Just, turn off your brain before you read this post, folks.
If you try to to think about this, Im pretty sure your entire brain will hemorrhage, and I dont want to be responsible for that.
You think I am joking.
I am not.
I actually heard rumors about what Im going to type here today a week ago, but I didnt write it because I thought it was just an internet rumor. It was too stupid to be real life.
And yet, after verifying the info, here I am. It is true.
Companies like Pepsi, Frito-Lay, Trident– they take their food flavor/food additive/food everything very seriously. Every new flavor of pop or chip or chewing gum you have encountered is the end result science. They used science to determine/create/execute the way the product smells, tastes, feels, packaged, shelf-life, and a gazillion things I have not mentioned because I dont know everything.
Anyway, this ‘science’ isnt just mixing a bunch of stuff together, taking it to a group of folks, and asking them if it tastes good. Its science, which means it involves PCR and cell culture and kits from Invitrogen and Qiagen and such. Lab work like what I do every day.
One of the cells that I use literally every day are HEK 293 cells (technically, HEK 293T cells). They are great work horses for growing up stocks of HIV-1 to use in experiments, or to grow proteins to radiolabel, hard workers and really easy to manipulate.
Im not the only person on Planet Earth who uses these these guys– lots of people do. I would hazard to guess that most labs who do any kind of mammalian cell tissue culture use 293 cells. Which means, of course, that some of the labs Pepsi uses, like Senomyx, use 293 cells:
Senomyx is discovering and developing innovative flavor ingredients for the food, beverage, and ingredient supply industries using our unique proprietary technologies. We believe that our novel flavors, flavor enhancers, and bitter blockers will enable our collaborators to improve the nutritional profile of their products and/or achieve a competitive advantage maintaining or enhancing taste.
Cooooool! I actually never thought about a job like this for a career, but it looks freaking awesome, and IN SAN DIEGO, and AWESOME.
So why am I bringing this up on ERV?
Okay, are your brains off?
I swear to god, you need to turn them off.
Im bringing this up because
mentally handicapped radical Christian Oklahoma State Senator Ralph Shortey thinks that scientists doing experiments in the lab with HEK 293 cells means there are aborted fetuses in food.
Excuse me, to be precise, NOT ONLY DOES HE THINK IT MEANS THERE ARE ABORTED FETUSES IN FOOD, ‘ITS BEYOND THAT’.:
“People are thinking that this has to do with fetuses being chopped up and put in our burritos,” Shortey told NewsOK. “”That’s not the case. It’s beyond that.”
It really is. There is relatively no content to the bill, except homeboy wants to ban any food where 293s had any role, no matter how remote:
No person or entity shall manufacture or knowingly sell food or any other product intended for human consumption which contains aborted human fetuses in the ingredients or which used aborted human fetuses in the research or development of any of the ingredients.
If you destroy everything that involves 293 cells, you destroy 40 years worth of biomedical research and centuries of future research, including research going on right down the street of the OK Capitol at OUHSC and OMRF (example: That new fangled gene therapy stuff that has been treating/curing shit left and right? We use 293 cells to grow up the viruses needed for these treatments).
But Ol Ralphie is real pro-life, you see.
Here is the pure, unadulterated source of insanity from ‘Life News‘:
As recently as May, Pepsi ignored concerns and criticism from dozens of pro-life groups and tens of thousands of pro-life people who voiced their opposition to PepsiCo contracting with biotech company Senomyx even after it was found to be testing their food additives using fetal cells from abortions.
“Unfortunately, there is some misinformation being circulated related to research techniques that have been used for decades by universities, hospitals, government agencies, and private companies around the world. These claims are meant to suggest that human fetal tissue is somehow used in our research,” wrote Margaret Corsi, a spokesperson for PepsiCo. “That is both inaccurate and something we would never do or even consider. It also is inaccurate to suggest that tissue or cells somehow are being used as product ingredients. That’s dangerous, unethical and against the law. Every ingredient in every one of our products is reviewed and approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.”
Clearly, as an Evil Scientist, Mad Evilutionist, and all around Demon Atheist, I have to now withdraw my support for the Pepsi Corporation. I was under the impression that my consuming Mountain Dew was not only supporting the death of beautiful children of God, but that I was also physically consuming the little angels bodies, if not souls.
Now theyre telling me there are no aborted fetuses in my beloved Mountain Dew? Fuck that shit!
And fuck Ralph Shortey.
