Forget Pepsi Clear: How 'Bout a Refreshing Pepsi FETUS?


Coming soon to a billboard near you?: "I'm Pro-Choice and I drink Diet Pepsi!" or "Pepsi: The Choice of the Pro-Choice Generation!"

Check out this Wash Times headline, which must be every CEO's nightmare and every crisis-PR honcho's wet dream: 

PepsiCo denies accusations on link to aborted fetal cells

…PepsiCo has come under intense pressure from pro-life groups for contracting with Senomyx Inc., a San Diego biotech company accused of developing flavor enhancers using cell lines taken from the kidney of an aborted fetus. PepsiCo, the world's second-largest food and beverage business, announced the $30 million deal on its website in August 2010.

The move represents what pro-life advocates describe as a troubling shift in commercial research involving cell lines developed from aborted embryos and fetuses. While research has centered on vaccines and medicines, Senomyx has contracted with companies that make soft drinks, candy, gum and coffee creamers.

After a review of Senomyx's patents in 2011 showed that the company was using the fetal cell line in its research, more than a dozen pro-life groups launched a boycott of Pepsi products that has since spread to 11 nations, including Canada, Poland and Australia, as well as much of Western Europe….

Read the whole story here.

As the headline suggests, Pepsi people say it's all a bunch of hooey. I'm torn between marveling at the bizarreness of the whole scene (yet one more indication that sometime over the past decade or three, we started living in a Philip K. Dick novel; for other examples, go here and here) and trying to figure out if anyone should care.

Let's assume the charges are true, both that Senomyx patents are lousy with results ultimately from aborted fetuses and that Pepsi's unique taste is somehow related to same. Does that actually present an ethical dilemma? It's not as if the fetuses were created and then aborted for research purposes, or otherwise diverted from any other end.

This headline reminds me of a ploy developed by a high school friend to push Frank's Cola to the top of the heap in the soda wars. He argued that Frank's should start advertising itself as the only "100% Guaranteed Urine-Free" soda on the market. Assuming that claim passed FTC muster (based on the taste of Frank's, that would require independent testing, to be sure), the bigger soda companies would either have to follow suit or look as if they were in fact hiding something.

Are you listening, Coke executives? We're all getting a little tired of those goddamned polar bears.

NEXT: Brickbat: Tick Tock

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  1. I know it helps my crows feet and mineral deposits. It’s an excellent make up remover.

  2. So that explains why Moxie tastes so bad.

    1. Needs more fetus?

      1. Less urine.

    2. I wish Moxie would make its way into Mass. I can only ever find it when I head up to NH.

      1. The market in my little burg in MA has the stuff. Love it – only tonic (soda) I can drink.

  3. Behindertsein ist sch?n

    1. Behindert sein ist sch?n.

  4. Pepsi is number 2? I would not have guessed. I haven’t regularly drank soda since high school, but I much prefer Pepsi when I do. Coke is more bitter.

    1. That’s just because you like the taste of fetal juice. I bet you also ash your Cuban cigars into the mouths of small Cambodian orphans, you sicko.

      1. Don’t all libertarians? *cleans off monocle*

        1. All real libertarians force pay the orphans to ash into their own mouths. Or is it just me?

          1. Well, your altruisic (non-Objectivist) libertarians pay the orphans.

            Sub-minimum wage, of course.

            1. I tip with pocket lint.

              1. I tip with Chick tracts. The kids will thank me when I run into them in Heaven.

      2. Only if the fetus juice has been thoroughly saturated with sugar (preferably farmed by unpaid fetuses).

    2. …the World

      I don’t often drink soda, but I do, I prefer Pepsi.

      1. …the World

        *but when I do*

        I don’t often comment on blogs, but when I do, I sometimes leave out entire words.

        1. I don’t often comment on blogs, but when I do, I sometimes leave out entire words.

          Is dos equis still doing those ads? If so, expect this line to show up there now.

          1. Announcer: He leaves entire words out of his posts and other commenters blame themselves for not understanding.

            1. fucking. perfect.

              +unlimited internetz

    3. You may be the only person on earth who ever intentionally bought a Pepsi.

      Here’s how everyone else got theirs:

      “…and a Coke, please.”

      “Is Pepsi OK?”

      NO IT FUCKING ISN’T that’s why no one says ‘Pepsi’ and you know this YOU KNOW NO ONE WANTS TO DRINK YOUR SHITTY DIABETES PISS YOU DIRTY BITCH GODDAMN I’m gonna start serial-killing waitresses…

      “…Pepsi’s fine.”

      1. ^ This is so true.

      2. This is why I ask for Dr. Pepper.

        1. “Is Mr. Pibb OK?”

          1. Yes, Mr. Pibb is okay, as it is a Coca-Cola brand, and it doesn’t suck like most Pepsi things do. Competition is good.

