Life Issues Institute has called for a public boycott of PepsiCo. The food giant has partnered with Senomyx, a biotech company that uses aborted fetal cells in the research and development of artificial flavor enhancers.
Bradley Mattes, executive director of Life Issues Institute, said, "To our knowledge, this is the first time a food product has been publicly associated with abortion."
PepsiCo funds research and pays royalties to Senomyx, which uses human embryonic kidney cells (HEK-293) to produce flavor enhancers for Pepsi beverages. Although the product itself does not contain aborted fetal cells, the close relationship may repulse consumers.
The abortion connection motivated Campbell Soup Company to sever all relations with Senomyx. Yet PepsiCo continues the business partnership, insisting that its collaboration with Senomyx only involves creating lower-calorie, great-tasting beverages. Scores of pro-life groups disagree, and have protested with boycott. As Debi Vinnedge, president of Children of God for Life, said, "There are many options PepsiCo could be using instead of aborted fetal cells."