New bill SB 1418 in Oklahoma would ban the use of aborted human fetuses in food


Republican state senator in Oklahoma has introduced a bill banning aborted human fetuses in food, despite the fact that there are no known foods or food products that actually contain aborted fetuses.

Sen. Ralph Shortey of Oklahoma City introduced on Tuesday Senate Bill 1418, which prohibits “the sale or manufacture of food or products which contain aborted human fetuses.” He says he based the bill on an article he read online about an anti-abortion group boycotting companies that allegedly use embryonic stem cells to research and develop artificial sweeteners.

“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.

“There are companies that are using embryonic stem cells to research and basically cause a chemical reaction to determine whether or not something tastes good or not,” he said. “As a pro-life advocate, it kind of disturbed me that we would use aborted embryos or aborted human fetuses to extract stem cells and use them for research to basically make things taste better.”

PepsiCo did partner with food product development company Senomyx to develop a new low-calorie sweetener, but the company denied using fetal tissue in its research in an April 2011 email to Children of God for Life.

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“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.”


These bills usually have something else hidden in them.

You propose a bill that bans something abhorrent (which might already be illegal) such as bestiality and then you throw something else in which is mostly/entirely unrelated.

Then when the bill comes under scrutiny you can accuse your detractors of supporting the abhorrent activity within the bill.

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.

It seems dangerously vague. It appears to be directed at food, but not exclusively, and the inclusion of phrases like “any other product” and “research or development of any of the ingredients” seem like it could be reasonably used to outlaw products of stem cell research in Oklahoma.

Apart from that, I believe several food producers use embryonic cells to essentially farm taste buds, then gauge the biochemical reaction to certain additives as a sort of accelerated taste testing process, and as such this bill seems like it could be very detrimental to the food industry in Oklahoma. It’s a bad bill, but nobody will vote against it lest they be labelled baby eaters.


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