Did an experienced butcher admit that "When we see cancer in the pork, we just cut it and still sell it to customers"? No, that's not true: The only sourcing for the claim is a tweet from a self-described vegan that included a meme featuring an anonymous quote along with a photo of a cut of meat with an unidentified green substance in the middle. There is no support for the claim that the quote is from an "experienced butcher" or that it is a regular practice for butchers to sell meat after cutting out tumors.
The claim has circulated on social platforms for several years, including a version that originated from an article (archived here) published by EducateInspireChange.org on February 20, 2018 under the title "Experienced Butcher Admits: 'When We See Cancer In The Pork, We Just Cut It And Still Sell It To Customers'". It opened:
Meat eaters might want to reconsider their diet choices.A butcher has shocked the world by saying that when coming across cancer in pork, he and many other butchers just cut it out, and continue to sell to customers.
When you buy meat from a butchers, you expect that you are usually buying the best quality, better than supermarket standard, but this has been shown not to be the case.
This is what social media users saw:
This article based its claim solely on this tweet:
I worked in a meat market for 5 years, this is very true. pic.twitter.com/g7NWguDvSb-- ☥Lucky☥ (@Wisethedome) November 16, 2017
I worked in a meat market for 5 years, this is very true.
This guy said he's been a butcher for 30 years and when he sees cancer in the pork he just cut it out then they still sell the meat to customers. Smh.
Lead Stories reached out to @Wisethedome, asking about the source of his information. We will update this story when we get a reply. We know that he is a vegan who often tweets about the virtues of the meatless diet:
Just another reason I'm glad I am vegan. https://t.co/Atiln40bZp-- ☥Lucky☥ (@Wisethedome) March 4, 2019
This March 4, 2019 tweet actually contradicts one claim of the false article -- that it is not illegal to sell meat that has a tumor.
There is no legal obligation for the butchers to give information about cancers in the meant to the customers.
U.S. food inspection rules are explored in this article on the Michigan State University Extension website titled "Are things like cancerous tumors allowed by meat inspection?":
U.S. Inspected and condemned. Carcasses that are condemned are not allowed to enter commerce/food supply and are denatured and disposed of appropriately.
Denaturing involves covering the carcass or meat with a non-toxic colored dye. The purpose of the dye is to clearly change the appearance of the condemned meat to something that does not resemble edible product. Colored dye typically includes colors such as green, black or blue, does not wash off of the meat, and may be incorporated throughout the meat.
NewsGuard, a company that uses trained journalist to rank the reliability of websites, describes educateinspirechange.org as:
A website that publishes false conspiracy theories and unsubstantiated science and health claims.
According to NewsGuard the site does not maintain basic standards of accuracy and accountability. Read their full assessment here.
Want to inform others about the accuracy of this story?
Click this link to copy it to your clipboard
Then click here if you have Facebook or click here if you have Twitter to see who is sharing it (it might even be your friends...) and leave the link in the comments.