Pepsi responds to fake stem cell issue

The venerable, unbiased website, LifeNews.com, reports that Pepsi has responded to the claims that there are fetal stem cells in their beverage and/or that Pepsi uses fetal stem cells for research. Pepsi responded that there are no fetal cells in any Pepsi products and further is quoted:

“Thank you for contacting us at PepsiCo. There are no stem cells, cell lines derived from embryos or fetuses, or fetal tissues in any PepsiCo products. The integrity of our products is critical to PepsiCo, and we use only ingredients that meet all FDA and other regulatory standards. Thank you again for taking the time to contact us.”

This whole “controversy”, invented by anti-choice, anti-stem cell research extremists has generated a lot of confusion. In previous blogs posts, I’ve sought to set the record straight on this manufactured controversy with posts such as Stem Cells in my Pepsi?, Stem cell myths: from Pepsi to Obama & snowflake babies, and SEC rules in favor of Pepsi on bogus stem cell propaganda.

The bottom line is that there are no stem cells in Pepsi and in fact the cells in question, 293T, are not even stem cells. They are kidney progenitor cells.

The anti-choice, anti-stem cell folks seem to have delusions of grandeur of their manufactured, fake controversy as their article says:

LifeNews contacted Debi Vinnedge, Executive Director of Children of God for Life, the organization that exposed the PepsiCo- Senomyx collaboration last year, for a response.

“Pepsi is in panic mode it seems,” she said. “They have been contacting media outlets telling them that they are not funding any research using cells or tissues from embryos or aborted fetuses, however this is pure deception on their part.”

While I don’t believe that Pepsi is in a panic, they are rightfully trying to set the record straight. In contrast, the nuts on the other side are spreading more propaganda.

6 Comments


  1. More on how to consider the source.
    Interesting that LifeNews likes to “tip their hat” to Don Margolis (snake oil of the worst kind) as a source in reporting “the news”. Here is an example of just that with a hyperlink behind Don’s name to his, one of many, snake oil website(s).
    http://www.lifenews.com/2012/01/11/adult-stem-cell-study-finds-success-in-treating-diabetes/
    For even more fun on this go to Catholic.net and type in Don’s full name in the search engine on the page and no less than 50 hits come up for him in that site.
    I don’t think anyone has to ask why that matters.


  2. Pepsi says that they don’t actually put stem cells in Pepsi products but they don’t comment on using stem cells in testing products. That seems shady to me.


    • Reina, Pepsi clearly does use cells in their product researching and testing indirectly via other companies. To my knowledge the cells used are not stem cells, but are fetal kidney cells called 293 cells that were first produced in the 1970s. I can understand your concern about a company not commenting about how it does its business, especially when it comes to food or drinks that people consume, but really all companies keep secrets. They call it “proprietary” information. I don’t know this for sure, but I would think most likely that ALL major food related companies in the U.S. and the world do research that is proprietary and given the widespread use of 293 cells, many companies besides Pepsi likely have connections to these cells.


  3. It’s kidney progenitor cells, OK. No matter what it is that Pepsi and many other food companies are using to develop flavor enhancers, I don’t want biotech engineered foods. I want them labeled. I prefer to use my own taste buds to determine the taste of food and not have them blocked by engineered foods. It’s gross and unappetizing to learn what is happening to our foods. I’m turning to local farmers and avoiding processed food until proper labeling is enacted. I’m also spreading the word about the food industries unethical practices. No to nanofoods. No to flavor enhancers and taste sensor blockers.


    • You make some good points.
      My suggestion is to make your feelings known with your wallet too. If you don’t like how a certain company conducts its business, then do research to identify all the products that they make/sell and then don’t buy any of them.


    • All I can say is good luck with that. That ship has sailed, you speak of a grocery store utopia that simply does not exist now or in the future. The cost of what you propose is prohibitive in nature and unrealistic. Even if you dropped everything and started your own farm, you would be hard pressed to find a seed to grow that was not developed using Bio tech. Even the Amish know that. And if you are up to date with your inoculations I have even more bad news for you.

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