Leave a comment

Did Hugo Boss do work for the Nazis?

Injustice Facts tweet: Hugo Boss himself joined the Nazi party, and got a contract to make the Hitler Youth, storm trooper and SS uniforms.

Verdict: True 

By Shamma Saeed
Zayed University Communications Student

The clothing firm Hugo Boss, named after its founder Hugo Ferdinaned Boss, is a well-known clothing manufacturer famous for a classical men’s suits and ties.

Hugo Boss founded his textile factory in 1923, according to The New York Times. In 1931, Boss joined the Nazi Party. And two years after that, Boss started to manufacture Nazi uniforms, according to the New York Times. The newspaper reported he manufactured the uniforms to save his company from bankruptcy.

One of Hugo Boss’ missions was to provide the Nazis with their well-known brown shirts.  The company also manufactured the party’s uniforms. According to the New York Times: “The Nazis awarded contracts to thousands of companies to produce the black uniforms, worn by SS units, the brown shirts worn by SA storm troopers and the black-and-brown uniforms of the Hitler Youth, according to Eckhard Trox, a military uniform expert at the museum in Ludenscheid.”

BBC News confirmed this account by discussing Roman Koester’s book, “Hugo Boss, 1924-1945. A Clothing Factory During the Weimar Republic and Third Reich.” The company funded the book to look at the history of the the Hugo Boss company. It did acknowledge the fact that Hugo Boss was a “Loyal Nazi” known as “Hitler’s Tailor.”

“It is clear that Hugo F Boss did not only join the party because it led to contracts for uniform production, but also because he was a follower of National Socialism,” wrote Koester.

Following the book’s publication, the company also posted a statement on its Website to express its regret and apologize to anyone who had been mistreated during that period of time.

Furthermore, according to NBC News, Hugo Boss employed “140 forced labourers, mostly women, between 1940-1941.”

Therefore, the tweet regarding Hugo Boss’ links to the Nazis is true, supported by the three sources used: NBC, BBC News, The New York Times.

Leave a comment

Does Coca-Cola contain cocaine

Tweet: Coco-Cola contained Coca (cocaine) from 1885 to 1903, today the company uses a ‘secret’ ingredient to keep it product addictive.

Verdict: Partly true

By Fatima Al Mulla
Zayed University Communication Student

Injustice Facts posted the following tweet on Feb. 23, 2012. The statement can be divided into three parts.

The first part mentions that the Coca-Cola Company used the drug cocaine as part of its product’s ingredients from the years 1885-1903.

According to Mike Flanagan, in his article in the South Florida Sun-Sentinal newspaper, John Styth Pemberton, a 53-year-old pharmacist from Atlanta, created Coca-Cola in 1885. He wanted to compete with other pharmacy products that “offered little if any relief, and they all contained cocaine.”

The predecessor of Coca-Cola was called French Wine Cola, a nerve and tonic stimulant. Six months later in 1886, Coca-Cola, the “Real Thing,” was created after Pemberton took out it’s alcoholic content.

The name Coca-Cola is derived from two separate main ingredients. The word Coca comes from the coca (cocaine) extract, and cola from the African Kola nut extract that is extremely effective for hangovers, as J.C. Louis and Harvey Yazijian wrote in their book The Cola Wars.

Flanagan said that, even after Pemberton passed in 1888 and Asa Griggs Candler took over Coca-Cola, cocaine remained a vital ingredient, according to Louis and Yazijian, despite the fact that he was a religious man.

In 1903, however, cocaine was permanently removed from the Coca-Cola product seeing as the public began to object to its prominence. Coca-Cola containing cocaine became a very controversial matter, as opposed to the drug being available for purchase over counters in the “era of glamorized narcotics” or late 1880’s.

The public was constantly worrying that they would get addicted to the cocaine in the drink and Coca-Cola was in danger of getting banned. In response, Candler wrote in 1901 that “the quantity of the cocaine (in the mix) is so small that it would be simply impossible for anyone to form the cocaine habit from drinking Coca-Cola,” according to Flanagan.

