I can think of a myriad of reasons not to drink soda. Too much sugar, empty calories, lots of artificial ingredients. But “made with aborted fetuses?” That’s not one of them.
Oklahoma State Senator Ralph Shortey, however, is going to ensure that the good folks of the state have nothing but fetal-free food and drink from here on out. The Republican has proposed a bill that will ban the use of “aborted human fetuses in food,” despite his admission that he doesn’t know of any companies that actually…well..use them.
So where did Sen. Shortey get this idea? According to him, from the internet.
The “internet research” Shortey is referring to likely is an ongoing anti-choice crusade that began months ago, when an activist group began demanding a boycott of PepsiCo, which works with a research and development company that uses a line of embryonic kidney stem cells created in the 1970′s to test “flavor enhancers.” The boycotters, led by a group called Children of God for Life, say that’s the same as using aborted fetuses. “‘What they do not tell the public is that they are using HEK 293 – human embryonic kidney cells taken from an electively aborted baby to produce those receptors,’ stated Debi Vinnedge, President for CGL, the watch dog group that has been monitoring the use of aborted fetal material in medical products and cosmetics for years. The aborted fetal cells are not in the product itself. However, ‘there are many options PepsiCo could be using instead of aborted fetal cells,’ noted Vinnedge.”
Children of God for Life is a “medical” offshoot of the American Life League, the group currently pushing “personhood” bills, trying to close Planned Parenthood, and banning all forms of contraception. CGL focuses on “fetal remains” being allegedly used in everything from cosmetics to vaccines.
Most people have been focused on the ridiculousness of the “aborted fetuses in flavorings” claim, but as Steven D. Foster notes, in many ways, this is also a backdoor stem cell research ban, too. “Obviously I completely support making it illegal to make or sell food that contains human fetuses if such a thing even exists (it doesn’t). But if you read the bill and think about it for a minute, it also covertly outlaws stem cell research and stem cell products used for medicinal purposes that could one day cure diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease among many other ailments. Depending on the source, stem cell treatments could fall under a ‘product that contains aborted human fetuses.’ You “consume” medicine in the same sense that you “consume” food; it enters the body and is processed in some fashion. Whether it is used for energy or to heal a damaged brain is irrelevant to this law. The Republicans in Oklahoma are attempting to outlaw stem cell research and treatments under the guise of forbidding the use of fetuses in food.”
Shortey denies that claim.“The people that seem to be negative about this bill are the ones that support embryonic stem cells because they think I’m trying to do something with that here. If I wanted to outlaw embryonic stem cell research, I would just come out and do it.”
But don’t get too worried about the disappearance of soda, or mac and cheese, or even your candy bars. Shortey has a history of filing bills that never make it to a vote. His last bills — seizing property from illegal immigrants, demanding President Barack Obama’s birth certificate, denying citizenship to children born in the country whose parents aren’t hear legally — all failed to make it anywhere.
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