Circulating message claims that a snack product called “Go Slo” has already killed 50 children in South Africa because the snack’s sugary taste disguises a deadly poison.
The claims in the message are nonsense. There are no credible reports that support the claim that any children have died due to consuming the product. “Go-Slo’s” are a real product, but they do not contain a deadly poison, they have not killed anybody, and they are no less safe than other such snack products. This hoax warning is just one more in a long line of false “poison product” warnings that have circulated in various forms for years.
According to this would-be warning message, which circulates via social media, SMS, and email, a snack product called “Go Slo” has been responsible for killing 50 kids in Pretoria, South Africa. The message claims that the product contains a deadly poison that is disguised by the sugary taste of the snack. The message asks that you share the information with parents, teachers, and children in the hope of saving lives.
However, the claims in the message are untrue. “Go-Slo’s” are a real snack product, but they have not been associated with any poisoning cases. No such deaths have been reported by any legitimate news outlets and there are no credible police or health authority warnings about such poisonings.
According to South African news reports, the Gauteng health department has not received any complaints about the products and are not aware of any poisoning allegations. And, Truda, the company who makes the snack, has released the following statement denying the claims in the circulating message:
Malicious rumors have been spread about Go-Slo’s having drugs in them or being poisonous, both of these are totally untrue and unfounded. They are completely safe.
These snacks have been manufactured for the last 15 years, to date we are selling in excess of 40 million packets a week throughout the entire country.
This growth has happened by working hard and producing a good quality product.
We value our customers and would never produce a product that is harmful to anyone.
In fact, this hoax is just one in a long line of “poisoned product” hoaxes that have circulated the Internet for several years. All of these false warnings claim that a particular product has killed a large number of people because it contains poison. All of the warnings are untrue.
Of course, if a product really had killed a large number of people, it would be immediately recalled and there were be extensive police and health authority investigations into the deaths as well as official product warnings and wide-spread media coverage.
Distributing such false poisoning rumours achieves nothing other than to cause unnecessary fear and alarm in communities. And the rumours can also unfairly damage the reputations of the companies targeted. If you receive this bogus warning, do not share it with others. And, please take the time to let the person who posted it know the information is untrue.
Last updated: November 10, 2016
First published: November 10, 2016
By Brett M. Christensen