SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — There's been no seizure of hundreds of thousands of pounds of rat meat by U.S. officials, nor has the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned consumers that such meat may be for sale as "boneless" chicken wings.
Those were claims in a story shared on social media, but the FDA said the story is false.
The piece appeared to be a variation of an earlier article that claimed such meat was confiscated at the Port of San Francisco after it arrived from China. That February 2017 story included a tie-in to the Super Bowl, alleging some of the product might have made it onto the U.S. market as people prepared food for parties. While last year's story counted the rat meat seized at several thousands of pounds and claimed 300,000 pounds might be on the market, the latest iteration upped the amount seized to hundreds of thousands of pounds and the amount in circulation to an estimated 1 million pounds.
"This story is not true," FDA spokesman Peter Cassell said Monday in an email. "We have never put out such a warning."
The account appears to have originated on World News Daily Report, a satire site. The latest version appeared on the Gun Society site, which did not present it as satire and did not offer contact information for a response.
This is part of The Associated Press' ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.