            1. When I’ve been confronted with that scenario, I just changed my order to Coke instead. Mr. Pibb sucks. If only he’d stayed in school and gotten that doctoral.

      3. I have the opposite interaction.

        Though usually it actually goes “What do you have on draft?”

        1. Or if I absolutely have to beer an alcohol free drink, iced tea.

          1. Iced tea gets complicated in the south. “Unsweet” is the stupidest slang I ever heard.

            1. One of the pleasures of the north.

            2. Iced tea is complicated everywhere now, here in the north too. Used to be, it had sugar by default. Now you have to ask, which basically means I never order iced tea because who wants to go through that routine.

              1. Your comment puts me in mind of the First World Problems meme.

                1. First World problems: Click link to meme, get 404.

                  1. First World problems: Click link to meme, get 404.

                    That’s pretty good.

                2. “TRAAAAAAAAAIN!!!!!” *splat*

                  1. …and that’s why we stick with peace signs, bunny ears, and fake dicks…

          2. Or if I absolutely have to beer an alcohol free drink, iced tea.

            Beer-me an iced tea, bro.

            1. I’m a homebrewer. I’ll beer any drink I can.

              1. I wonder: has tea-beer ever been tried? I’m sure it probably violates the Four Loko law.

              2. was referencing Ed Helms’ character on The Office.

        2. me: what’s on tap?

          waitress: Bud, Miller, Coors, etc

          me: fuck it, bring me a water. And don’t stick a goddamned lemon in it because I asked for water, not lemonade.

          1. I never got the lemon in the water thing.

            1. As the lemon acid solutes in to the glass, it covers up the sulfur or mildew taste.

            2. It tastes dirty and I’ve never seen anyone in a restaurant wash a lemon (even when I worked in one this never happened)

              1. I am extremely cautious about food handling, I even eat around the part of a burger bun I held if I don’t feel like my hands are clean. But I tend not to wash the skin of fruits and vegetables that gets discarded.

                Also, I eat straight lemon. I don’t buy them for eating purposes, but if I have one because I was flavoring something, why not?

                1. I even eat around the part of a burger bun I held

                  Dude, it’s called a wrapper, you’re not supposed to eat any of that imitation-bread insulating material.

                  1. I’m talking about burgers on a plate at pubs. Fast food burgers, I use the wrapper to keep my hands separate from the food.

                    1. I’m talking about burgers on a plate at pubs. Fast food burgers, I use the wrapper to keep my hands separate from the food.

                      Another of my complete joke-failures.

                    2. I get it. To you the bread or fake bread is the wrapper.

                    3. I get it.

                      Now you’re just rubbing the failure in my face.

                    4. I thought it was pretty good.

                2. But I tend not to wash the skin of fruits and vegetables that gets discarded

                  but the lemon rind doesn’t get discarded — restaurants drop the whole slice in the glass or pitcher.

                  1. “restaurants drop the whole slice in the glass or pitcher”

                    At restaurants I usually just go with beverages that had minimal handling- beer or fountain soda. I just don’t think about how often the systems get cleaned, because its probably never. Most restaurant tap water I have ever tasted sucks, and the iced tea pots probably sit around all day and overnight.

      4. My best friend asks for Pepsi. Our relationship has always been a rocky one.

        1. Well, of course I knew you wouldn’t like Pepsi. There is no way your feminine body could handle the delicious sugar in it.

          1. Diet Pepsi sucks too.

            1. Duh. It’s diet. That’s like saying vegan burgers suck.

              1. Turkey burgers suck, too.

                1. You’re doing them wrong. Unless you just mean relative to ground beef burgers in which case I agree with you.

                2. “Turkey burgers suck, too.”

                  The bacon covers up the blandness. Unless you’re talking about eating a plain turkey burger, in which case you get what you deserve.

                  1. I have banned all ground turkey shit from my life. It doesn’t even taste like regular turkey meat or cold cut turkey.

                    1. Chris Traeger: You ever tried a turkey burger?

                      Ron Swanson: Is that a fried turkey leg inside a grilled hamburger? if so, yes, it’s delicious.

                      Chris Traeger: A turkey burger: You take lean ground turkey meat and make that into a burger instead of red meat.

                      Ron Swanson: Why would anyone do that to themselves?

                      how to make the Ron Swanson Turkey burger

      5. I usually say no and order water or mountain dew crab juice.

        Now, what do you have to wash that awful taste out of my mouth?

        Mountain Dew or Crab Juice.

        Blecch! Ew! Sheesh! I’ll take a crab juice.

    4. I prefer the bitterness. More cola, less sweet. Also, less flat.

      1. Pepsi is Coke that was opened and left out in the sun too long.

  5. This seems kind of silly. I mean, even if you think abortion is immoral, it’s a shame to let the results go to waste.

    1. Hear, hear!

    2. You could say the same about a dead body at any stage, pre or post birth.

      It’s all just the ick factor, with irrational mysticism at the root.

