Is Yeo’s creating a new drink made from pig blood?

By February 8, 2024 Health, Lifestyle, Religion, Society

We came across the following image on the social media platform Reddit, along with several online blogs and news sites that focus on issues in Malaysia and Singapore:

The text in the image, which is written in Malay on a social messaging app, suggests that pig blood, ‘darah babi’, would be used in the production of drinks by the brand Yeo’s, and also that it was uncertain which Yeo’s products would use the ingredient.

As pig blood in not permissible for consumption by Muslims, the post appears to promote avoiding Yeo’s drinks for religious adherence.

The image had been overlaid with large bold text that read ‘Palsu/Fake’, which appears to have been added by news sites addressing the claim in the original post.

Malaysiakini, the most authoritative source that reported on the claim, fact-checked the claim and found it to be false, claiming that Yeo’s had been mistaken for a Belgian company, Veos, that had invested in water purification installations to turn animal blood into drinkable water.

Malaysiakini reported that the claims resulted from the misinterpretation of media reports by the news outlets Media Mulia TV and Utusan Malaysia in June 2023 about the Belgian company’s new installation.

According to Malaysiakini, there have since been various versions of the claim using edited video of the report from the news outlets’ TikTok accounts circulating on social media, with the claim above appearing to originate on WhatsApp.

Though we were unable to locate the news report on TikTok, we found a news report from 9 June 2023 on Utusan Malaysia with the headline ‘Darah babi jadi air minuman’ (Pig blood becomes drinking water).

Utusan Malaysia’s report specified that the company involved was Belgium-based Veos, a detail we confirmed on the Veos website.

Drinking Quality, but Not for Drinking

Veos is a company that processes animal by-products into proteins for the food, para-pharma and animal feed industries. These processes require large quantities of water to clean tanks where animal blood is stored.

Veos announced in May 2023 that it had invested in new installations that would extract water from the blood, which could then be reused in the production process.

Though the water was described as ‘drinking’ or ‘drinkable’ water, accompanied by images of it apparently being drunk by company executives, the company press release suggested the extracted water was meant to improve the company’s sustainability by reusing it in place of groundwater in the production process, rather than sold for public consumption.

While the Veos article did not specify that pig blood was used in the process, this detail was assumed by news outlets covering the news, and is likely to be at least partially accurate given that the main meat on the market in Belgium is pork.

Watering Down the Claim

As such, it is false that Yeo’s is creating drinks using pig blood. Yeo’s was mistaken for the Belgian company Veos, which is extracting water from animal blood to reduce water use.

While Yeo’s does not appear to have responded publicly to the claims, Yeo’s drinks are certified Halal in Singapore and Malaysia.

This claim was also fact-checked and found to be false by Malaysiakini.

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