A video has been viewed tens of thousands of times in Thai-language social media posts that falsely claim it shows "fake eggs" being manufactured in China, implying they could be sold in Thailand. The posts circulated online after Thai media reported that local farmers would increase the price of eggs in the kingdom following the Lunar New Year due to rising livestock costs. But the video in fact shows the production of Chinese egg-based culinary dishes. Thai officials told AFP that no fake eggs from China were sold in Thailand.
"Fake eggs in production from China... beware of early death. Please take care of yourselves," reads a Thai-language claim shared here in a Facebook post on January 25, 2023.
The claim was accompanied by a three-minute, seven-second video showing a group of people dipping eggs into various liquids and processing them.
Superimposed text on the video reads in part: "EXTREME POPULAR EGG PROCESSING FACTORY. / THESE ARE HUNDRED YEAR OLD EGGS MAKING! / ALSO KNOWN AS CENTURY EGGS".
Screenshot of the misleading Facebook post, captured on January 26, 2023
The claim circulated online after Thai local media outlets reported that farmers in the kingdom would increase egg prices, citing rising raw material costs due to growing demand during the Lunar New Year season.
The price of chicken eggs in Thailand has risen steadily since at least July last year, according to figures from Thailand's Ministry of Commerce.
The same video has been shared alongside a similar claim that it shows fake eggs being manufactured in China here, here, here, and here on Facebook; and on YouTube here.
However, the video has been shared in a false context.
Chinese egg-based culinary dishThe video shared in the false social media posts bears text in the top right-hand corner that reads: "THE FOOD RANGER SHOW".
A keyword search on Google found the corresponding video published here on the official Facebook page of The Food Ranger Show with 18 million followers on January 16.
"This is how century eggs are made, I can't stop watching," reads the video's caption.
Century eggs are a Chinese egg-based culinary dish made by preserving duck, chicken, or quail eggs in a mixture of clay, ash, salt, quicklime, and rice hulls for a few weeks to several months, depending on the method of processing.
Below is a screenshot comparison of the video in the false posts (left) and the video published on The Food Ranger Show (right):
Screenshot comparison of the video seen in the misleading post (left) and the video published on The Food Ranger Show (right).
Trevor James, the Facebook page's owner, said that the footage was not his own work but was from Chinese egg factories that are active on Kuaishou, a Chinese social media platform.
"The eggs are all real, it's quite normal in China for these century eggs to be made as they are a delicacy," James told AFP on January 27.
Keyword searches on Kuaishou found accounts for two Chinese factories -- Techan Shougong Biandan ("Specialty Handmade Fermented Eggs") and Chao Shu Hai Ya Dan ("Uncle Chao Salted Duck Eggs") where corresponding clips have been posted.
Below is a screenshot comparison of the video in the false posts (left) and clips published by Techan Shougong Biandan and Chao Shu Hai Ya Dan:
Screenshot comparison between the video seen in the misleading post (left) and clips published by Techan Shougong Biandan and Chao Shu Hai Ya Dan.
Thai government respondsThailand's Department of Livestock Development dismissed the claim in the false posts, calling it "fake news".
"Fake news! Clip [that claims to show] "fake eggs" imported from China the Livestock Department has investigated has found that there is no truth to this claim," reads the department's statement published on Facebook on January 25.
The statement further reads: "Recently social media has been sharing the claim that fake duck eggs manufactured in Chinese factories have flooded Thailand. The department would like to confirm that this is false.
"As for the clip purporting to show the production of fake duck eggs through the use of heavy machinery, we conclude that the video shows the production of century eggs, also known as preserved eggs in Thai."