There Are No Aborted Fetal Cells in Pepsi, Kraft, Nestle and Campbell’s
In 2012, in a letter to those boycotting Pepsi products, the company’s vice president told consumers that Pepsi did not conduct or fund research using cell lines derived from aborted fetuses and embryos. Coca-Cola, Campbell’s, Pepsi and Kraft have confirmed to Full Fact that they do not use aborted embryonic fetal cells in their products
We are reviewing a Facebook post claiming that our food and drinks contain products from aborted fetal cells. As part of the post, a video was shared in which an unknown speaker explained that the international company Senomyx produces flavor enhancers for food manufacturers such as Pepsi, Kraft, Nestle and Campbell’s. According to the speaker, Senomyx uses cells from the kidneys of aborted fetuses, and after replicating them, puts the same cells in all food products. Among the products mentioned are Pepsi drinks, Gatorade sports drink, Lace chips, Tropicana and MinuteMade lemonade, and Dasani mineral water. The speaker ends the video with an appeal not to consume these products.
The post is extremely viral and at the moment of our review has over 70 shares.
The products mentioned have been in the US and some of the world markets for years, which make this post even more intimidating. Some Instagram users spread the same misinformation and then withdrew it, saying the products did not contain aborted baby cells.
What is the truth?
In 2010, Pepsi signed a four-year deal with Senomyx, a company that develops sweeteners and flavor enhancers. A year later, the anti-abortion movement in the United States “Children for a God for Life” called for a boycott of companies cooperating with Senomyx, because, as they said, “fetal lines from aborted fetuses are used to test these products“. They claimed that Senomyx used kidney cells from embryos taken from an aborted baby to produce sweeteners. These cells are called HEK-293.
A 2014 article in the scientific journal Nature explains that the HEK-293 cell line originated in the kidney of a 1973 aborted human embryo. The cells are cloned and widely used in biomedical research.
Hence the claim that in the patent Senomyx uses cloned cells, which originate from an aborted embryo, in the early stages. Pepsi denied in a statement for Reuters any connection to HEK-293 cells. In 2012, in a letter to those boycotting Pepsi products, the company’s vice president told consumers that Pepsi did not conduct or fund research using cell lines derived from aborted fetuses and embryos and that Senomyx did not use HEK cells for Pepsi products.
The company confirmed this to Reuters once again.
At one time PepsiCo did have a relationship with Senomyx exploring the development of new sweeteners and flavor enhancers,” a PepsiCo spokesperson said, but “PepsiCo’s commercial relationship with Senomyx has ended and we do not use any Senomyx ingredients in our products.
Coca-Cola, Campbell’s, Pepsi and Kraft told Full Fact that they do not use aborted fetal cells in their products. Nestle did not answer questions.
According to Full Fact, although cells derived from human tissue may be involved in the development of certain flavors, this does not mean that these cells are found in the sweetener or product that you eat or drink!
In addition, in June 2019, Campbell’s, Kraft Heinz and Coca-Cola confirmed that they do not use products made from Senomyx or sweeteners developed using HEK-293 cells.
As “Truthmeter” previously wrote, the trace of HEK 293 cells originated in a single fetal kidney from a healthy aborted fetus in 1970. Everything that happens after that is from cultivated cell lines. Scientist Matthew Herper told Forbes:
The fetus-derived cell line we’re talking about was also created around the time I was born. This is 35-year-old technology. And it is widely used in cell biology. And there is no way you’ll consume them or that the cells would cause any health problems.
Cells called HEK 293 (short for human embryonic kidney) were taken from an aborted fetus in 1970 in the Netherlands. No new fetal tissues were used to extend cell culture! Using this cell line does not lead to new abortions.
The fact that Senomyx tests food additives with HEK cells, in fact, allows the company to test many flavors at high speed, which would not be possible if people were used for trying flavors.
Hence, we assess that it is not true that in the final products such as Pepsi, Lace, Gatorade, Tropicana, Minitmade lemonades and in Dasani water, there are aborted fetuses as claimed in the post we are reviewing.