It was just about a year ago that the pro-life lines got more divided than ever when news broke that PepsiCo had contracted with Senomyx, a scientific reproach company who was using a human aborted fetal cell HEK 293. Headed by Children of God for Life, pro-life agencies began wide scale boycotts of all Pepsi products, but today that boycott ends.
Children of God for Life’s Executive Director Debi Vinnege, said that PepsiCo began realizing the impact of the decisions to use HEK 293 in November when PepsiCo began to have internal discussions.
November is also the time when shareholders filed a resolution with the Securities and Exchange Commission asking PepsiCo stop this practice. The issue was no longer a pro-life/pro-choice issue but a human rights and ethics issue.
Whatever transpired behind the doors of the corporate offices, one thing is certain, Vinnege told me Pepsi has backed down from Senomyx. She talked with Paul Boykas, Vice President, Global Public Policy, and assures Bound4LIFE this is an actual change and the boycott can end because PepsiCo has heard the voices of its consumers who say fetal cell research isn’t needed to make anything taste better.
“In speaking with Mr. Boykas, Vinnedge noted that the company had conducted internal discussions, recognizing it was a highly sensitive and controversial subject that quite frankly, was not in the best interests of PepsiCo.
“We took the matter very seriously,” stated Mr. Boykas. “We have an official Statement on Responsible Research and we intend to live by that policy.”
That policy (See Responsible Research Policy) precludes any research by PepsiCo – or third parties they fund – from using human tissue or cell lines derived from embryos or fetuses.
PepsiCo’s research processes and those of our partners are confidential for competitive reasons. However, PepsiCo does not conduct or fund research – including research funded by PepsiCo but performed by third parties – that utilizes any human tissue or cell lines derived from embryos or fetuses.
This glorious news is a reminder that while we are called to pray, we are also responsible for action. There can be no doubt that a public moral outcry from many pro-lifers in the world was the impetus to the decision made by PepsiCo to halt this despicable and unnecessary research.
There are many who respond negatively to boycotts or who say such silly actions don’t change things, but once again, we are writing about a major corporation who altered its practices in response to an economic boycott and public outcry. We must take action to stand for what’s right. When we don’t, we open the door for more wrong. One person told me vehemently the Pepsi situation was only “one cell from one baby.” But where’s the line? To us, the line was that one baby.
It’s with delight I can again enjoy products made by PepsiCo. And I am believing that Kraft and Nestle will follow suit. When we aren’t afraid to take a stand, our voices will be heard, even in corporate America.
If you missed the history of this drama, you can click this link to see how it played out as the boycott happened, and then the SEC resolution almost certainly triggered this result. You can also find information on the products still targeted for their human stem cell ties. This news applies only to PepsiCo and its products.
Folks, your prayers worked, and your action worked. The heads of PepsiCo had a change of heart in internal discussions and then acted on that policy. Led by Children of God for Life, and joined by Bound4LIFE, and many other pro-life agencies, we took an unpopular and sometimes difficult stand, but today you can buy Pepsi products knowing that there is no longer innocent blood shed to research the flavor possibilities.
Will you join us now is praying and taking action for Kraft and Nestle to join suit? Step by step, we are impacting the culture of death on this nation!
Editor’s Note: PepsiCo includes Frito-Lay, Quaker and Gatorade products, so if you participated in a mass boycott, these are clear. Nestle and Kraft have not yet indicated any changes.