Tesco carrots were not grown ‘in Chernobyl’

3 August 2023
What was claimed

A bag of carrots from Tesco has a label saying they were grown in Chernobyl.

Our verdict

The photo has been edited. The carrots were grown in the UK.

A picture of a bag of Tesco carrots with a label saying they were grown in Chernobyl is being shared on Twitter.

The image has been edited. A clearer version of the image posted on Twitter in 2020 clearly shows the label has been digitally drawn over to hide the original growing location. Also, the text that says “Chernobyl” doesn’t curve with the packaging, indicating it has been added later.

The image has also been shared on Facebook.

Tesco confirmed to Full Fact that the image is fake and that it doesn’t source any of its produce from the region.

The reference to Chernobyl, the location of the 1986 nuclear power station disaster, appears to have originated as a joke.

The person who posted the image on Twitter in 2020 said in a follow-up tweet: “Just to be clear as I fear this has now gone a bit too far from the agricultural community who appreciate the in-joke.

“I can confirm that Tesco’s are not selling badly photoshopped radioactive carrots.”

He went on to reference a news story about a bag of carrots with the Red Tractor logo (which indicates a food product was produced entirely in Britain), but also had a smaller label saying the carrots were grown in Spain. 

At the time, a spokesperson for Red Tractor told the Express: “We have investigated and have found that a small batch of carrots grown in the UK, incorrectly stated the country of origin as Spain.”

This isn’t the first time we’ve fact checked misleading pictures that have been “Photoshopped” or edited after they were were taken—Kraft mayonnaise was not rebanded “Gayo” for Pride month, Mike Tyson didn’t wear a t-shirt that said ‘plan-demic’ and a sign at a vaccination centre did not encourage parents to donate their children’s organs.

You can read our blogs about how to spot misleading images here and misleading videos here.

Image courtesy of Jacqueline Brandwayn

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