To believe or not to believe, that is the pandemic question. Are you working from home? Have you been taking part in a Friday night pub quiz from the comfort of your sofa? What do these two have in common? Technology. Some would say technology has been a saviour during this unprecedented time, particularly social media. However, social media has a far bigger role than just keeping us connected to those we love. It helps spread news, information and the occasional good-humoured meme to the world. It is impossible these days to scroll through news feeds on Facebook or Twitter without seeing advice on handwashing, self-isolation rules, jokes or ideas on how to stay healthy during this national lock-down. Many videos and adverts have claimed diets and vitamins are the key to preventing the contraction of COVID-19. Great! Let's follow their advice, buy their products and go back to freshly poured pints on a Friday evening.
Most of these newsfeeds, videos and blogs have the greatest intentions to educate and correctly inform the world, however sadly, not all these do so. There is an increasing number of marketing posts, articles and adverts that can be regarded as "Fake News", i.e. they contain either exaggerated or false information. So how do we work out what information to believe and what not to believe? With many products claiming to protect or prevent coronavirus, - how can we guarantee the products we invest in meet their claims and our expectations? In the following mini-series of blogs we will discuss further how claims are normally processed on food products and supplements and give some insight into the scale of this ‘fake news’ marketing issue.
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