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Hoax Alert

Fake News: Red Bull Does NOT Contain Taurine Extracted From Bull Semen

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Thu, 26 Sep 2019 08:47:59 Z)

Do energy drinks like Red Bull contain taurine extracted from bull semen? No, that's just an old hoax that keeps going viral. The company itself has put out a denial on its website years ago but the story keeps popping up again and again, often under the form of recycled images from an old satire story or screenshots from a now-deleted article on Answers.com

Take this Facebook post for example:

bull.jpg

Screenshot of https://i.imgur.com/NkPJ2bm.png

This is the image in the post:

bullsemen.jpg

The question has been asked so many times over the years that the Red Bull company put it in the FAQ on their website (archived here):

Does Red Bull contain sperm from bull testicles? :: Taurine Drink :: Red Bull Saudi Arabia

Many people bet it comes from some delicate parts of the strongest and most potent bulls in the world, but the truth is that the taurine in Red Bull is produced synthetically by pharmaceutical companies, which guarantees highest quality standards. Taurine is not derived from animals.

The story is often accompanied by a screenshot seemingly from the website Answers.com, with following text:

Q: Do energy drinks have bull sperm in it?

Answer: Yes. A study done by longhorn cattle company, tested some of the top energy drink brands (red bull, monster, etc.) and found that they do in fact contain bull sperm.

However Answers.com used to allow anyone to upload questions and answers and today the question seems to be unavailable on the site. In 2018 the site stopped letting users upload questions and answers:

Answers.com Will No Longer Take Questions and Answers

It appears that Answers.com is done taking answers. The site's vice president of business operations, Chris Hawkins, sent an email to "super-users" on Thursday advising them that their logins and user profiles are being deleted and that the website will no longer allow any more edits or user contributions.

There are however several other questions and answers on the site today actually telling the truth:

answersbull.jpg

The Longhorn Cattle Company story was already being spread in 2015 by the website NotAllowedTo (which nowadays has a barely visible satire disclaimer in the footer which wasn't there at the time the article was publsihed):

Energy Drinks Contain Ingredient Extracted From Bull Urine And Semen

TEXAS - Longhorn Cattle Company, tested some of the top energy drink brands such as Red Bull, Monster, etc. What they found might leave your stomach in a knot. They found that the drinks do, in fact, contain bull semen. Taurine is the ingredient that has come under fire.

But according to Google the website of the Longhorn Cattle Company has never even mentioned "Red Bull" so that part of the story is false too.

Don't fall for bullsh*t!

About the author:

Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

About Lead Stories

Lead Stories uses the Trendolizer™ engine to detect the most trending stories from known fake news, satire and prank websites and tries to debunk them as fast as possible. Read more about how we work and how we select stories to check here.

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