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Pro-Life Group Raises Concerns Over PepsiCo's Research Methods

Group writes letters regarding the company's possible use of aborted fetal cell lines for development of beverage flavor enhancers, and a shareholder filed a resolution asking the business to adopt a policy against such research.


| Posted 10/29/11 at 12:00 PM


ATLANTA (EWTN News)—A pro-life group’s concerns that PepsiCo may be using aborted fetal cell lines for research and development of beverage flavor enhancers have prompted a shareholder to file a resolution asking PepsiCo to adopt a policy against such research.

In August 2010 PepsiCo entered into a four-year agreement with the company Senomyx to develop high-potency sweeteners for its beverages. PepsiCo is paying $30 million for the research and future royalties on PepsiCo products sold using the technology.

Most of Senomyx’s patents involve the aborted fetal cell line HEK-293, which originated in human embryonic kidneys.

The Largo, Fla.-based group Children of God for Life wrote both companies asking that they use several of the non-objectionable cell lines listed in their patents. Senomyx did not respond, while PepsiCo told the group that the research would produce “great-tasting, lower-calorie beverages.”

The new shareholder resolution asks 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.”

Debi Vinnedge, Children of God for Life’s executive director, said shareholders have “a right to know the truth about what PepsiCo is doing with their hard-earned savings.”

“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,” she said. “There is nothing ethical or appropriate in the way they are exploiting the remains of an innocent aborted child.”

Children of God for Life has responded to the situation by launching a boycott of PepsiCo.