By: Ishita Goel
July 28 2023
The program about human meat aired by Channel 4 is satire. It does not depict genuine events.
Clips from a show aired by Channel 4 titled "Gregg Wallace: The British Miracle Meat" are viral on social media platforms, alongside claims that human meat is being promoted and sold in the U.K.
One user wrote on Twitter, "Lab-grown HUMAN meat is coming to a store near you!" A Facebook caption claimed, "CHANNEL 4. Greg Wallace is extracting your flesh for money, miracle meat. For 200 pounds, they are selling your meat. Human meat." On TikTok, users claimed the U.K. is growing and consuming human meat. Another user claimed, "Humans harvested for meat, including children under the age of 6." One iteration of the claim on Twitter said, "The U.K. is now promoting lab-grown human meat as a way of solving the cost of living crisis. Now they want to turn us into cannibals". Links to archive posts can be found here, here and here.
During 2021 and 2022, the U.K. has seen a sharp rise in the cost of living. According to the House of Commons library, food prices have also risen sharply over the past year and were 17.3 percent higher in June 2023 compared with 2022.
However, the TV show in question was a spoof and does not show or promote the consumption or the sale of actual human meat in the U.K.
The show's description on Channel 4 reads, "With food prices soaring, Gregg Wallace investigates a controversial new lab-grown meat product that its makers claim could provide a solution to the cost-of-living crisis."
The Guardian and Independent reported that the program captures MasterChef judge Gregg Wallace seemingly endorsing human meat and talking about a company called "Good Harvest," which is purportedly developing technology in human meat sales to be used during the cost of living crisis. Further, he visits a "human meat-harvesting plant" in Lincolnshire that produced meat from "human cells." Thereafter, he seemingly consumes "human meat" and later engages with a "donor."
However, as stated, the show is a mockumentary created by comedy writer Matt Edmonds. Several news outlets reported on the program noted that it is dark satire and a parody. Telegraph reported that the premise of the program was inspired by a 1729 satirical work by Jonathan Swift.
What have the creators of the program said?
Wallace has also pointed out that the program is satire and doesn't depict actual incidents. The Telegraph reported that Wallace said, "It's satire – so I suppose that was the point. Everybody was an actor. I was acting. None of it was real. I thought at some point people would fall about laughing, but they didn't. People asked how I could put my name to this documentary, but I didn't – it wasn't a documentary."
Further, speaking on Radio Five Live, Wallace clarified he was acting a part in a program involving "a bit of history, social awareness, satire." He added, "I didn't expect people to think it was real. There were points where I found it difficult not to laugh during filming with Michel Roux."
A Channel 4 spokesperson told Reuters: "Channel 4 has a long and rich history of satire and has often used humor as an accessible way to highlight society's most important issues." They clarified that it is satire: "a witty yet thought-provoking commentary on the extreme measures many people are being forced to take to stay afloat in our society during the cost of living crisis."
Logically Facts has contacted Channel 4 and Wallace for comment, and this story will be updated upon receiving a response.
Clips from a satirical TV program are being shared as evidence of actual human meat being promoted and sold in the U.K. However, there is no truth to it; the program in question was meant as comedy. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.