Oklahoma Moves to Ban "Food or Products Which Use Aborted Human Fetuses"

A new Oklahoma bill would ban "the sale or manufacture of food or products which contain aborted human fetuses." Seriously.

Oklahomans can thank state senator Ralph Shortey for introducing this vital bill. Shortey has also introduced some other unconventional bills, like expanding asset forfeiture against undocumented immigrants, attacking birthright citizenship, and even pandering to birthers. The entire bill (SB 1418) is posted below:

AS INTRODUCED

An Act relating to food; prohibiting the manufacture or sale of food or products which use aborted human fetuses; providing for codification; and providing an effective date.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF OKLAHOMA:

SECTION 1.     NEW LAW     A new section of law to be codified in the Oklahoma Statutes as Section 1-1150 of Title 63, unless there is created a duplication in numbering, reads as follows:

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.

SECTION 2.  This act shall become effective November 1, 2012.

Obvious jokes aside, this bill is essentially a backdoor ban on embryonic stem cell research. The phrase "any other product intended for human consumption" is decidedly vague. After all people "consume" medicines, vaccines, and other therapies, so those treatments developed from embryonic stem cells could also be banned. This would stymie scientific research for embyronic stem cells, which have significant potential, like literally helping the blind see.

Indeed, while Shortey admits he hasn't heard of any companies using fetuses in their products, he believes the media isn't focusing on the stem cell ban:

People are thinking that this has to do with fetuses being chopped up and put in our burritos...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.

The bill's inspiration came after Shortey read an email from the pro-life Children of God for Life, which claimed that PepsiCo was using embryonic stem cells to test its products. More specifically, HEK 293, a stem cell commonly used in research. Apparently, PepsiCo was partnering with Senomyx, a biotech firm, to test taste receptors. The Miami New Times has more on this R&D:

The company is using isolated human taste receptors in the form of proteins to identify flavors and enhance them.

Gwen Rosenberg, vice president of investor relations and corporate communications for Senomyx, described the process as "basically a robotic tasting system." She depicted rows of little plastic square dishes with hundreds of tiny indentations in each dish. A protein is placed in each indentation, then a flavor. If the protein reacts to the flavor, the results are charted. If the new flavor (of which the company has more than 800,000) is successful with the protein test, the company then conducts taste tests with (live) adult humans.

In some respects, this bill is similar to Oklahoma's ban on Sharia law (which was just overturned). Both prohibit something many Americans are against (eating babies, Sharia law), while cloaking a more unpopular provision. While the ban on Sharia went viral, there was little mention of how that constitutional amendment would have also outlawed considering international law when deciding court cases:

The courts shall not look to other legal precepts of other nations and cultures. Specifically, the courts shall not consider international law or Sharia law.

Reason on stem cell research. Ronald Bailey on how stem cells, unlike Soylent Green, aren't people.

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  • Suki||

    expanding asset forfeiture against undocumented immigrants

    Isn't there something illegal about that?

  • Tacos mmm...||

    What part of "illegal" don't you understand?

  • Gojira||

    Well there goes the food truck I was planning on operating in Oklahoma City.

  • Hugh Akston||

    And I was so looking forward to the new PepsiSTEM: the only cola made with human zygotes.

  • Almanian||

    nice

  • John Galt||

    I knew Hugh Akston. Hugh Akston was a friend of mine. You're no Hugh Akston.

  • Nipplemancer||

    Soylent Pepsi!

  • Hugh Akston||

    Fry: My God, what if the secret ingredient is people?
    Leela: No, there's already a soda like that - Soylent Cola.
    Fry: Oh. How is it?
    Leela: It varies from person to person.

  • ||

    "I decline the title of Iron Cook and accept the lesser title of Zinc Saucier, which I just made up. Which also comes with double prize money."

  • Hugh Akston||

    Farnsworth: Uh, ma'am, it has become too much of a chore for me to clean out my wrinkles each day. Is it true that stem cells may fight the aging process?

    Geneworks Woman: Well, yes. In the same way an infant may fight Muhammad Ali. But--

    Farnsworth: One pound of stem cells, please.

  • ||

    Woman: It's better for us both to just be ourselves. You, wrinkled as a prune...

    Farnsworth: You, fat as the Queen of Seacows...

  • Ha!||

    Hilarious!

  • ||

    Even more hilarious!

  • ||

    "This HnR thread is brought to you by Glagnar's Human Rinds: 'It's a bunch'a munch'a crunch'a human!'"

  • ||

    "Ladies and gentlemen, presenting Moo-shu, the educated whale who thinks he's better than you!"

  • ||

    You're just not funny.

  • ||

    Yeah, well? You're lumpy and you smell awful.
    Hey, I call's em like I see's em.

  • Mr. Soul||

    I hate bottles.

  • Almanian||

    Thanks for the warning! I was considering a job in OK, but I GOTS ta have my aborted-fetus sammich or daddy can't function right!

    Scratch OK off the list of potentil future homes...

  • ||

    I wonder if this has anything to do with anti-vaccine types and their false claims that vaccines contain material from aborted fetuses.

