in the 1973 film of the same name.

Many of the comments appear take the clip at face value. 

“You’ll find people will eat it,” one person wrote. 

`’Gregg YOU SHOULD ACTUALLY BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF. we aren’t buying this with money or with our minds,” another person said.

The post is a re-share of a TikTok video, where the clip has been shared thousands of times with the caption ‘Growing human meat for human consumption’ along with a wide-eyes emoji and a ‘sick’ emoji.

Satire

However, the clip and the entire documentary is not real. After it aired, Channel 4 confirmed it was meant as satire.

Speaking to The Guardian, Tom Kingsley, who directed the show, said that those involved were “trying to prank people in a gentle sort of way”.

“I see it more like giving people a treat. How exciting to watch telly and be like: ‘Hold on, am I just seeing something that’s completely unlike anything?’ It’s hard to get that sort of special feeling of surprise, watching a show,” he said.

Gregg Wallace is a well-known TV personality, best-known for co-presenting hit TV show MasterChef and its various spinoffs, but in this case he was playing a satirical version of himself.

He wrote in The Sun that the show was “a complete fantasy”.

“We wanted to raise important questions about the nation’s relationship with food and what those struggling with the cost of living are being asked to do in order to stay afloat,” he said.

The show ends with the closing caption “with thanks to Jonathan Swift” the 17th and 18th century Irish satirist. Swift wrote a satirical essay in 1729 that suggested poor people in Ireland should sell their children to the rich to be eaten.  

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