Aborted Fetal Cells Used in Food Research?


#1

Have any of you guys been following the whole "food companies that may use aborted fetuses in their research" saga that's unfolding? If you have has it changed the way you're shopping?

I definitely wish the companies involved with this biotech firm would follow Campbell's and cut all ties with the companies.

I emailed them and got a "we don't do that kind of research" response from Pepsi (although they didn't deny using the company that does and a "thanks for your interest" response from Nestle. So far nothing from Kraft although I've heard that they are defending the practice from others who have heard back from them (that ought to be an interesting email if they're still sending it out).

I just wish we could buy food without worrying that the companies that are producing it are supporting evil...


#2

I think I’ve seen a few other threads about it, but I have trouble with the search feature on CAF and couldn’t find them. But, here is one thread on the topic that I know about because it is one of my subscribed threads.

Company Uses Cells From Abortions to Test Artificial Flavors
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=548277


#3

[quote="RedSoxWife, post:1, topic:235072"]
Have any of you guys been following the whole "food companies that may use aborted fetuses in their research" saga that's unfolding? If you have has it changed the way you're shopping?

I definitely wish the companies involved with this biotech firm would follow Campbell's and cut all ties with the companies.

I emailed them and got a "we don't do that kind of research" response from Pepsi (although they didn't deny using the company that does and a "thanks for your interest" response from Nestle. So far nothing from Kraft although I've heard that they are defending the practice from others who have heard back from them (that ought to be an interesting email if they're still sending it out).

I just wish we could buy food without worrying that the companies that are producing it are supporting evil...

[/quote]

This whole situation is just crazy!! I don't really know if we will be able to actually around it. I mean, which foods should we buy and which should we just throw away?

It's just mind-boggling!


#4

Oh my goodness :( This is not ok, why can't food just be food... I get really upset about fair trade practices, too. The price of coffee should not include underpaid, child labor and same goes for shoes, clothes, etc...
sigh
I like to think that there are fair companies that don't just have the almighty dollar at heart, but sometimes I seriously wonder.


#5

Just found another short thread on the topic. I'll keep looking to find others so you can see those discussions too.

Pepsi and Nestle Partner Uses Cells from Aborted Children to Test Flavors
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=548818


#6

This looks like a pretty good discussion too.

US firm uses aborted fetal cells to test artificial food flavors
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?p=7720310


#7

My first reaction is that this biotech company did not do anything immoral by using the HEK293 human embryonic kidney cell line, but I'm open to correction. The Catholic Church teaches that while it would be immoral to kill unborn babies or to facilitate their killing, it is not immoral to use a cell line that was originally developed in an immoral fashion. In other words, if the biotech company would presently be involved in killing babies for their cells, that would be immoral. If they would be buying human cell lines from a company that presently is engaged in killing babies and developing cell lines from these babies, that would probably be immoral, because indirectly they would facilitate the immoral endeavors that the other company is currently engaged in. But the HEK293 cell line has been around for at least 20 years now, and anyone can buy it for a small fee from non-profit cell culture repositories in the USA, Europe, or Japan, such as the ATCC (American Type Culture Company) or the European Cell Repository.


#8

[quote="Joseph_L_Varga, post:7, topic:235072"]
My first reaction is that this biotech company did not do anything immoral by using the HEK293 human embryonic kidney cell line, but I'm open to correction. The Catholic Church teaches that while it would be immoral to kill unborn babies or to facilitate their killing, it is not immoral to use a cell line that was originally developed in an immoral fashion. In other words, if the biotech company would presently be involved in killing babies for their cells, that would be immoral. If they would be buying human cell lines from a company that presently is engaged in killing babies and developing cell lines from these babies, that would probably be immoral, because indirectly they would facilitate the immoral endeavors that the other company is currently engaged in. But the HEK293 cell line has been around for at least 20 years now, and anyone can buy it for a small fee from non-profit cell culture repositories in the USA, Europe, or Japan, such as the ATCC (American Type Culture Company) or the European Cell Repository.

[/quote]

I wonder why one would buy it when there are other (non-electively aborted... which is what the claim in one of the reports was) sources available that (from what was said) would work just as well?

I was also curious if you could point me in the direction of the source for the Church teaching on it being okay to use aborted cell lines? I just would have a hard time wrapping my mind around it because it seems like paying money for cells that are aborted would create a demand for them... which seems problematic. But again, I will freely admit I don't know much about how these things work... any help understanding it is greatly appreciated!