The second part of the statement in the tweet states “today the company uses a ‘secret’ ingredient.”

In 1988, Clifford D. May published an article “’Surprise’ Ingredient in Coca-Cola” in the San Francisco Chronicle in which he says that the ingredients that give Coca-Cola their unique flavor is locked up in a bank vault and can only be accessed by a few executives.

Flanagan also said that less than 10 people know what’s in the secret mixture “Merchandise 7X” which gives Coca-Cola its flavor and covers up the taste of the coca leaf and the African kola nut.

The world’s most popular soft drink that used to contain cocaine now only uses a nonnarcotic extract from coca and the leftover cocaine is then sold to pharmaceutical companies, according to May. The cocaine is purified and used by doctors and local anesthetics – but that is no secret.

In May’s article, a telephone interview with Randy Donaldson, a spokesperson for the Coca-Cola company in its Atlanta headquarters, stated that regulatory authorities have a tight control over not using cocaine in the mixture, only ingredients from the coca leaf – further verifying that Coca-Cola no longer uses cocaine.

Like Damon Frith said in his article, Coca-Cola is one of the many brands that have kept their ingredients a secret for decades. Whether it is still a secret or not depends on how we interpret the word kept.

Three credible websites speak on the matter of Coca-Cola’s secret ingredients: The Telegraph, Time News Feed – a partner of CNN – and a website copyrighted by The Huffington Post.

These websites all mention similar facts claiming that “This American Life” has discovered the list of ingredients in a photograph of a newspaper article. In the February 1979 edition of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the photo showed the hands of a person holding up a book that was open to the page with the Coca-Cola ingredients in handwriting.

Dean Praetorious of The Huffington Post said that Ira Glass wrote in This American Life that the book in the picture was of an old recipe book which was handwritten by a pharmacist years ago and that the book was passed down by pharmacists as the years went by.

Glass is very certain that the recipe is either the original by Pemberton, or a version made before or after the product was in the market. He believes this is true because the recipe was found in a friend’s notebook in a page entitled “Coca-Cola recipe improved” as well as found in Pemberton’s notebook in the Coca-Cola archives.

Either way, Merchandise 7X (the secret ingredient) makes up only 1 percent of the soft drinks total formula yet still gives Coca-Cola it’s one of a kind flavor, according to The Telegraph.

The third and last part of the statement claims that Coca-Cola is addictive, or that the secret ingredient causes the drink to be addictive.

Coca-Cola, like any other soft drink, is unhealthy in its self due to high amounts of calories, sugar and other ingredients. Naturally, any over intake a particular substance can cause health problems but with addiction, it is difficult to verify.

Caffeine is one of the ingredients used in Coca-Cola and one of its properties is that it stimulates the body’s central nervous system, as posted on Medline Plus.

Medicine Net sates that too much caffeine can lead to a form of caffeine addiction yet not as harmful or intense as drug addiction. People might feel dependant on it that is when it becomes dangerous to overdo the amount of caffeine intake. The effects on children and adolescents can vary.

Focusing on only one of the ingredients of Coca-Cola shows exactly how difficult it is to rate a product as addictive. Every case is different and so we can’t assume a product addictive without it clearly being so, or rather, medically proven.

Our verdict:

We have come to the conclusion that the statement is partly true taking into consideration the following factors:

Coca Cola didn’t exist until 1886. But it did contain cocaine until 1903.

The formula can’t be considered a “secret” if the word is out, although some would debate whether it’s a secret or not.

Generally speaking, Coca-Cola is not known to have traditionally considered addictive qualities.

Leave a comment

How many people die each minute from starvation?

