Fact checks on health products and scams

FACT CHECK: Sharon Cuneta, Jessy Mendiola debunk fake weight loss ads


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FACT CHECK: Sharon Cuneta, Jessy Mendiola debunk fake weight loss ads
In separate Facebook posts, both actresses warn the public against ads using their names and photos to promote supposed weight loss product Navitas Barley Grass Powder

Claim: Actresses Sharon Cuneta and Jessy Mendiola endorse Navitas Barley Grass Powder, a product claimed to purify and detox the body for weight loss and the prevention of kidney stones, diabetes, and cancer.

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-check this: Based on a quick keyword search on Facebook, Rappler found at least 10 Facebook posts bearing the same claim.

One of the posts can be seen on the Facebook page “Dr. Josephine Grace Rojo.” The June 8 post has 174,000 views, 36 shares, 147 comments, and 781 reactions as of writing.

The posts feature photos of Cuneta and Mendiola along with the product, giving the impression that the actresses are endorsing the weight loss powder.

The facts: Both actresses deny endorsing the product. On June 2, Cuneta debunked the claim in a post on her official and verified Facebook account and called the ad “fake news.”

“FAKE NEWS! Someone on Facebook has been using me and other people in their ads. Di ko po ginamit ang produktong ito EVER! Huwag bibilhin at baka magkasakit lang po kayo,” Cuneta said.

(Fake news! Someone on Facebook has been using me and other people in their ads. I have never used this product! Don’t buy it, you might just get sick!)

On July 20, Mendiola also released a public advisory on her official and verified Facebook account, saying the use of her image in the ad campaigns was “unauthorized.”

“PLEASE BE VIGILANT: It has come to my attention that NAVITAS BARLEY GRASS POWDER has been claiming that I am endorsing or representing their products. I am in no way associated with or otherwise endorse any of the products of NAVITAS. I do not promote any of the products and definitely do not vouch for any of the health or wellness claims of that product,” Mendiola said.

Unregistered: The list of approved food and drug products maintained by the Food and Drug Administration does not include Navitas Barley Grass Powder.

Previous fact-checks: Rappler has fact-checked health-related claims using fabricated documents, quotes, and altered images of prominent figures for misleading advertisements:

– Owenh Jake Toledo/Rappler.com

Owenh Jake Toledo is a graduate of Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program. This fact check was reviewed by a member of Rappler’s research team and a senior editor. Learn more about Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program here.

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.

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