by Ethan A. Huff
January 26, 2012
In order to simulate various flavors in processed foods, some food
manufacturers are actually using aborted fetal cells to test and
produce these artificial chemical enhancers that millions of
Americans consume every single day.
Concerned about the ethical and moral
implications of such a process, Oklahoma Senator Ralph Shortey
has introduced new legislation to prohibit this practice from
occurring in his home state.
Senomyx, a California-based biotechnology
company that specializes in developing food flavorings,
is one such company that uses aborted embryonic cells to create
"isolated human taste receptors," which are used in the production
of food chemicals.
And this company has partnered with
several major food manufacturers, including Kraft, PepsiCo, and
"There is a potential that there are
companies that are using aborted human babies in their research
and development of basically enhancing flavor for artificial
flavors," Sen. Shortey is quoted as saying by KRMG News Talk
"What I am saying is that if it does
happen then we are not going to allow it to manufacture here."
According to Children of God for Life
(CGL), a pro-life watchdog group, Senomyx uses HEK 293 to produce
its artificial flavor enhancing chemicals.
HEK 293 is code for human embryonic
kidney cells that are manipulated to produce taste receptors that
express a specific protein known as the
G protein. But CGL says the
company could also use animal, insect, or other more
acceptably-derived cells instead, and still procure the same
While aborted fetal cells are not necessarily in the final products
made by PepsiCo, Kraft, or Nestle, such cells appear to needlessly
play a part in the production of artificial flavor chemicals used by
these companies. And since there are viable alternatives to this
questionable practice, Sen. Shortey, CGL, and many others are
calling for its end.
As reported, the Campbell Soup company used to be a Senomyx partner until CGL contacted them about the fetal cell issue.
Shortly thereafter, reports indicate
that Campbell's officially cut ties with Senomyx, which in 2003
filed a patent for,
"recombinant (genetically modified)
methods for expressing a functional sweet taste receptor."