Huge wall of text/copypasta from a response he left to a high school friend on Facebook (a Facebook friend who was pissed off about this ‘bill’). All emphasis is mine, and my comments are in parentheses:
I appreciate your attention to my carrer I am humbled that you have kept up with me since our days in high school together. I would like to respond to your comments and clear up any misconceptions. First the information that I have been gathering for months on this issue should not be classified as “false” (Youre right. ‘Stupid’ is the more appropriate term). The fact is we dont know what companies use in the research and development of their products. There is nothing compelling a company to release that info. As you have stated “all the companies cited in the original article denied the claims”. If they were using this controversial method then of course they would deny it, it is a public relations nightmare (Again, youre right. It would be a nightmare because lots of people are as stupid as you, Ralphie). If they aren’t then they dont have to worry about it (If they are they dont have to worry about it either, just like researchers for the past 40 years havent worried about it). The fact is with all the info I have gathered it is a real possibility that certain cells of aborted human fetuses are used in the research and development of artificial flavor enhancers (Its not ‘a real possibility’. They DO. Thousands of researchers all over the world use those cells. No one cares except for dumbasses like Ralphie and his crew). Do they use them? I don’t know and they are under no obligation to say. I am sure plenty of people did not believe some of the extensive animal testing that went on to develop consumable products until it was revealed (Yeah, I bet youre a real animal welfare proponent, Ralph). I am sure that the website owners that you referenced in your post would be proud that you explicitly trust their information since you have used their article as the basis for your post.
However, The information they have provided in their article is not relevant. One, there is no ban or has there ever been a ban from researching embryonic stem cells. There was a ban on providing federal money to do so, which many scientist feel hampered their research because they were spending so much time trying to find private sources of money (Yeah, THATS why scientists were pissed off. Idiot). So to say that this type of research is illegal is in and of itself false. There is nothing stopping a company from using aborted human fetuses in their R&D. The other falacy in the article you referenced gives me a lot more credit than I probably deserve. To say that I am using this as some kind of attempt to ban stem cell research through some kind of loophole is not true. If i wanted to ban stem cell research in Oklahoma then I would.(I know you would try. You try all the time. Making killing babies a misdemeanor. DERP!) There will be a bill this year doing that very thing which I plan to vote yes on (DEEEEERP!). If you don’t believe me then I would be more than happy to author a bill banning stem cell research in the state of Oklahoma. I don’t need to do some kind of back handed bill to do that, I believe there would be enough support in Oklahoma to have a ban. However, this bill would not be sufficient to do that, nor is that its intention. That moves me to the next falacy in the article you referenced. I am not concerned about these companies using stem cells in the R&D of their products. Nor does the bill specifically say “stem cells”. From the research I have done I cannot see where a company developing artificial flavors would benefit from using stem cells. Embryonic stem cells are extracted from the embryo ussually before the embryo is 5 days old and are the cells that in simplest form can become “any cell”. Stem cells, would not benefit a copmany trying to use them to develope food products probably because of the cost but also because it would be unneccessary. From the information I have been able to find, there is a real possibility that companies are using develpoed fetuses well past the viability of stem cells and specifically using the developed kidney cells of aborted babies in their R&D. (Im sorry, but I about pissed myself reading Ralphie try to talk all sciency with all those typos). If they are using “cloned” kidney cells then they are not using “aborted human fetuses” and the ban would not apply to them (God you are an idiot).
Additionally, the website you referenced stated themselves that if companies were doing this kind of research then it would be “unethical to use stem cells in such a manner, it’s also illegal under US law (and disgusting).” I agree with them on the unethical and disgusting part but disagree on the illegal part. It would be perfectly legal if a company wanted to use this kind of research. Well, i don’t think that using aborted human babies in that manner is ethical or even should be an option for a company, and if my bill is passed then it would not be an option in this state (But you didnt take into account the fact you are a moron, and no one on Earth can trust what youre little brain ‘thinks’). The article you referenced talked about the embryos generated by in vitro fertilization. They said it would be a waste to “throw away” the embyos created that weren’t used by the parents so we might as well use them for stem cell research. Again, my bill has nothing to do with stem cell research or the use of undeveloped embryos and we can have a ethical or philosophical disagreement on whether or not an embryo should be used for stem cell research. However, my bill deals specifically with a company using a developed human fetus (baby in my book) and specific organ cells from that aborted child to develop better tasting artificial flavors (Which has nothing to do with 293 cells. Y U SO STUPID?). I think the practice is disgusting and if any company is doing it then their consumers deserve to know. I also think that it should not even be an option when there are so many other alternatives out there.
