Boycott PepsiCo. That's the message scores of pro-life groups are sending after the revelation that the soft drink giant has partnered with Senomyx, a biotech company that uses aborted fetal cells in the research and development of artificial flavor enhancers.
Although the aborted fetal cells are not in Pepsi products, it's nevertheless an image that makes the stomach turn.
"There are many options PepsiCo could be using instead of aborted fetal cells," argues Debi Vinnedge, president of Children of God for Life, the group spearheading the boycott.
PepsiCo isn't the first major brand name to work with Senomyx. It's well-documented that Campbell's Soup Company has also worked with the organization. However, Campbell's severed all relations with Senomyx after the revelation of the aborted fetal cell testing.
Pepsi is still working with the firm, insisting that "our collaboration with Senomyx is strictly limited to creating lower-calorie, great-tasting beverages for consumers."
"While aborted fetal cells aren't actually in the product itself, the close relationship is enough to repulse most consumers," says Bradley Mattes, executive director of Life Issues Institute. "To our knowledge, this is the first time a food product has been publicly associated with abortion."
Pro-life organizations are asking the public to boycott all Pepsi drink products and encourage consumers to contact Pepsi management requesting that they sever all ties with Senomyx.
Pepsi could not immediately be reached for comment.
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