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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke May 30, 2024

If you’re looking for a milk alternative at Starbucks, this isn’t it

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  • This claim appears to have originated on a satirical website.

A TikTok post recently shared on Facebook retreads an old debunked claim: Starbucks makes its lattes with a special ingredient — semen. 

"Starbucks latte is made with what?!" reads the text above a video of James David Manning, pastor of the ATLAH World Missionary Church in New York. 

"They talk about semen in Starbucks lattes and they do put it in there," Manning said in the video, which has been online for about a decade. "The semen is another kind of milk. It's something that’s produced by the testicle glands of a man. People tend to like milk that’s produced by the mammary glands of a woman. Starbucks has figured out that people tend to like semen."

A May 26 Facebook post sharing this video was flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)

We couldn’t find the original video of Manning, who hosts "The Manning Report," an online show. (The link to his YouTube page appears to be dead.)

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But HuffPost reported in November 2014 that Manning said Starbucks was "taking specimens of male semen, and they were putting it in the blends of their lattes." HuffPost also reported in August 2015 that Manning appeared on "The Daily Show" and said Starbucks was using "semen to make the latte even more flavorful." 

When asked for evidence, Manning said, "You may not be able to find my explanation suitable to meet the empirical standards. But let’s just say I know." 

His claim came a month after a "satirical entertainment" website published a story that said the Food and Drug Administration was investigating after semen was found in Starbucks drinks nationwide.

"Apparently human semen added ‘more flavor’ to the beverages on sale," the story said. 

We looked for but found no credible sources, such as news stories or statements from the FDA or Starbucks Corp., that Starbucks uses semen to make its lattes.

We rate this claim Pants on Fire!


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If you’re looking for a milk alternative at Starbucks, this isn’t it

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