    3. The argument is that a market would be created in which some women (poor, few choices) would intentionally get pregnant just to get paid for their abortion slag.

      1. Market-based exploitation is, of course, one of the finer joys of life for a libertarian.

      2. The (black) market already exists, and is run by libertarians. Or didn’t you know that?

        1. If that were the case then libertarians would be staunch pro-lifers. More profits in a black market, afterall.

      3. Which is silly in this case because the fetal cell line in question originated in 1972. Obviously not creating a drive for more abortions.

  6. It has been a staple of warfare throughout the centuries to accuse one’s enemy of committing atrocities against captured babies, using them in Satanic rituals, drinking their blood, etc.

    Is this tactic now being used in the Cola Wars? Is the pro-life movement being duped into fighting for Coke in Coke’s Total War?

    1. Coke: flavored by the kidneys of murdered abortionists, because it would be a shame to let the results go to waste, as Zeb said.

  7. Is this tactic now being used in the Cola Wars? Is the pro-life movement being duped into fighting for Coke in Coke’s Total War?

    Let me know when they resort to drone warfare. “My God, did you see what just happened to that CVS?”

    1. Since Walgreens quit taking my insurance, I won’t shed much of a tear if they get hit.

      1. Walgreens is boycotting Alberta oil. Canada is going to attack them whenever they get someone to join their army.

    2. Duped? No. Eager to do so. Looking for any excuse to get into the corporate extortion game. Planned Parenthood’s strong-arming of Komen has shown the way.

  8. Does this mean Pepsi contains stem cells? If only I’d known.

  9. i just laughed babies out my nose.

    1. Once in a great while Orrin you hit a goldmine.

      1. A broken clock is right twice a day. So, kudos Orrin.

  10. Darn tootin’ Coke should stop using polar bears. Everyone knows polar bears prefer Polar Soda. True Woo!

  11. FrankenPepsi?

  12. I love to cook, I do everyday. I am always looking for ways to make my food more delicious. I will try nearly anything. But, I have to be honest here…..dead babies never really entered my mind as a way to ‘enhance flavor’.

  13. What the hell is a Mystery Yam?

    1. It’s a fake yam that PepsiCo makes out of fetuses.

  14. I read that January Jones ate her baby’s placenta for health/energy benefits. Coming soon to health food stores near you.

    1. Well, technically, it was her own placenta, not the baby’s.

    2. I wanted to fry up the wife’s placenta but the doctors wouldn’t let me take it home.

      1. Maybe deep fried placenta will make an appearance at this year’s Texas State Fair.

        1. meh, not enough carbs.

          1. I mean, they’d obviously batter it in HEK-293 enhanced waffle mix first.

            1. better. smothered in artificial cherry sauce, even better (for the visual as well as the nutritional devaluing.)

  15. I’m not a girl. How do you expect me to know what I’m talking about? Geez.

  16. Well, your altruisic (non-Objectivist) libertarians pay the orphans.

    Sub-minimum wage, of course.

    You’re too grandiose, RC. I make mine work for their VAX and other health care in trade. Benefits are a tangible (and untaxed) form of income.

  17. In the world of the future, the saying “Soylent Green is people!” will be met with “So? This shit is delicious!”

    1. In the movie, Soylent Green kind of resembled Cheezits. Hmmm….

  18. Planned Parenthood’s strong-arming of Komen has shown the way.

    Yes, yet another example of the entitlement mindset. Odd, how an organization, an 501(c)3 no less, would disallow the choice of another female oriented organization.

    And for the record, I’m fatigued of this stupid shorthand buzzword, “Choice.” “I’m in favor of choice!” Choice for what? Caesar salad dressing v. nutmeg vinagrette?

    Call it for what it is, people.

    1. Yeah I hate that too. Most people who use it seem to be pro-choice in only a few limited circumstances. I try to always say that I am pro legal abortion, and I also happen to be pro-choice in most matters.

      1. Right. I know people who proclaim themselves to be pro-choice when they’re anti-choice on just about everything except abortion. When I call them on it, they’re not happy, but they’ve never explained to me how I’m wrong.

        1. pro-choice = pro-abortion legality or pro-abortion

          intact dilation and extraction = late-term abortion

          anti-bullying = suppression of politically incorrect opinions by school officials

          non-judgemental = judgementalism limited to that which coincides with liberal dogma

          hate = disagreement with liberal policies, usually wrt issues of race or sexual preference

          compassionate = advocate for increased governmental powers justified by concerns for the plight of the disadvantaged

          uncaring, lacking in compassion = advocate for concern for others expressed through private efforts

          paleo-conservative = advocate for traditional values

          racist …
          bigoted …
          homophobic …
          anti-woman …
          conservative dog whistle …
          code words …

    2. nutmeg vinagrette

      wtf, that sounds terrible.

