The Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) has declared that PepsiCo’s arrangement with San Diego, Cal.-based Senomyx, which produces flavor enhancing chemicals for Pepsi using human embryonic kidney tissue, simply constitutes “ordinary business operations.” The cells are used to analyze human response to certain chemicals.
The non-profit group Children of God for Life (CGL) first broke the news about Pepsi’s alliance with Senomyx, in 20122 which led to massive outcry and a worldwide boycott of Pepsi products. At that time, it was revealed that Pepsi had many other options at its disposal to produce flavor chemicals, which is what its competitors do, but had instead chosen to continue using aborted fetal cells. Senomyx describes the cells as “isolated human taste receptors”.
A few months later, Pepsi’ shareholders filed a resolution petitioning the company to “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.” The SECshut down this 36-page proposal, deciding instead that Pepsi’s used of aborted babies to flavor its beverage products is just business as usual, and not a significant concern.
“We’re not talking about what kind of pencils PepsiCo wants to use — we are talking about exploiting the remains of an aborted child for profit,” said Debi Vinnedge, Executive Director of CGL, concerning the SEC decision. “Using human embryonic kidney (HEK-293) to produce flavor enhancers for their beverages is a far cry from routine operations!”