Taste Test What?!?

A tip of the hat to the always thought-provoking and eloquent Gene Veith for bringing this to my attention (as I’m not sure where else you might hear about it).  

Pepsi uses fetal cells from aborted fetuses in the process for tasting and developing flavor enhancers.  
Please note that fetal cells are not being used in the drinks themselves, but rather as part of a chemical process of determining what flavor enhancers are present or working the way they are intended.  This may seem barbaric enough, but the government stance that this is a perfectly ordinary business issue seems rather barbaric as well.  Let me see…we’re going to require every person in the US to pay for abortions to be covered for whomever wants them, and then the bits and pieces of those aborted babies are fair game for use in product testing.  Hmmmm.  That just stinks all the way around.
Pepsi is denying the allegations, but it appears to be a matter of careful wordsmithing.  Pepsi would be hard pressed to deny a business relationship with the firm that is alleged to be utilizing the fetal cells, Senomyx, particularly given press releases like this one.    But what Pepsico is denying is not what is being alleged.  Pepsico denies that it has or will in any way “conduct or fund research, including research performed by third parties” utilizing any human tissues.  But the allegations aren’t that it is funding research, but rather that Senomyx is actually already using fetal tissues as part of an existing product testing process.  It doesn’t sound like research per se to me, but an already established procedure.  Semantically that indicates a difference to me in what Pepsico is denying vs. what is being criticized.  It seems a fancy shuffling of words and terms calculated to minimize the negative impact of what is, no matter how you look at it, a pretty tasteless situation.
The larger question in my mind becomes what else are these fetal tissues being used for?  If some of them are finding their way into corporate research labs, how are they getting there?  What provisions in the laws that dictate how fetal remains are to be disposed of allow for these remains to be used in industry?  Is there a form that parents sign when they get an abortion that says they are willing to have the remains go for medical or other research?  Do they know this is even a possibility?
Seems like a lot more investigation might turn up other possible uses that would turn our stomachs.

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