A lot of people are very upset at Pepsi for allegedly using stem cells in their research on artificial sweeteners.
What’s the real scoop here and what lessons can be learned from this more generally?
I’ve been blogging as this controversy has evolved including 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 as well as my recent post on Pepsi’s response.
In many ways this controversy is much ado about nothing. For example, the research linked to Pepsi does not even use stem cells. You can learn more from my previous posts.
However, this story has some lessons for all of us.
First off, all major food manufacturers (not just Pepsi) do research on food chemistry, whether it is something they do themselves or contract out. Much of this research involves human cells grown in culture in labs. Very little if any of it is done on stem cells. I’m confident that 0% is done on embryonic stem cells.
Second, “food” in today’s society is in many cases not the same as food was many years ago. Today’s food most often has chemicals in it. I’m not talking about contaminants, but rather chemicals that food chemists purposefully add to the “food” to increase their employers profit margins by boosting shelf-life, hide flavors, and fake flavors, etc. Thus, today’s food is often in reality a mixture of food and chemicals that have no benefit to consumers. Despite some research treating cells in labs with these chemicals, generally we have no clue how these chemicals effect our cells in the real world.
Third, if you do not like how a company produces its food or conducts research or anything, I suggest you stop buying products from that company. For example, while I completely 100% disagree with the folks who are boycotting Pepsi for this fake stem cell controversy, I completely support their right to do so.
More broadly despite our food being corrupted by food chemists, we have a weapon and that is choice. We have more choice than ever. I suggest choosing food that is as fresh and natural as possible.
Your stem cells will appreciate it!