#9

Joseph, I believe that you're incorrect in saying that there's nothing wrong with a biotech company using a cell line originally developed from an aborted fetus.

See this article, regarding the use of fetal cell lines for vaccines:ncbcenter.org/NetCommunity/Page.aspx?pid=251

As the fifth paragraph states, "Thus it is not morally permissible to procure organs from intentionally aborted fetuses for transplant purposes, and similarly, cell lines can never be morally derived from such fetuses. Vaccines should also never be prepared using cell lines from aborted fetuses."

So, if it is not permissible to derive vaccines from such cell lines, it would also be immoral in this case to derive food flavor test receptors from such cell lines.


#10

What I posted was apparently wrong. I apologize. I'm not finished researching the topic, but it looks like the most recent authoritative document might be something called "Dignitas Personae" issued by the Vatican in 2008. Checking various sources including Jeffgo's earlier link from 2005, the picture that emerges now is that the Vatican indeed condemns not only the procedure of obtaining cell lines from aborted babies, but also the use of these cell lines for the production of vaccines. It looks like there's a single special exception made by the Vatican: in the USA, vaccines against certain diseases are only available in versions that have been produced by using human fetal cell lines from aborted babies. When an alternative vaccine produced using animal cell lines or ethically permissible types of human cell lines is absolutely not available, apparently the Vatican permits us to use the vaccine produced on aborted human fetal cell line. I say "apparently" because I still haven't found the primary Vatican document, only other people's commentaries on it.

If my research so far is correct, it would be a giant leap to claim that just because the Vatican allows people to use certain vaccines in the USA in a narrowly defined situation (e.g. a vaccine produced on animal cell line might be available in Japan, but not in the USA), that now it's OK to broaden the use of these immorally developed human fetal cell lines for other purposes such as the testing of food components.

I'm quite shaken because the HEK293 cell line is almost universally used, in thousands of laboratories across the USA and across the globe. It is one of the first choices scientists use for cell transfection studies, along with a few other cell lines like NIH 3T3 (rat fibroblast), CHO (chinese hamster ovary), COS-7 (monkey kidney), Xenopus oocyte (frog), PC-12 (rat) and perhaps human HeLa cells (but this is an ethical cell line - obtained by surgical resection of a cervical cancer from a female patient). I have read countless times in the Materials and Methods section of scientific papers this expression, "HEK293 human embryonic kidney cell line", and yet I never put 2 plus 2 together, I never realized that this was a cell line from an aborted baby. :o I'm disappointed with myself. I don't know, whether the researchers using this cell line are more aware than I am that this widely used cell line is really from an aborted baby (well the cell culture specialists are probably more aware - I'm just a chemist and never work with biological material myself).

RedSoxWife, you were apparently on the right track that the use of cell lines from aborted babies creates demand for yet more and newer cell lines from aborted babies. I quickly glanced through some articles on the history of these cell lines and what I found is gruesome. 18- to 21-week old fetuses were vivisected (cut into pieces while alive and awake, no anaesthesia) and their organs removed in order that the cells could be isolated from the freshest possible tissue. And while certain vaccines are being produced on a human fetal cell line named WI-38, obtained in the 1960s, there are researchers (or shall I say butchers) already trying to produce other similar fetal cell lines, just in case that the WI-38 cell line would expire (would become unavailable due to senescence, contamination, whatever).


#11

Thanks for all the research and stuff to look into you guys. It is such a gruesome and disturbing topic. Too add to this I just got this response from Kraft this morning...

"I’m glad that you took the time to contact Kraft Foods. We understand and appreciate your concerns regarding Kraft and its affiliation with Senomyx.

Our highest priority is the safety and quality of our products and the safety of our consumers. All of the flavors we use are approved and deemed safe for food use by regulatory agencies, including the FDA. Our collaboration with Senomyx is to discover novel ingredients that positively impact food flavors, similar to what already is being widely used in foods and beverages today."

I just have to say: Wow. Worst response ever. Pepsi at least denied the practice (if not the association with the company. Kraft seems to be defending it with a "everybody else does it" and "it helps us discover new flavors" logic. And that makes me feel a little sick...


#12

+Hi RedSoxWife,

Thank you so much for sharing . . . every now and again the Lord will clearly guide not to use a particular company . . . I'll certainly have no part of these three . . . *ghastly business . . . proifiting from the murder of precious children . . . ghastly . . . *

Lord have mercy!