  • ||

    You'll be prying my Prada fetus-leather bag out of my cold, dead hands.

  • ||

    Yuck. Reality is yucky.

  • Rather||

    "Neocutis, a bio-pharmaceutical company focused on dermatology and skin care is using aborted fetal cell lines to produce several of their anti-aging skin creams."

    Try googling

  • ||

    Grr! They should be throwing those aborted fetuses right in the trash! Instead, somebody's using the cells! Grr! Raaarrr!

  • Dekedin||

    You kid, but I honestly wouldn't be surprised if liberals banned profiting off of aborted fetuses/ stem cell lines. After all, they think women shouldn't be allowed to sell their eggs for profit. Apparently female rights start and end at abortion.

  • Gojira||

    Um, while not wanting to defend liberals, this is a conservative measure. Oklahoma is amongst the reddest of red states.

  • Dekedin||

    I know, it was a joke how neither side actually cares about reproductive rights. Conservatives in OK passed it this time, but I could honestly see NY do the same thing, just with different language in the bill.

  • Uncle Joe||

    Personally, i'm still waiting for that law that will ban pooping out fully in tact bananas on cold winter days.

  • mr simple||

    While the ban on Sharia went viral, there was little mention of how that constitutional amendment would have also outlawed considering international law when deciding court cases:

    Why do we want international law considered when deciding court cases in the US? Don't we want cases decided according to relevant US and local laws? Or does this somehow preclude any type of arbitration?

  • ||

    +100. The consideration of international law in American court should be wholly impermissible, and of right is unjustifiable.

  • Gojira||

    I think the arbitration was the sticking point. Clearly "What would they do in Italy?" shouldn't be a relevant question in our courts, nor is there any indication that that was a problem before that bill was passed.

    What people were afraid of is that it would prevent private but legally binding arbitrations provided by Muslim religious figures, which is something commonly practiced by Jews in most major cities in America.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    This seems like a good place to put this. Dayglo Abortions.

  • ||

    This would stymie scientific research for embyronic stem cells, which have significant potential, like literally helping the blind see.

    Back in 2001 you guys were accusing opponents of ESCR of murder because of all the debilitating diseases who would be cured if we would stop obsessing over blastocysts.

    Now, 10+ years later, you're still crowing about "potential" applications that don't even require ESCs. It's wrong to kill people even if guaranteed good may come from it; but how much more clearly wrong it is to kill based on pure speculation.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Can ESCs be harvested without destroying the fetus? I know nothing about the subject, but will start googling it. I was just curious to hear more of your argument against it.

  • ||

    ESCs are harvested from embryos (hence the E) that can't compensate for losing cells like later stages of development can.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    So at what week in gestation are the cells normally harvested?

  • ||

    There is no gestation since they come from IVF. It is very early in the development.

  • ||

    It's wrong to kill people even if guaranteed good may come from it

    Well then it's good we haven't killed any people to get ESCs, isn't it?

  • Eric||

    Glad you're so sure about that one.

  • Josef Mengele||

    It's wrong to kill people even if guaranteed good may come from it

    Says you!

  • Also, Nice Band Name||

    People are thinking that this has to do with fetuses being chopped up and put in our burritos...That's not the case. It's beyond that.

    "Beyond burritos." Praise be.

  • Robert||

    First diabetes, now this - soon there won't be anything left for Paula Deen to deep fry!!

  • insensitive monster||

    Crimethink:

    Which guys?

    Names of people killed?

  • Josef Mengele||

    Yeah, I never kept track either.

  • ||

    I godwinned all the time, you know.

  • Sue Miwidoncha||

    You know who else godwinned all the time?

  • ||

    I did, so don't do it.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    I hope this is a very bad joke, instead of a serious point. Naming is a social convention, not something which bestows intrinsic humanity. Indeed, many pre-Industrial cultures did not conventionally name their children until they were 6-10 years old, due to the high rate of mortality of younger children.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Fine alt-texting.

  • ||

    Cunt!

    I just felt like saying that.

  • Yuno Hoo||

    Just for that, I'm not taking you seriously.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    That will be enough of that.

    This just in (earlier today): James Neal replacing Alex Ovechkin at NHLASG.

  • ||

    Thank God. Tired of this OV trip. Neal is an outstanding winger. Let's hope he gets drafted with Benn and put on the same line.

  • ||

    Why wouldn't someone just draft the entire Detroit Red Wings? It would give them the best chance to win the game.

  • PantsFan||

    Because they didn't all go to the All Star game

  • ||

    Oh, that's right. It's a popularity contest, not a measure of skill.

  • PantsFan||

    Chara drafted Malkin and Hossa. Bold.

  • ||

    Bold? Or stupid? A thinking man would have taken Yzerman and Lidstrom right out of the gate.

  • PantsFan||

    Yzerman? Why not Gordie Howe?

  • ||

    I prefer to build my lines from the center rather than the right wing. Howe could wait till the 5th round after I picked Hasek and Lidstrom.

  • PantsFan||

    You would take Hasek over Osgood?

