Fake News: EU Did NOT Force Ice Cream Vans To Replace Chimes With Recorded Diabetes Warning

Fact Check

  • by: Maarten Schenk
Fake News: EU Did NOT Force Ice Cream Vans To Replace Chimes With Recorded Diabetes Warning

Is there a new EU regulation that will force ice cream vans to replace their chimes with a recorded warning about the dangers of diabetes? No, that's not true. The story originated on a satirical website that often mocks the European Union with stories that are just credible enough to fool some people who don't read the full article. If you came here through Google searching for more info about ice cream van regulations and diabetes warnings in the EU, relax: it is not real.

It was published by the Southend News Network on May 9, 2018 under the dramatic headline "EU forces ice cream vans to replace chimes with RECORDED DIABETES WARNING" (archived here) and it opened:

A spokesperson for the European Commission For Health has confirmed that ice cream vans in all EU member states will be forced to replace their chimes with a RECORDED DIABETES WARNING in January 2019.

Jerome Fuqual of the ECFH told Southend News Network that the new law would reduce levels of childhood obesity by 34% over the next five years.

He added: 'We are taking this drastic action after monitoring the success of cigarette manufacturers printing health warnings on cartons.'

There is no "European Commission For Health" and the name "Jerome Fuqual" is a signature type of Anglo-French pun often used by the site.

The Southend News Network is a satirical site pretending to be a news organisation by the English coast in Southend. They have a disclaimer on their about page that reads (in part):

Southend News Network was originally started in October 2015 with no real aims or objectives in mind other than to add a satirical/spoof-like touch to issues that people are passionate about in Southend On Sea. Above all else, SNN is all about having the occasional 'dig' at the powers that be, as well a slightly bigger and more frequent 'dig' at certain elements of local media!

Several of their stories have been mistaken for real news in the past and the site was recognized by the local authorities as an "official news outlet".

We wrote about southendnewsnetwork.net before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:

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  Maarten Schenk

Maarten Schenk is the co-founder and COO/CTO of Lead Stories and an expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

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