Biotech company using cell lines from aborted babies in food enhancement testing
Updated: 03/29/11 at 4:16 pm.
LARGO, Florida, March 29, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Pepsico, Kraft Foods, and Nestlé are among the corporations partnered with a biotech company found using aborted fetal cell lines to test food flavor enhancers, according to a pro-life watchdog group.
The internationally recognized biotech company, Senomyx, boasts innovation and success in “flavour programs” designed to reduce MSG, sugar and salt in food and beverage products. Senomyx notes their collaborators provide them research and development funding plus royalties on sales of products using their flavor ingredients.
Pro-life watchdog group, Children of God for Life (CGL), has called upon the public to target the major corporations in a boycott, unless the company ceases to use aborted fetal cell lines in their product testing.
“Using isolated human taste receptors,” the Senomyx website claims, “we created proprietary taste receptor-based assay systems that provide a biochemical or electronic readout when a flavor ingredient interacts with the receptor.”
“What they do not tell the public is that they are using HEK 293 – human embryonic kidney cells taken from an electively aborted baby to produce those receptors,” stated Debi Vinnedge, Executive Director for CGL, the watch dog group that has been monitoring the use of aborted fetal material in medical products and cosmetics for years.
“They could have easily chosen COS (monkey) cells, Chinese Hamster Ovary cells, insect cells or other morally obtained human cells expressing the G protein for taste receptors,” Vinnedge added.
Responses from major corporations to CGL’s letter campaign succeeded in warning the pro-life watchdog that these companies would need significant public pressure to admit involvement in and convince them of the need to change Senomyx’s unethical testing methods.
After three letters, Nestlé finally admitted the truth about their relationship with Senomyx, noting the cell line was “well established in scientific research”.
Pepsico wrote: “We hope you are reassured to learn that our collaboration with Senomyx is strictly limited to creating lower-calorie, great-tasting beverages for consumers. This will help us achieve our commitment to reduce added sugar per serving by 25% in key brands in key markets over the next decade and ultimately help people live healthier lives.”
“If enough people voice their outrage and intent to boycott these consumer products, it can be highly effective in convincing Senomyx to change their methods”, Vinnedge noted. “Otherwise, we will be buying Coca-Cola, Lipton soups and Hershey products!”
Note: This article originally stated, based on information provided by CGL, that Solae and Campbell soup were also partnered with Senomyx. However, LSN has since learned that while both companies were in the past partnered with Senomyx, they no longer have a relationship with the company.
To contact the companies:
Kent Snyder, CEO
4767 Nexus Centre Drive
San Diego, California 92121
Paul Bulcke, CEO
800 North Brand Boulevard
Glendale, CA 91203
Jamie Caulfield, Sr.VP
700 Anderson Hill Road
Purchase, NY 10577
Irene Rosenfeld, CEO
Kraft Foods/Cadbury Chocolate
Three Lakes Drive
Northfield, IL 60093