Egg destruction footage filmed in Argentina, not United States

·2-min read

Social media posts suggest a video viewed millions of times online shows the mass destruction of eggs in the United States amid a shortage. This is false; the clip comes from an Argentinian company that was ordered to get rid of the eggs while testing for avian influenza.

"This is where you're egg shortage went," says text over a May 1, 2023 video with more than 5.4 million views on TikTok.

The 16-second clip shows people in hazmat suits standing by as a bulldozer pushes stacks of egg cartons into a giant hole.

<span>Screenshot from TikTok taken May 5, 2023</span>
Screenshot from TikTok taken May 5, 2023

The footage spread across platforms such as Twitter and Facebook alongside captions suggesting recent egg shortages are staged or intentional. Some posts explicitly blamed US agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration for the demolition.

The posts come after a bird flu outbreak led to egg scarcity and high prices throughout the United States in early 2023. The disease affected more than 58 million birds, according to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

US health officials have taken steps to cull flocks in the face of the outbreak, but the video shared online was not filmed in the United States.

The clip traces back to an April 15, 2023 Instagram post (archived here) from Avicola Santa Ana, a poultry farm in Corrientes, Argentina. The version circulating on social media includes a watermark with the company logo.

"It is our video that shows the destruction in Corrientes, Argentina," Avicola Santa Ana told AFP in a May 6 Instagram direct message.






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A post shared by Avícola Santa Ana (@avicolasantaana)

The post says Argentina's food safety agency forced the company to destroy some 360,000 eggs.

Conflicting bird flu test results temporarily halted Avicola Santa Ana's sales, according to the Argentinian newspaper La Nacion. A third test eventually came back negative, the outlet reported.

The USDA told AFP the United States imported $290,000 worth of eggs and egg products from Argentina in 2022, and none between January and March 2023. That makes the country the United States' 54th largest supplier, accounting for only 0.04 percent of total imports.

According to the agency's data, the top exporters of eggs to the US in 2022 included Canada and the United Kingdom.

AFP has previously debunked other misinformation about eggs here and here.