From One News Now from March 30, 2011:
According to a Florida-based pro-life organization, a biotech company is using aborted fetal cell lines to test food flavor enhancers.
Debi Vinnedge, executive director of Children of God for Life, is calling for a boycott of major food companies partnering with Senomyx, a San Diego-based firm that produces artificial flavor enhancers using aborted fetal cell lines to test their products. She explains the process.
“They take their artificial flavor enhancers, which are made using little molecules, and they put them on that aborted fetal cell line [which] elicits a response…,” says Vinnedge. “So they know whether they’re getting the right reaction, whether it’s going to produce that proper sweet taste as opposed to maybe another flavor.”
The pro-life activist argues there is no need to use aborted fetal tissue in this process, saying the truth is that Senomyx can use other cell lines, such as from animals. That, she says, raises the question of why those alternative sources are not used instead.
“…In one of their responses to us, [Nestlé] said this is such a well-established cell line that was used widely in scientific research — and so what? It doesn’t matter that it is. It’s just readily available,” she remarks.
The tissue in question comes from a baby aborted in the 1970s. Scientists create a cell line, freeze it in liquid nitrogen, and then take it out for use in their experiments.
The primary firms doing business with Senomyx are Pepsico, Kraft, Campbell Soup, and Nestlé.
A follow-up from One News Now from April 05, 2011 shows Cambell Soup is severing ties with the Senomyx, but Pepsico is standing firm:
Outrage continues over major food companies and their relationship with a firm that uses aborted fetal cells to test food flavor enhancers.
Campbell Soup, Nestlé, Solae, Pepsico and Kraft have been listed as partners with the bio-tech firm Senomyx (see earlier story). Debi Vinnedge, executive director of Children of God for Life, tells OneNewsNow one company was quick to respond.
“Campbell Soup actually met earlier and made the decision to sever all relations with Senomyx,” she reports. The firm has also been removed from the Senomyx website.
Solae has responded by saying it does not have an active relationship with Senomyx, but it is still listed as a partner on the latter’s website. Nestlé points out the fetal cell line being used worldwide is from a baby aborted in the 1970s, and it would be difficult to stop using them. The response from Vinnedge?
“Well, that’s ridiculous. Of course they can do it,” says the spokeswoman. “There’s no reason to use aborted fetal cell lines to test food additives.”
She adds that Pepsi was “very, very evasive” in its response. “Pepsi simply talked about how great it was going to make their beverages taste,” she states, “and that their goal was to reduce sugar and MSG in products.”
Vinnedge says the boycott continues against the remaining firms.
You can read the original alert to boycott these companies here, and you can read the e-mails to these companies (and their responses) here.