Hoaxers in Kerala hatch ‘toxic Chinese egg’ scare
TAMPER-PROOF: The hoax over ‘Chinese eggs’ has affected availability in Kerala.
Fears of plastic in eggs dispelled by laboratories in the State, but BJP wants samples tested at Central units
It has been a great egg scare in Kerala after hoaxers floated the theory that eggs sold in supermarkets in the State were not natural and actually came from Chinese factories full of toxins and plastic.
The ‘Chinese eggs’ scare gained ground over the past few days after Malayalam media in Idukki and Ernakulam districts and television channels reported on these ‘lethal’ imports.
Social media overflowed with warnings. In reality, however, there were no imported eggs, and the ones in the markets had come as usual from Namakkal in Tamil Nadu.
Malayalam trolls rode on public fears, sharing hilarious cartoons. One widely shared WhatsApp meme featured a drunk rooster asking its female partner how Chinese eggs had entered the scene.
TV channels interviewed ‘customers’ — some of whom, it turned out, were BJP workers — who staged displays showing a ‘plastic membrane’ covering the yolk, visible after breaking the shell.
As the scare spread, Luca, an online magazine from the Kerala Sastra Sahithya Parishad (KSSP), published an article rejecting the ‘artificial eggs’ theory. Dr. Muralee Thummarukudy, Chief of Disaster Risk Reduction at the United Nations Environment Programme, posted on Facebook repudiating the ‘fake eggs’ tale, and KSSP president, Dr. K.P. Aravindan, lamented the gullibility of the mainstream media and lack of scientific thinking.
Public concern forced food safety officials to test samples. The Centre for Advanced Studies in Poultry Science under the Veterinary and Animal Sciences University found that they were normal eggs from Namakkal.
Yet, the BJP wants more. “We have sent samples to the Regional Analytical Laboratory at Kakkanad and plan to send some to the Central Food Technological Research Institute, Mysuru, to check for hormones, antibiotics and steroids,” said P. Sivasankaran, joint convenor, BJP media cell.