Tweet: Every minute 18 people die of starvation in the world
Verdict: Mostly True

By Asmaa Al-Hameli
Zayed University journalism student

Injustice Facts has published this tweet regarding hunger starvation rates in the world at least three times. We found different statistics from different world-hunger organizations.

David Bull, chief executive officer of UNICEF in the UK, directed us to a hunger statistic provided by the World Food Programme to check the veracity of this tweet. An article released by WFP on Jan. 24, 2007, said that hunger kills 25,000 people a day.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UNFAO) estimated that around 925 million people were undernourished in 2010 compared to 840 in 2007.

Continue Reading »

Leave a comment

Does Rupert Murdoch support a ‘sadistic corporate agenda’?

Tweet: Rupert Murdoch owns 322 media outlets, all of them speaking out in support of the sadistic corporate agenda and the global war machine.
Verdict: Partly True

By Ayesha Almazroui
Zayed University journalism student

This statement, tweeted on Jan. 2, can be divided into three parts. First, Rupert Murdoch owns 322 media outlets. Second, all of his media outlets are speaking out in support of “the sadistic corporate agenda.” Third, all of his media outlets are speaking out in support of the “global war machine.”

Does he really own 322 media outlets?

Rupert Murdoch who is ranked 24th in Forbes List of Powerful People, owns News Corporation, the world’s second-largest media conglomerate. His corporation includes many different kinds of media outlets and among them are newspapers, TV and radio stations, magazines, and books publishers.

Finding the exact number of Murdoch’s media outlets on the Internet is very difficult. However, according to Businessweek, “his satellites deliver TV programs in five continents, all but dominating Britain, Italy, and wide swaths of Asia and the Middle East.”

Continue Reading »

Leave a comment

What is the rate of spouse abuse in South Korea?

Tweet: In South Korea 2/3 wives are physically abused by their husbands.
Verdict: Mostly False

By Shamma Eid
Zayed University journalism student

This tweet was relatively easy to fact-check. A 2009 report from the UN Refugee Agency states that approximately 30 percent of all married women in South Korea have experienced physical abuse. While that represents a large number, it’s far short of the 2/3 (66 percent) figure reported by InjusticeFacts.

Other credible sources provide roughly similar or lower numbers.

A 2009 study in the academic, peer-reviewed Journal of Family Violence states that almost one in three South Korean wives are physically abused. A Unicef publication from 2000 shows in a table that 38 percent of wives in South Korea were abused. The table said the data was “based on a survey of a random sample of women.”

Continue Reading »

Leave a comment

Did the U.S. waste $7B on cancelled helicopter program?

Tweet: In 2004, the US Government wasted $7 Billion dollars on a new army helicopter program that was cancelled in the same year
Verdict: Partly True

By Dhabya Al Mehairi
Zayed University journalism student

This tweet appears to be grounded in reality. A 2004 article from Aviation Week, a trade publication for the airplane business, appears to refer to the program from the InjusticeFacts tweet.

The article states that the United States decided to cancel the RAH-66 Comanche reconnaissance/attack helicopter program in order to spend money for other aircrafts. The project cost $8 billion, not $7 billion.

The project was canceled in February 2004, according to the article. But, the  helicopter program began in the 1980’s, which means the program didn’t start and end in the same year, as InjusticeFacts said.

Continue Reading »

Leave a comment

How much does U.S. military spend on advertising?

Tweet: The US military spends $18 billion a year on advertisements (propaganda).
Verdict: Mostly False

By Leteefa Al Darei
Zayed University Journalism Student

While the U.S. government does spend a lot of money on military recruitment advertising, it falls far short of the figure cited in this tweet.

According to the most recent information, the United States spends only $1 billion per year on military marketing, far less than the $18 billion figure presented by InjusticeFacts.

The figure comes from testimony from Jason E. Klein, the president and CEO of the newspaper national network, published in October 2011.

“The U.S. government spends roughly $1 billion per year on print, broadcast and digital media advertising,” he said.

Continue Reading »

%d bloggers like this: