On December 2, Facebook user Lasha Modebadze, apparently a fake account, published a post about the Zika virus, claiming that the Rockefeller-owned ATCC, the global biological materials resource and standards organization, sells human organs and viruses, including Zika virus through the Internet. This latter, as the author claims, has been created artificially and its patent is owned by the Rockefeller family. The post is accompanied by a screenshot depicting a Zika virus strain with a code and a price allegedly offered by ATCC for sale.
1. The claim as if Zika virus is manmade represents a conspiracy theory, while the statement as if its patent belongs to the Rockefeller family is disinformation. In fact, the Zika virus patent does not belong to the Rockefeller family. The accompanying screenshot from ATCC’s website is manipulative and an enclosed code VR-84 is not a patent number, but rather the name of a virus strain. 2. The claim that ATCC sells human organs and this organization is owned by the Rockefeller family represents disinformation.
1. A conspiracy theory about the Zika virus
ATCC – the American Type Culture Collection – is a non-profit resource for biological materials. It distributes microorganisms, cell lines, and other materials for further research by scientists. However, VR-84 is the nam
In response, the Rockefeller Foundation denied the rumors that it holds or has filed for any patent on the Zika virus. It clarified that Zika was first discovered at the Foundation-supported Virus Research Institute in Entebbe, Uganda in 1947, and a sample of the virus was given to ATCC.
Lasha Modebadze’s post is accompanied by a Georgian-language translation of the screenshot from ATCC’s website. According to TinEye, reverse image search engine, the photo depicting a Zika strain and Rockefeller, along with an identical conspiracy theory, was first spread in 2016 by American website thefreethoughtproject.com known for spreading conspiracy theories and pseudo-scientific publications.Politfact has verified its articles on multiple occasions.
2. The claim as if ATCC sells human organs and this organization is owned by the Rockefeller family represents disinformation.
The author tells a lie when claiming that ATCC sells organs. The list of products published on the organization’s website does not contain organs.
This is not the first time the disinformation claiming the Zika virus is manmade spreads. In 2016, Gennadiy Onishchenko, MP of the Russian State Duma and former chief sanitary, accused the Lugar Center of artificially producing Zika virus in Abkhazia.
ATCC is not owned by the Rockefeller family
The American Type Culture Collection (ATCC), the premier global biological materials resource and standards organization, is not owned by the Rockefeller family. No links between this organization and the Rockefeller family can be found through open sources. It is a private nonprofit organization housing the largest collection of diverse microorganisms and related materials in the world. ATCC was established in 1925. The early years were spent at the McCormick Institute in Chicago until the organization moved to Georgetown University in Washington, DC in 1937. Later, the ATCC requested funds from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) to construct a permanent laboratory building.
About the source
Facebook account Lasha Modebadze is apparently a fake profile, previously serving as an admin of Facebook group კორონა მაფია (Corona Mafia) and now administering and moderating another group კორონამაფია და საქართველო როგორც საექსპერიმენტო ქვეყანა(Corona mafia and Georgia as an experimental country). This latter frequently spreads Russian-language conspiracy theories about the coronavirus, also shares News Front Georgia’s materials. Lasha Modebadze spread disinformation against the Lugar Lab in October as well. Recently, the same profile also spread disinformation about the South Caucasus Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program, as well as a conspiracy theory as if the pandemic was planned in advance.
Archive link: https://archive.ph/CNbi1
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