Jeff Smith 6 p.m., Nov. 29
Boycott Ends Over Pepsi's Controversial Contract With Local Biotech
A pro-life group has called off a yearlong boycott of Pepsi products after receiving a satisfactory assurance from the company that a San Diego biotech under contract with the soft drink maker would not be using cells from a human fetus aborted in the 1970s in the development of flavor enhancers.
Children of God for Life, a Florida-based organization, had successfully convinced more than 30 other pro-life groups to join in its crusade after learning of research conducted by the local firm Senomyx on behalf of Pepsi. The company had “listed HEK-293, a “human embryo kidney” cell line . . . in more than 70 patents related to flavor enhancers,” according to the Washington Times.
“We are absolutely thrilled with PepsiCo’s decision. They have listened to their customers and have made both a wise and profound statement of corporate integrity,” said Debi Vinnedge, Children of God for Life’s executive director, who added that she received support in her crusade from advocates of abortion rights. “Children of God for Life also heard from a number of women who stated they were pro choice yet this use of aborted fetal cell lines, crossed the line and angered them as well,” Vinnedge said in a statement posted to LifeNews.com.
According to the Times, Pepsi had been involved in a lengthy exchange with the group since the boycott was announced last May, but their repeated denials of using embryo or fetal tissue had been rejected as “lawyerly spin” by the boycott’s leaders before they settled on the latest language as “evasion-proof.”
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