There’s a viral post being shared all over Facebook which has been shared 200,000 times, but Snopes has deemed the post about the dangers of eating Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups “mostly false.” The article, titled “3 Reasons Why You Should Stop Eating Peanut Butter Cups!,” still appears on the website of David Wolfe, a health guru of sorts with a huge following on Facebook. Wolfe has more than 10.5 million Facebook likes, so it’s easy to see why such a post has been spread 200,000 times on the social media site.
— REESE'S (@ReesesPBCups) April 2, 2017
The Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups post on Wolfe’s Facebook page was recently deleted, with only a portion of a comment visible in Google from the now-deleted post. However, the article about the alleged dangers of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups from Wolfe’s website has been archived, back when it had only 156,000 Facebook shares. Therefore, with an additional 50,000 Facebook shares or so in that time, it appears people are still sharing the post about Reese’s cups.
“In short, this is a bashing on Reese’s peanut butter cups, soy lecithin, PGPR & TBHQ, save yourself from the annoying pop up to win a Nutri Bullet…”
The article has been copied onto other websites, which are also sharing the information about the so-called dangers of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups on social media. However, as noted by Snopes, it appears that David might not have authored the article in the first place, since it is very similar to an article titled, “The Candies that Most Kids Eat Daily [sic] nausea, vomiting, ringing in the ear, delirium and collapse.” That article was published on a website called Living Traditionally: Traditional Living in Modern Society with a publication date of November 17, 2015.
Wolfe’s article opens with a lede that tries to relate to candy lovers by assuming that they’ve eaten Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and probably love them. But the article goes on to take a “deeper look” at the ingredients in the popular peanut butter cups. That’s when both articles delve into the history of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and their invention in 1928 by a man named H.B. Reese.
The piece went on to claim that the troubling ingredients in Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups weren’t the milk, chocolate, sugar, cocoa butter, or peanuts, but it pointed to the soy lecithin, PGPR, and TBGQ as the dangerous ingredients.
I had an existential crisis thinking Reese's had no S pic.twitter.com/juEukSPYnF
— Balrog (@BalrogGameRoom) April 1, 2017
The article calls soy lecithin a genetically modified substance that can be modified as much as 93 percent. Whereas the scary warning article by Wolfe calls soy lecithin something that can cause problems with having babies, as well as linking it to breast cancer and and cerebral abnormalities, conflicting reports say something different. Soy lecithin is comprised of “naturally organic compounds,” according to a definition from the United States Code of Federal Regulations.
As for PGPR, which stands for polyglycerol polyricinoleate, Wolfe called the ingredient something that can cause allergies in kids and gastrointestinal problems. However, Snopes noted the additive has been called safe by the European Food Safety Authority, as noted on the EFSA website.
Finally, the TBHQ ingredient, which is tertiary butylhdroquinone, was called “extremely toxic” by David, who listed a long list of scary side effects. TBHQ was blamed for lung damage, stomach cancer, ADHD, anxiety, “nausea, vomiting, ringing in the ears, delirium and collapse.” Snopes notes the lack of evidence to support such claims.
In the end, Wolfe suggests that people create their own organic peanut butter cups as an alternative to buying ready-made peanut butter cups like Reese’s. Or, David suggests that folks buy organic peanut butter cups in stores where available.
[Featured Image by Eric Jamison/AP Images for Reese’s]