Fact check: Photo shows lactose-free milk, not baby formula, at grocery store in Mexico

·3 min read

The claim: Photo shows full pallet of baby formula in Mexican grocery store

A meme circulating on social media asserts that a family discovered fully-stocked shelves and several pallets of baby formula on display while vacationing on an island off the coast of Mexico.

"We went grocery shopping today and guess what?" a screenshot of the meme in one Facebook post, shared 410 times since it was posted June 7, reads. "The shelves and aisles were full. There was even pallets of formula (sic). Folks we are being played. There is a shortage because the Biden Administration wants us to suffer. It is all about manipulation and control."

The post includes a photo of several pallets of white, blue and purple cartons with Spanish-language labels, which are seemingly stored in a non-refrigerated section of the store. The claim and photo first appeared around May 30 and have appeared as a screenshot or been copied in countless Facebook posts since then.

The photo may show a Mexican supermarket, but there's no way the cartons contain baby formula. These labels show they are products of Lala and LacDel, neither of which manufacture infant formula, their websites show. Rather, the pallets are stocked with cartons of lactose-free milk.

USA TODAY reached out several social media users who shared the post for comment.

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Similac Alimentum Hypoallergenic Infant Formula, imported from Puerto Rico, is for sale at a Stew Leonard's grocery store in Yonkers, New York, on Friday, June 10, 2022. (AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey) ORG XMIT: RPTS107
Similac Alimentum Hypoallergenic Infant Formula, imported from Puerto Rico, is for sale at a Stew Leonard's grocery store in Yonkers, New York, on Friday, June 10, 2022. (AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey) ORG XMIT: RPTS107

Photo shows boxes of lactose-free milk

The cartons in the formula match photos of lactose-free milk products from the brands Lala and LacDel, as Lead Stories has also reported.

Both brands have no baby formula products on their websites.

Several details of the photo suggest it was indeed taken at a grocery store in Mexico. The logo on signs advertising prices resembles the square logo of popular chain Chedraui, for example, and they are very similar to the cost in pesos of the same products on the Chedraui website. In addition, the aisles each bear Chedraui's slogan, "cuesta menos," which translates to "costs less."

The products on the left side of the photo, labeled with the brand Lala, match Lala's design for its cartons of reduced-fat, lactose-free milk. Their bright blue color distinguishes them from the rest of Lala's products.

On the right side, the labels for the LacDel products read "LacDel leche deslactosada," or lactose-free milk in English. Their white and purple containers closely match up with Chedraui's online listing for LacDel lactose-free milk as well.

Neither Lala nor LacDel market the milk products as a supplement to or substitute for baby formula on their product information pages.

Fact check:Image of boxes in warehouse unrelated to baby formula shortage

Our rating: False

Based on our research, we rate FALSE the claim that a photo shows a full pallet of baby formula in a Mexican grocery store. The labels of the cartons in the pallet show they are products of Lala and LacDel, neither of which manufacture baby formula, according to their websites. The cartons match photos of each brand's lactose-free milk products.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Photo shows lactose-free milk, not baby formula, in Mexico

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