Unlike what the wording of source articles suggest – No, you are not eating aborted fetal tissue in new food products. Stem cells and aborted fetal tissue are, however, used in the process of testing new flavor additives. The rationale for this method is to find additives allowing the reduction of MSG, salt, and sugar in food ingredients.
Some may not mind stem cell research for other purposes, but for artificial food additives? Newly manufactured ones that may be worse than current ingredients? All the more reason to ditch process foods and stop supporting the food companies condoning this method, whether it's the stem cell research or the new food additives or both that grinds your gears.
Popular food companies team up with a biotech company called Senomyx to test new foods. Pro-life group Children of God brought this knowledge to the forefront, holding that such testing can be achieved via other methods, including using other forms of life if necessary or even morally obtained human cells. They are calling for boycotts and respectful protest letter writing to such companies as Nestle, Pepsi, and Kraft among others.
Due to consumer response, Campbell's Soup severed their partnership with Senomyx. Children of God is also in the fight against the use of aborted fetal cell lines known to be in vaccines.
Pepsi tried to weasel out of the claims with a sneaky response (below). Pepsi tried to make it appear that the writer said that aborted stem cells were in Pepsi ingredients or that Pepsi conducted research using the stem cell method. They know they partner with Senomyx that clearly uses this method, see here and here.
Do Aborted Babies Enhance the Flavor of the Food You Eat?
Popular food companies are working with a biotech company called Senomyx to test their foods. The goal of the testing is to find food additives to reduce the amount of MSG, salt, and sugar used in the foods that they produce. Semonyx receives money to do the research, along with royalties when foods using their ingredients are sold. The fetal stem cell line, taken from the kidney of an electively aborted baby, is used to test the biochemical reaction when exposed to the food ingredients. Although they could have used cells derived from other forms of life, they chose to use the fetal stem cells.
Companies Using this Technology
Currently, the companies that have decided to partner with Semonyx include Nestlé, Pepsico, Kraft (which included Cadbury Chocolate), and Solae. Campbell's Soup did have a partnership with this company, but they chose to break their relationships with the biotech company shortly after the pro-life group Children of God for Life sent out a press release about their involvement.
Eating Real Food
If the idea of eating foods using ingredients that were developed using fetal stem cell lines leaves a bad taste in your mouth, you can avoid buying products from the companies that are working with Semonyx. Unfortunately, this includes some of the biggest brands in the food industry. This also doesn't guarantee that other companies won't start working with Semonyx in the future in order to develop their own food ingredients. The best way to guarantee that you won't be eating food with these products is to eat real food using natural ingredients. There's no telling whether the ingredients that Semonyx develops won't be worse than the MSG, salt, and sugar that they are trying to replace. With real food, especially if they are taken from an organic source, you can guarantee that you're eating food obtained without the help of cells derived from an aborted baby.
Source:Semonyx Alert, Children of God for Life, 29 March 2011.
By: Brooke Lorren
Pepsi response to a protest letter:
Sent: Friday, April 01, 2011 4:00 PM
Subject: A Message from PepsiCo Consumer Relations 012652620A
“Thank you for contacting us to share your sincere concerns. Please know that we take very seriously the issues you raised. PepsiCo has a strong set of defined values
we strive to live up to. Unfortunately, there is some misinformation being circulated related to research techniques that have been used for decades by universities,
hospitals, government agencies, and private companies around the world. These claims are meant to suggest that human fetal tissue is somehow used in our research.
That is both inaccurate and something we would never do or even consider.
It also is inaccurate to suggest that tissue or cells somehow are being used as product ingredients. That’s dangerous, unethical and against the law. Every ingredient in
every one of our products is reviewed and approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
We hope this information is helpful and reassuring. Thank you again for reaching out to us and allowing us to clarify the situation.”
Consumer Relations Representative
How To Respond To PepsiCo:
Dear Ms. Corsi,
Thank you for responding to my letter.
I did not say that PepsiCo was using human fetal tissue in their products nor have I heard of anyone suggesting that. It appears that Pepsi is spreading misinformation
in this regard. However, PepsiCo is funding research and development of artificial flavor enhancers to be used in your beverages that are made by Senomyx – and they
are using aborted fetal cell line HEK-293 in that R&D.
It seems that PepsiCo is trying to obfuscate the facts here by insinuating you are not guilty by association, when according to Senomyx, you are a partner, a collaborator
and a financial backer. Which is it?
Clearly, you do have a marketing problem – Senomyx is specifically implicating your company on their website ( http://senomyx.com/collaborations/partnerships.htm )
and this is a problem for me, and I suspect millions of other consumers who have joined or are planning to join the boycott.