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How Cells from an Aborted Fetus are Used to Create Novel Flavor Enhancers

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Health Issues page and our Food Safety Research Center page.

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 For several years anti-abortion advocates have been warning that a new technology for enhancing flavors such as sweetness and saltiness uses aborted fetal cells in the process.

 The biotech company using this novel process, Senomyx, has signed contracts with Pepsi, Ajinomoto Co. (the maker of aspartame and meat glue), Nestle and other food and beverage companies over the past several years.

 The primary goal for many of these processed food companies is to make foods and beverages tasty while reducing sugar and salt content.

 While Senomyx refuses to disclose the details of the process, its patent applications indicate that part of the secret indeed involves the use of human kidney cells, known as HEK293, originating from an aborted baby.

 It's worth noting that no kidney cells, or part thereof, are actually IN the finished product.4 Rather they're part of the process used to discern new flavors, which will be discussed below.

 That said, to many, this is still "over the line." Two years ago, anti-abortion groups launched boycott campaigns against Pepsi Co., urging them to reconsider using flavorings derived from a process involving the use of aborted embryonic kidney cells.


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