April 29, 2012

Children of God for Life Concludes Boycott with Victory

Demonstrating the power of grassroots organization and witness, Children of God for Life led a successful boycott of Pepsico, and in less than one year persuaded the company to discontinue its plan to use cell lines derived from elective abortion to test flavor enhancers.

In spring 2011, Children of God for Life contacted Pepsico to express outrage at Pepsico’s partnership with third party vendor Senomyx to test new flavors. Senomyx uses isolated human taste receptors to create proprietary taste receptor-based assay systems that provide a biochemical or  electronic readout when a flavor   ingredient interacts with the receptor—but derived those “isolated human test receptors” from HEK-293, a cell line derived from an elective abortion. Although Pepsico originally ignored and then attempted to deflect the outrage, after an 11-month long boycott and thousands of letters, it ceased its use of Senomyx testing for product development.

This impressive effort, which lasted less than one year from start to finish, demonstrates the power of organized and motivated pro-life people to change the behavior of a large, multinational corporation. Children of God for Life Executive Director Debi Vinnedge is to be commended for her leadership and tenacity. This successful effort should encourage related efforts to persuade pharmaceutical companies to make available vaccines that are not derived from abortion-derived cell lines such as WI-38, MRC-5, RA 27/3, and PER-C6.

Everyone should write to Pepsico to thank them for doing the right thing.

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