  • ||

    Osgood wasn't as good a playoff goalie. Hell, before Hasek, they used to bench Ozzie for Vernon when they needed a win in the playoffs.

    As far as regular season, I'd take Ozzie over almost anyone.

  • ||

    Really? Fucking Chara as a captain? Fucking really?

  • insensitive monster||

    Damn, no fetus butter and embryonic jelly sandwiches in OK. I'm off to Arkansas for some grub.

  • Tiny Dr. Tim||

    Grubs again.

    (grumble, grumble)

  • Gojira||

    Afterbirth somewhat resembles strawberry jam in consistency and color, so maybe you can use that, instead.

  • insensitive monster||

    OK, Gojira. I was purposely heading East to AK but now I'm heading South to TX.

  • ||

    Why does the state of Oklahoma hate Chinese food so much?

  • ||

  • Wayne Campbell||

    Schwing!!!

  • ||

    It bans food containing fetuses, not food containing cats. Moron.

  • ||

    That's what the Chinks tell you on the menu, but you shouldn't believe it.

  • insensitive monster||

    Kung Pao Puppies bitches!

  • Gojira||

    I can vouch for this.

    They actually use only the finest chinchillas.

  • ||

  • Hugh Akston||

  • insensitive monster||

    Speaking of abortions, anyone watching the NHL ASG this weekend?

    At least the fantasy draft tonight will be somewhat entertaining, who will be the last player picked?

  • PantsFan||

    Last? Pomenville

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Jason Spezza! Well, maybe not.

  • PantsFan||

    Will Chara take Thomas?

  • insensitive monster||

    It has to DB33 weighing in at 270lb's.

  • PantsFan||

    I apologize to the Americans for the dorkiness of James Duthie.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    So, no dedicated debate thread?

  • A Serious Man||

    Speaking of abortions, how about a GOP debate thread?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    You just started one.

  • ||

    An abortion?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    You crafty bastard.

  • ||

    What debate?

  • Mensan||

    I guess this is the debate thread.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Ron Paul applauds no man.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    "Ladies and Gentlemen, the candidates for president of the United States, and Ron Paul."

  • ||

    "Mitt Romney! Newt Gingrich! Rick Santorum! *three-second silence, tumbleweed sountrack*

  • Bee Tagger||

    Harmonizing on a national anthem is French.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Gingrich approximating where a heart would be?

  • PantsFan||

    Dick Cheney pointed it out to him.

  • ||

    Too bad he didn't use the laser pointer located on his rifle.

  • Dan G||

    Santorum mouthing the words to the national anthem is scary looking.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    "Santorum mouthing the words to the national anthem is scary looking."

    Fixed.

  • Bee Tagger||

    Wolf Blitzer has killed John King and will now host the debate.

  • ||

    Really? We're doing this again?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The really mixed things up and switched Romney's podium with Gingrich's.

  • Bee Tagger||

    That time in second city really paid off for Santorum.

  • Dan G||

    Yay...let's do introductions again for the millionth time

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    MILITARY, VOTE FOR ME!

  • Mensan||

    UNF isn't even a real school. It's like ITT Tech.

  • PantsFan||

    What is this, Jeopardy?

  • A Serious Man||

    Santorum's mom should come on stage and explain to us that every sperm is sacred.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Ooo, coughs from Newt. *bullshit*

  • Bee Tagger||

    Turn down your radio, lady

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Grandson of an immigrant. I hadn't heard that before.

  • Mensan||

    This same bullshit again?

  • Bee Tagger||

    You aint gots to go home but you gots to get outta here.

    New thread: http://reason.com/blog/2012/01.....a#comments

  • Mensan||

    Someone should punch that woman who asked the question in the taint for asking the same damn question they just answered in the last debate.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Stupid Santorum, doesn't realize all those immigrants are fellow Catholics.

  • PantsFan||

    This is still the All Star game thread right?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    WELCH OPENED A NEW THREAD! Like a dick.

  • shamalamadingdong||

    This seems to be as good a place as any to post this. This is one of the provisions of the "Regulate Marijuana like Wine" proposition trying to make its way on the 2012 ballot. I have been conversing with one of the authors of the initiative about this provision. The guy is a TOTAL luddite. What GMO has to do with legalization I have no idea.

    "(10) Experimentation, development, research, testing, cultivation, sales, or possession of genetically-modified (GMO) marijuana, hemp, and its seeds, shall be banned throughout the state of California."

  • aeronathan||

    They can have my fetus-burger when they pry it from my cold dead hands!

  • Didact||

    "In some respects, this bill is similar to Oklahoma's ban on Sharia law (which was just overturned)"

    The law was enjoined while the courts decide whether it's constitutional. It has not been overturned.

  • IceTrey||

    Three quarters of the world's countries do not recognize birthright citizenship.

    The definition of "natural born citizen" is at this time ambiguous at best. The precedent set in "Minor" is ignored and there needs to be a SCOTUS case specifically on this question.

  • Cell||

    I am a little confused by the logic. Wouldn't it be rather non controversial to ban the consideration of international law without mention of sharia by name?

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