Fabricated video falsely promotes ‘shandy supplement for liver disease’ in the Philippines
Copyright AFP 2017-2022. All rights reserved.
An alleged story about a liver supplement with “guaranteed therapeutic effects” allegedly endorsed by Philippine health authorities and endorsed by doctors has been viewed more than a million times on Facebook. However, the video was created from old news and commercial clips to promote an unregistered supplement that the Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has said has not been approved.
The video has been published here on Facebook on August 4, 2022. It has been viewed over a million times.
It appears to show a segment of 24 Oras — an evening news program on the Philippine television station GMA — with a reporter Arnold Clavio saying, “About eight million Filipinos have hepatitis B, according to the Ministry of Health.
“To mark World Hepatitis Day, a group calls for eliminating the stigma around people who suffer from the disease. Reporting by Cedric Castillo.”
After 18 seconds of the video, it shows an alleged interview with Ian Homer Cua, President of the Hepatological Society of the Philippines (HSP) who has since said in a post on Facebook that his image was used to create “fake news” for the announcement of the supplement.
As Cua’s face is shown in the fabricated video, a narrator can be heard saying in Tagalog: “After many years of research, we have successfully used Germany’s proprietary nanotechnology to destroy broken liver cells to support the treatment of hepatitis, liver failure, cirrhosis, liver cancer.”
The video then cuts to clips promoting a supplement called Cagan Nano, which it says is “100% natural” and can “penetrate deep into cells to restore them, and helps lower liver enzymes.”
It claims Cagan Nano’s “advanced technology” meets global standards and says the product has been approved by drug regulators around the world and has been endorsed by the US National Academy of Sciences.
The caption reads: “Good news for people with liver disease has emerged in the Philippines.” He claims that patients with liver disease can take the supplement “twice a day” to “reverse hepatitis (sic)” in order to “avoid hospital visits.
Philippine health authorities have called liver disease a “silent epidemic”, according to the official Philippine News Agency. reportedwith over 18 million Filipinos estimated to be at risk of fatty liver disease.
The video was created from news clips from Filipino broadcaster GMA which were posted on its official YouTube channel in 2017.
Newscaster Arnold Clavio’s 15-second opening clip was taken from this July 2017 Report on the social stigma faced by people infected with hepatitis B.
The following clip of the interview with HSP President Cua was taken from this January 2017 report, in which he explains the difficulties of diagnosing people with hepatitis B.
Below are comparisons of screenshots from the doctored video (left) and original reports from 24 Oras (right):
Product not registered
The Philippines FDA Drug Regulatory and Research Center The director’s office told AFP the product was unregistered and warned people to be wary of such advertisements on social media.
“To ensure the safety, efficacy and quality of health products, please make sure to buy health products only from a FDA-approved establishment,” he said.
Cagan Nano has also not been approved by the United States’ Food and Drug Administration, a keyword search was also found.
In a Attention issued on August 19, 2022, the HSP denied approving the supplement and advised patients to seek medical attention for any liver-related issues.
“HSP is in no way related to the Cagan Nano supplement. It also does NOT support its claims for liver disease,” he said.
Dana Korsen, director of media relations at the US National Academy of Sciences, also told AFP that she neither endorsed nor endorsed Cagan Nano.
“I am not aware of any control by the National Academy of Sciences of this product,” she told AFP.