As we reported yesterday, biotech company Senomyx uses fetal cells from aborted babies to test food additives. PepsiCo is one of the major American corporations that has a contract with Senomyx to test their food and drink products. Today we want to tell you a little more about how this testing process works, and who else, besides Pepsi, uses it.
How Does This Testing Process Work?
It’s all a bit complicated, but Mercola.com probably explains Senomyx and how their process works the best:
Senomyx is a high tech research and development business that is “dedicated to finding new flavors to reduce sugars and reduce salt.” But their focus is not on whole, organic fruits and vegetables, or grass-pastured meats, dairy and eggs. Senomyx develops patented flavor enhancers by using “proprietary taste receptor-based assay systems.”
That’s a testing system that provides scientists with biochemical responses and electronic readouts when a flavor ingredient interacts with their patented receptor, letting researchers know whether or not their flavor enhancer is effective. The receptors are made from HEK293 — HEK stands for Human Embryonic Kidney cells, with 293 denoting that the HEK was from the 293rd experiment. HEK293 originally came from a healthy, electively aborted baby whose cells were then harvested and cloned.
In even simpler terms, Senomyx engineered the aborted fetal remains into a compound of “receptors” that react to a flavor enhancer—say, a new sweetener for Pepsi, for example. These receptors can react positively or negatively to food additives and flavor enhancers. If the test is positive, then there’s a good chance that the flavor enhancer will appear in a product on the grocery store shelf.
Who Uses This Process?
Now that you know what Senomyx does, you probably want to know the companies that contract with them. We’ll update this list as we discover more information, but for now, here are the companies we’re aware of:
- PepsiCo (click here for a list of all their brands and products)
- Frito-Lay (click here for a list of brands and products)
- Tropicana (click here for a list of brands and products)
- Kraft (here are two lists of Kraft brands and products: Kraft Foods website, and a separately compiled list. Note that Kraft is a parent company for Nabisco)
- Nestle (click here for a list of products and brands)
- Pfizer Inc (click here for a list of products)
- Merck & Co (click here for a list of products)
Which Companies are Safe?
The list above represents, to the best of our knowledge, which companies are contracting with Senomyx to develop new food additives.
From what we can tell, Campbell Soup used to contract with Senomyx, but doesn’t anymore. Coca-Cola contracts with a company called Chromocell for its flavor testing; as far as we can tell, Chromocell does not test food additives with aborted fetal remains. We are unsure what research and development company Dr. Pepper uses.