Children of God for Life [an American Life League Associate group] announced last Tuesday the filing of a shareholder resolution with the Securities and Exchange Commission and PepsiCo on the use of aborted fetal cell line HEK-293 (human embryonic kidney) for the research and development of flavor enhancers for their beverages.
In August 2010, PepsiCo entered into a 4-year agreement with Senomyx for the development of artificial high-potency sweeteners for PepsiCo beverages. Under the contract, PepsiCo is paying $30 million to Senomyx for the research and will subsequently pay royalties on PepsiCo products sold using the Senomyx technology.
When CoG for Life wrote both companies requesting they use one of the many non-objectionable and viable cell lines listed in their patents, Senomyx did not respond. PepsiCo did reply . . . that this research would produce “great tasting, lower-calorie beverages.”
Appalled by the cavalier response, CoG for Life launched a massive boycott joined by over two dozen other prolife organizations. The boycott has now grown to include supporters from Australia, Spain, Germany, Ireland, Scotland, Poland and the UK. Meanwhile, letters from the organization to all PepsiCo board members and senior management have gone unanswered.
“Shareholders have a right to know the truth about what PepsiCo is doing with their hard-earned savings,” stated [CoG executive director]Debi Vinnedge. “PepsiCo’s lack of consideration to the public’s moral sensibilities has only served to fuel the fire and threatens stock values, retirement pensions and investments.”
The PepsiCo shareholder who filed the resolution requested that “the Board of Directors adopt a corporate policy that recognizes human rights and employs ethical standards which do not involve using the remains of aborted human beings in both private and collaborative research and development agreements.”
For more information, see http://www.cogforlife.org/pepsiresolutionpress.htm