by Sheena Livingston
If the claim is true and Pepsi and its contracting company refuse to change their methods, they may both find themselves in a financial mess. What am I talking about? Apparently it has come to light recently that a company which PepsiCo uses to provide flavors for their products uses human cells in the production of their said ‘new flavors.’
Aborted human cells.
Let me make it clear that the claim made against the company, Senomyx, acknowledges that no human cells are in their final products or in PepsiCo’s products. This however does not negate the moral and ethical problem that is harvesting and using aborted human tissue for scientific/medical/corporate use.
It is already documented that fetal cells have been used for decades to make certain vaccines, and that creates a moral heartache and dilemma for parents who want their children well and properly vaccinated. However, Pepsi is a consumer product based purely in choice – soda and such manufactured food items are not necessary for healthy living or sustenance.
That said, boycotts don’t always work very well. It is a rare boycott which truly works and is effective in fulfilling its goals. At the very least though, when well advertised and announced, boycotts can raise awareness and perhaps still affect changes.
As an aside, let it be known that PepsiCo plays second fiddle to Coca Cola on the world stage when it comes to their primary soda products. Currently the first and second most popular soda drinks sold in the world are Coca Cola and Diet Coke. Pepsi comes in third. In the corporate battle for dominance, can PepsiCo afford to slip even lower, all in the name of continuing to use a company which uses unethical business/production practices? Furthermore, PepsiCo doesn’t just make soda and other drinks. They are the world’s largest producer of packaged foods. In other words, potentially, there is a lot at stake here, especially if boycotters decide to boycott all PepsiCo products, not just Pepsi soda products.
Just what does PepsiCo own you ask? Their website has a thorough list of what they own but to name a few; Pepsi, Mountain Dew, 7 Up, Sierra Mist, Aquafina, Gatorade, Tropicana, Naked Drinks, Frito Lay, Cheetos, Ruffles, Tostitos, Sun Chips, Doritos, Quaker, Lipton, Rice a Roni, Aunt Jemima, Cap’n Crunch… the list goes on. Considering that most of us probably buy any one or more of these products or derivation on a fairly regular basis, it’s easy to see how a boycott can affect one’s choices as well as a company. In this day and age of mega-companies that border on a monopoly because they are so diverse and carry a variety of brands and products, when we chose to stop associating with a company or product, we are often not even aware that we’re still giving our money to them, and thus, unknowingly supporting them.
Do your own homework and think and pray about it. Even if you decide to boycott PepsiCo and they’re unaffected, remember that changing a corporate policy or bankrupting them isn’t the real goal for us. The real goal, especially for we who consider ourselves Christians is standing upon the values and principles that we carry and to have the faith to remain morally consistent. Let us continually educate ourselves and not merely be sheep. Let us use the knowledge we gain to affect our daily lives. Let us sanctify all life and answer to God for the choices we make – even the ones that will not bring back the life of a human murdered years ago.
Walk the talk, realizing however that even in our walks we still can stumble though we’re trying to stay on the straight and narrow. Just make sure that you’re not putting pragmatism before principle; your stomach before your heart.
Let what that means really sink in. When you set your heart to a boycott, just how far are you going to go? If Senomyx is using fetal cells to test products for PepsCo, even if they’re not using them with products for other companies, the issue is still that Senomyx is doing it – and other companies are doing business with them. Let’s all say a prayer for hearts to be changed.
Apparently letters were sent to Campbell’s Soup by the organization, Children of God For Life, which is calling for the boycott of Pepsi. Both companies had been doing business with Senomyx but Campbell’s dropped the flavor maker when they were made aware of their business practices. Other Senomyx collaborators were sent letters but their responses often went along the same line as Pepsi Co.
Why is Children Of God For Life then just singling out Pepsi? According to Senomyx’s website as of July 4th, 2011, Nestle is still a contracting company. Nestle is a far greater food producer than Pepsi Co. If Senomyx is using fetal cells to tests products, it’s irrelevant whether or not those fetal cells are used on products sold/used by Nestle’. The issue is with Senomyx, period, and thus by extension PepsiCo because of their collaboration. Pepsi is being singled out because Senomyx is making a product which Pepsi wants to use to create a new drink, which all goes back to the usage of aborted fetal cells.
The problem arises however, that if we boycott PepsiCo because of Senomyx then we should similarly boycott Nestle and Cadbury out of consistency. Only, considering that much of our goods which we eat are manufactured by these companies, our options become limited. One might say that you’d buy organic, fresh or store-brand/no frills. While this is true, it is my understanding that many name brand companies produce goods which are relabeled with a store name/no-frills name. Do you see what I’m getting at? Where do we draw the line? I’m not saying we must put pragmatism before principles, but in this world where so many companies that provide products we consume operate unethically, what does a moral person do? It wracks the soul to be sure to weigh our morals and principles when we often don’t have choices or weren’t aware of particular issues.
In a nutshell, making a point to Pepsi or Senomyx or any of their contracting companies isn’t going to be as easy as not buying a couple of their products so that we can feel good about standing on our principles. We need to pray that change happens and the hearts of those responsible for making the decisions at the “new flavour labs” will turn to the ethically sound.
Read this CBS article pasted/posted at Children of God for Life which details the whole issue.
You can read more from Sheena at her Blog: Love Wins. Period http://sheenalivingston.blogspot.com/Advertisement