[RIGHT]. . . all for **Jesus+[/RIGHT]


#13

[quote="RedSoxWife, post:11, topic:235072"]
Thanks for all the research and stuff to look into you guys. It is such a gruesome and disturbing topic. Too add to this I just got this response from Kraft this morning...

I just have to say: Wow. Worst response ever. Pepsi at least denied the practice (if not the association with the company. Kraft seems to be defending it with a "everybody else does it" and "it helps us discover new flavors" logic. And that makes me feel a little sick...

[/quote]

That's unconscionable!! :mad:

I've been following this story through Children of God for Life, and I'm most definitely taking it into consideration when I make my purchases. We already boycott PepsiCo because they heavily support the GLBT agenda, but I will now be avoiding Kraft and Nestle as well (and that's going to hurt our habits a bit). I was happy to see that Campbell's Soup severed ties with Senomyx when this was brought to light - will definitely reward them with my dollars.

The whole thing makes me want to throw up. God have mercy on us.


#14

We already boycott Nestle because of their formula tactics in developing countries and appaling ingredients among other things, but it looks like we'll be adding Kraft to that list.

Honestly, just the though of consuming the cells of an aborted child is sickening.

I wish this news would get more attention. I'm sure if the media made a big deal out of it their would be a lot of people dropping the companies, even my very atheistic in laws we're appaled when I told them about this and have decided to nix the brands.


#15

[quote="Bporte00, post:14, topic:235072"]
We already boycott Nestle because of their formula tactics in developing countries and appaling ingredients among other things, but it looks like we'll be adding Kraft to that list.

Honestly, just the though of consuming the cells of an aborted child is sickening.

I wish this news would get more attention. I'm sure if the media made a big deal out of it their would be a lot of people dropping the companies, even my very atheistic in laws we're appaled when I told them about this and have decided to nix the brands.

[/quote]

Correct me if I'm wrong, someone, but I don't believe the cells are actually in the products, rather, they use these cells to test the products. Still morally reprehensible, of course, but not the same as, for instance, residual DNA from aborted children that may exist in vaccines.


#16

[quote="surfinpure, post:15, topic:235072"]
Correct me if I'm wrong, someone, but I don't believe the cells are actually in the products, rather, they use these cells to test the products. Still morally reprehensible, of course, but not the same as, for instance, residual DNA from aborted children that may exist in vaccines.

[/quote]

Yes, I believe you are correct. It's still makes me sick!:mad:


#17

[quote="surfinpure, post:15, topic:235072"]
Correct me if I'm wrong, someone, but I don't believe the cells are actually in the products, rather, they use these cells to test the products. Still morally reprehensible, of course, but not the same as, for instance, residual DNA from aborted children that may exist in vaccines.

[/quote]

I believe that is correct. The products themselves are not physically tainted with blood, but they are tainted with blood nonetheless.


#18

[quote="SwizzleStick, post:17, topic:235072"]
I believe that is correct. The products themselves are not physically tainted with blood, but they are tainted with blood nonetheless.

[/quote]

Agreed. :(


#19

I wrote letters to all the companies involved. Not that I’m expecting much…

Pepsi will be easy to boycott, but Kraft and Nestle will be more difficult considering all the subsidiaries that they own.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Kraft_brands

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Nestl%C3%A9_brands

Pepsi brands
Pepsi
Diet Pepsi
Mountain Dew
Aquafina
Sierra Mist
Lipton Teas
7up (outside the U.S.)
Mirinda
Tropicana Products
Naked Juice
Gatorade
Quaker Oats Company
Lay’s
Doritos
Cheetos
Walkers snack foods
Fritos
Tostitos


#20

[quote="armywife, post:19, topic:235072"]
I wrote letters to all the companies involved. Not that I'm expecting much...

Pepsi will be easy to boycott, but Kraft and Nestle will be more difficult considering all the subsidiaries that they own.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Kraft_brands

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Nestl%C3%A9_brands

Pepsi brands
Pepsi
Diet Pepsi
Mountain Dew
Aquafina
Sierra Mist
Lipton Teas
7up (outside the U.S.)
Mirinda
Tropicana Products
Naked Juice
Gatorade
Quaker Oats Company
Lay's
Doritos
Cheetos
Walkers snack foods
Fritos
Tostitos

[/quote]

The list goes on and on for Kraft... I went to their website yesterday and it was pretty depressing. There were so many companies I would have never even thought of from lemonade to corn nuts to boca burgers to oreos. I think we were the saddest to find that they own Nabisco because of all the crackers they make that we eat...


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