Blog Post

Biotech Company Using Aborted Fetal Cell Lines in Testing

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS Staff Journalist Children of God for Life (COG) is calling for a public boycott of major food companies such as Pepsico, Kraft Foods, Solae, and Nestle who are partnering with Senomyx, a biotech company that produces artificial flavor enhancers using aborted fetal cell lines to test their products. According to a COG press release, the pro-life organization wrote to Senomyx CEO Kent Snyder in 2010, pointing out moral alternatives for testing their food additives that do not include human embryonic kidney cells taken from electively aborted fetuses which they are currently using. When Senomyx ignored their letter, they wrote to the companies Senomyx listed on their website as "collaborators" warning them of public backlash and threatened boycott. Food giants Pepsico, Kraft Foods, Campbell Soup, Solae and Nestlé are the primary boycott targets. The Senomyx website states: "The company's key flavor programs focus on the discovery and development of savory, sweet and salt flavor ingredients that are intended to allow for the reduction of MSG, sugar and salt in food and beverage products....Using isolated human taste receptors, 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 don't 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 of COG, which has been monitoring the use of aborted fetal material in medical and consumer products for years. "They could have easily chosen animal, insect, or other morally obtained human cells expressing the G protein for taste receptors," she added. In writing to their collaborators, it took three letters before Nestlé finally admitted the truth about their relationship with Senomyx, noting the cell line was "well established in scientific research." Both Pepsico and Campbell Soup also responded. Shockingly, 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 percent in key brands in key markets over the next decade and ultimately help people live healthier lives."  However, within hours of the Children of God for Life press release, Campbell Soup announced they were severing their ties with Senomyx. Juli Mandel Sloves, Senior Manager of Nutrition & Wellness Communications at Campbell Soup Company, wrote: "We are no longer in partnership with Senomyx. This fact was discussed during the Senomyx conference call with its investors earlier this month."   "If enough people voice their outrage and intent to boycott these consumer products, it may convince Senomyx to change their methods," Vinnedge noted.  "Otherwise, we will be buying Coca-Cola and Hershey products!" © All Rights Reserved, Living His Life Abundantly®/Women of Grace® Company contact information: Kent Snyder, CEO Senomyx 4767 Nexus Centre Drive San Diego, California 92121 Paul Bulcke, CEO Nestlé USA 800 North Brand Boulevard Glendale, CA  91203   Jamie Caulfield, Sr.VP PepsiCo, Inc. 700 Anderson Hill Road Purchase, NY 10577   Irene Rosenfeld, CEO Kraft Foods/Cadbury Chocolate Three Lakes Drive Northfield, IL 60093 Mr. Torkel Rhenman Chief Executive Officer Solae 4300 Duncan Avenue St. Louis, Missouri 63110