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Home » News » We Deserve to Know: The Human Cell Product Labeling Act

We Deserve to Know: The Human Cell Product Labeling Act

By Edward Szymkowiak

During the pandemic, it became fairly well known that human cell lines originating from abortion were used to develop and/or test many vaccines. This gave rise to concern that tainted cell lines were being used for development or testing of other products as well. In early 2023, two state senators introduced different bills aimed at requiring labeling of such products so they could be easily identified by consumers and investors.

In Texas, Senator Bob Hall introduced SB 314, which would require labeling of food, medical, and cosmetic products that contain or are derived from aborted human fetal tissue. In Connecticut, Senator Robert Sampson introduced SB 736 to adopt a condensed version of the Human Cell Product Labeling Act, first published by American Life League on its website in 2021.

The biggest difference between the two bills is that by focusing on only aborted fetal tissue, the Texas bill leaves out products whose origins involve embryonic stem cell lines. The Connecticut HCPLA bill leaves out no type of once-living human cells. It would provide labeling information for products that are linked to aborted fetal tissue and those linked to killed human embryos. 

We learned during the pandemic to ask not only if a vaccine was produced from an aborted fetal cell line but also if it was tested with such lines. Unfortunately, the Texas bill does not explicitly cover testing, using words such as “contains,” “manufactured,” and “derived.” Certainly, one could argue that manufacturing includes testing, but not all would agree, and by not explicitly listing testing, one leaves open a possible loophole. In contrast, Connecticut’s HCPLA bill explicitly states that it covers products “developed or tested.”

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