I’m not a big boycotter. In fact, I don’t think I have ever participated in an actual boycott of products before. But I cannot ignore this:

A pro-life group that monitors the use of cells from babies victimized by abortions is today highlighting a biotech company, Senomyx, which it says produces artificial flavor enhancers using aborted fetal cell lines to test their products.


“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,” the Senomyx web site says. “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.”

Vinnedge says a boycott is important because the collaborating companies provide Senomyx with research and development funding plus royalties on sales of products using their flavor ingredients.

“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,” she said. “They could have easily chosen animal, insect, or other morally obtained human cells expressing the G protein for taste receptors.”

I found out about this thanks to Julie at Happy Catholic, who also compiled a brands cheat sheet. And then Christine conveniently linked to the updates and contact information for each of the companies still involved (PepsiCo and Kraft) in using human embryonic kidney cells for food testing.

I’m not happy about this on many levels. For one thing, this really changes my purchasing habits. For another…SERIOUSLY? USING HUMAN EMBRYONIC CELLS? Supporting abortion’s “byproducts” in this way can NEVER be okay. Never ever ever. Even if it means we can’t eat the foods we’re used to and I have to buck up and do some baking.

I have contacted PepsiCo and Kraft and I hope you will, too. As my husband pointed out in response to my (ongoing, rather loud) ranting about this, boycotting without communicating to the companies doesn’t do any good.