Pepsi shareholders demand company stop using aborted fetal cell lines in flavor research
LARGO, FL, October 25, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The pro-life organization Children of God for Life announced today the filing of a shareholder resolution with the Securities and Exchange Commission and PepsiCo, protesting the use of aborted a fetal cell line for the research and development of flavor enhancers for their beverages.
In August 2010, PepsiCo entered into a 4-year agreement with Senomyx for the development of artificial high-potency sweeteners for PepsiCo beverages. Under the contract, PepsiCo is paying $30 million to Senomyx for the research and future royalties on PepsiCo products sold using Senomyx technology.
When the pro-life group wrote both companies requesting they use one of several non-objectionable, viable cell lines listed in their patents, Senomyx did not respond. PepsiCo did reply however, saying that this research, using cell lines derived from aborted babies, would produce “great tasting, lower-calorie beverages.”
Appalled by the response, Children of God for Life launched a boycott, and was joined by over two dozen other pro-life organizations . The boycott now includes supporters from Australia, Spain, Germany, Ireland, Scotland, Poland and the UK.
Meanwhile, letters sent to all PepsiCo Board Members and Senior Management have gone unanswered.
“Shareholders have a right to know the truth about what PepsiCo is doing with their hard-earned savings,” stated Children of God for Life Executive Director, Debi Vinnedge. “PepsiCo’s lack of consideration to the public’s moral sensibilities has only served to fuel the fire and threatens stock values, retirement pensions and investments.”
The PepsiCo shareholder who filed the resolution requested that “the Board of Directors adopt a corporate policy that recognizes human rights and employs ethical standards which do not involve using the remains of aborted human beings in both private and collaborative research and development agreements.”
PepsiCo’s own Code of Conduct boasts that they “deal with customers, suppliers, the public and our competitors in an ethical and appropriate manner.”
“There is nothing ethical or appropriate in the way they are exploiting the remains of an innocent aborted child,” noted Vinnedge.
One 12-year-old Florida boy who learned of PepsiCo’s research from his mom’s prolife news reports was upset enough to take action himself. At a 40 Days for Life kickoff, Gene spoke passionately to the audience.
“When I found out about this, I was sick to my stomach,” he said. “I decided I wouldn’t let this happen so I came up with a way to boycott Pepsi products called United Schools for Life. This program will attempt to remove all Pepsi products from the schools in our diocese.” Gene hopes to spread his mission through the entire state.
Vinnedge said she was moved by Gene’s initiative and courage.
“We hope that PepsiCo senior management gives serious consideration to what this boy has done,” she noted. “Even a child knows this is wrong. God bless him for standing up for the unborn who have no voice of their own!”
For further information see www.cogforlife.org/pepsiboycott.htm
For more information on Gene’s work contact [email protected]