Lastly, A couple more points to finish my rant. I do not believe everything I read on the internet and do my best to verify everything I can.(‘Everything’ except talk to any of the hundreds of scientists who work literally 3 blocks away at OUHSC) This is one of those things that I have spent a lot of time researching. (Which just makes this all the more sad. You worked so hard, and youre still so dumb) In the new world of fast paced technology research techniques like this are ever present and readily avaliable. I have an ethical aversion to using aborted children as commodities. (Again, which has NOTHING to do with 293 cells) They first did not have a choice to live then when they were killed against their will they have no choice in how their bodies are used. (Insert anti-war comment here) What if we did this to every person who dies. (Sounds wonderful. Donating everyones bodies to science sounds beautiful, especially when compared to the lavish, garish displays of wealth and fear of death you see at Christian funerals, and the added waste of land and resources and the waste of letting the body rot) If you follow the thinking of a person who believes it is a waste to throw away an embryo or a fetus because of the research possibilities, then wouldn’t a logical conclusion be to force everyone to become organ donors or that everyone must donate their bodies to science or medicine when they die? (Yes.) The only difference here is that these babies are not protected under law or our constitution. They have no civil liberties because they have not been born yet. And since there is nothing restricting a companies use or exploitation of aborted babies then a company only thinking of how to create a profit and no moral implications will use and exploit these aborted fetuses if they can find financial gain in doing so. (A Republican is anti-business? Anti-Capitalism? REALLY? lol) Ultimatly, I would like to see our governemt start to protect the unborn and innocent. (Neat. I would like to see real live babies get food, health care, and education here in Oklahoma. Too bad you spend so much time ‘researching’ stupid shit on the internet instead of worrying about the real kids, huh Ralphie) There are plenty of people who disagree with me on that and there are plenty that agree with me. Until such a time, if ever, I will do what I can to advance protections for the unborn. (And fuck over as many living creatures as possible in the process) This is simply a way to say, you may feel it is ethical to destroy an unborn child but I do not think it is ethical to use that life to make a profit. Is this research going on? Maybe, mabe not. Is it a possibility? I think so. Should it be an option? I dont think so. We will see if my colleagues agree with me.
One last point… On a bit of a personal note. We do a lot of “wasting time” in the legislature, last year there was a bill to make the official state gospel song “Swing low Sweet chariots”. Before I voted for this bill I made the author sing it with me on the senate floor. We sang together and it passed. Was this a waste of time? Maybe, maybe not, we got out of session a week early and got all of our business done for the year. (All babies in Oklahoma have enough food to eat, have top-notch education, and adequate health care! YAY! Oh wait, no they dont, but Ralphies business was ‘done’. Asshole) I do not feel that this bill will be a waste of time. (Again, you really need to always remember that you are an idiot, so you cant really trust what you ‘feel’ or ‘think’) You may have a different set of standards than I do and you may not like the bill but to suggest that because we will spend time deliberating this then we will be unable to deliberate any other issue facing this state is disingenuous to say the least. We always make sure that all of the business before the legislature is complete before we adjorn. If it means long nights or weekends then we will do it. We may not like the results, but the work will get done (Except for work that ACTUALLY helps babies and children.). I hope this helps clear me of the ethical violations that you feel I have infringed upon, however, I may never be able help you feel less appauled at my election because I will not change my principles or standards. I also will not resign because I plainly told my constituents what my beliefs were and they elected me by a 60% margin in a very democrat district (There is no such thing as a ‘very democrat district’ in Oklahoma, Mr ‘Disingenuous’). I will continue to do what I think is in the best interest of my district and also of the state. If you disagree with me then I invite you to run for office and have open and cordial debate about these issues.(Exactly what the former president of OKC Atheists is doing) If you think I am not good for this state then you have every right to go talk to my constituents on their door steps or on the phone about why they should not elect me in 2014. If they choose to fire me then so be it, but I have been fighting for these principles for years before I got elected and I will never remove myself from the fight even if I am no longer in office. As with anyone whom I have had political or philosophiocal disagreements with I hope that they do not affect personal relationships. I would hope that you keep that in mind. I considered you a friend in high school when our biology teacher would get ticked off at us playing card games in the back of the class room, and would still like to keep that mantra despite our differing thoughts.
Well. I think that last sentence really puts this all in perspective. Amazing how something so little can explain so much…