Is Apeel, a company that makes an edible coating for fruits and vegetables, injecting "shots," or vaccines, into produce because Bill Gates owns the company? No, that's not true: There is no evidence that Apeel has anything to do with vaccines. Gates gave Apeel grants in 2012 and 2015, but did not found and does not own Apeel. Yahki, the man who alleged that Apeel is injecting "shots" into fruits and vegetables, has a history of making false claims.
The claim appeared on YouTube (archived here), where it was posted on May 10, 2023, under the title "Yahki Awakened On Food Addiction, Modern Men's Penis Shrinking, Inheriting Trauma (Full Interview)." The part of the video that mentions Apeel opens with:
Bill Gates just came out with something called Apeel. And what Apeel is ... Apeel is literally A-P-E-E-L and they're finna start interjecting these so-called shots into the fruits ... And what they're doing is, they're finna start putting a lot of injections in the actual foods because a lot of people are turning back vegetarian and back vegan, so now ... they're experimenting on the produce.
Click below to watch the video on YouTube:
(Source: YouTube video embedded at 17:28:28 2023 UTC)
Lead Stories has done numerous fact checks on Yahki's claims before. Yahki Awakened's real name is Alexander Hickman and he is a self-described "master herbalist, holistic teacher, crystal healer, detoxification specialist, Reiki healer, motivational speaker, and entrepreneur."
The video does not offer any evidence to support Yahki's allegation about Apeel. According to Apeel's About Us page, the company only sells a protective coating to be sprayed on already purchased produce.
In April 2023, Lead Stories debunked the claim that Apeel's coating has a "long list of hazardous cautions."
Furthermore, Gates did not found and does not own Apeel. According to Apeel's About page, under the subheading "Why food waste?" the company was founded by James Rogers, Ph.D. Today, Rogers is the CEO of the company. The Bill and Melissa Gates Foundation gave Apeel two grants of a combined amount of a little over $1 million in 2012 and 2015. Here is a screenshot of that evidence from the Bill and Melissa Gates Foundation website:
(Source: Gatesfoundation.org screenshot taken on Fri Jun 2 15:34:29 2023 UTC)
The most recent articles we could find on any involvement from Bill Gates are from 2018 articles written by the Washington Post and CNBC. The articles briefly note that the Gates' foundation gave Apeel funding.
Lead Stories has contacted Apeel about Yahki's claim and will update this article if we receive a relevant response.
Other Lead Stories fact checks of claims about vaccines are here.