  19. I wish it was a choice of Coca-Cola or Royal Crown at restaurants. With secondary choices of Mr. Pibb or Dr. Pepper, Sprite or 7 Up, Barq’s or A&W, and so forth. I have no use for Pepsi brands.

    1. I always wonder why you can never get diet uncolas like sprite or 7up. Even in bars. They usually only offer diet coke or Pepsi.

      1. Extra overhead. And in fast food restaurants, I often do see diet versions of lime sodas and root beers, which to me is a waste of fountain space.

        1. I need to start a fastfood chain for diabetics. Fresh porkrinds instead of fries, burgers slung right from the griddle into customers mouths (make sure to have cheese and bacon stuffed in there when it’s your turn), cheesy roasted broccoli, and plenty of low/no sugar beverage choices.

        2. Some folks like myself do not like diet coals though.

          1. Some folks like myself do not like diet coals though.

            What’s not to love about a smaller carbon footprint?

      2. Come to the Jello Belt, Utah/Idaho, and you will be amazed at how many non cola soft drinks are regularily available. Even in podunk rural areas (I know, I know… But there are places more podunk than Idaho Falls) you often have twelve different soda selections. It is crazy, but sadly they are almost entirely pepsi products. I think I will forward this article to the a couple of the more enthusiastic mormon bishops around here.

    2. I did buy throwback Pepsi, to promote my preference for cane sugar.

      1. I admit it…I did too. But it wasn’t anywhere near as good as the “throwback” Dr. Pepper they were doing around the same time.

        1. I missed the Heritage Dr. Pepper release, and its now too late for the Dublin version. I have just become aware how rocky the sugar sweetened Dr. Pepper situation has been. Its a fucking shame:


            1. I don’t blame Dr. Pepper for this. The Dublin outfit put up a good fight, but they are the victim of a much greater overall turmoil in the soda industry caused by subsidies, tariffs, antitrust bullshit, and rentseeking bitchass franchise operators.

              If I had the resources, I would do unethical things to make that formula commercially available, to hell with the brand.

              1. I just can’t understand how anyone in their right mind would prefer high fructose corn syrup to real sugar. Mexican Coke > regular Coke, Throwback Pepsi > regular Pepsi, Dublin/Heritage Dr. Pepper > regular Dr. Pepper.

                This sounds like a market failure. The government should get involved and correct the problem, probably.

  20. I wanted to fry up the wife’s placenta but the doctors wouldn’t let me take it home.

    That’s why you get a midwife, Nipplemancer. You get to keep all the goodies that way. For a while there, it was all the rage for husbands of these space-cadet mommies to eat the placenta as a type of “birth sympathy” experience, under the notion of “meat genetic memory.”

    Otherwise, pathology needs the placenta as proof that a procedure took place, which is also why you can’t take home tonsils. Unless you have a religion that requires you keep with what you were born, such as ultra-Orthodox Jews, Native Americans, and Muslims.

    1. Isn’t the actual child sufficient proof?

      1. Only if you leave it at the hospital.

      2. Not if you’re a libertarian. The little fucker’ll be too busy being worked to half-death in a sweatshop somewhere.

    2. That’s why you get a midwife

      NOT SO FAST.

  21. I drink water, the way God intended.

    1. Does the bottle have “40%” written on the label? *Squints suspiciously*.

    2. Water? You mean like in the toilet?

    3. Water? You mean like in the toilet?

      1. God dammit.

        1. Four whole minutes without refreshing. And you call yourself a H&R commenter.

          1. I do not have the full obsession level, no. I’m ashamed of how much time I waste as it is.

        2. +Brawndo

    4. the way God intended

      Out of a puddle?

  22. Auric Demonocles|3.29.12 @ 10:01AM|#

    Pepsi is number 2?


  23. I drink water, the way God intended.

    With Seagram’s 7 or Chivas?

    1. I drink only distilled water, or rainwater, and only pure-grain alcohol.

      1. Mandrake, feed that belt…

  24. Coming soon to a billboard near you: “Pepsi: We Eat Babies!”

  25. OT: http://news.yahoo.com/911-call…..41485.html

    911 caller arrested in deadly police shooting

    PASADENA, Calif. (AP) ? A California 911 caller told emergency dispatchers he’d just been robbed at gunpoint by two men who fled with his computer and backpack.

    Pasadena Police Chief Philip Sanchez said that call set off a deadly chain of events that led officers to shoot and kill a 19-year-old college student, later identified as Kendrec McDade, late on Saturday night.

    McDade was spotted in an alley about two blocks from the spot where Oscar Carrillo told police he’d been robbed, Sanchez said Wednesday.

    1. “The actions of the 911 caller set the minds of the officers,” Sanchez said.

      McDade ran from officers until an officer used the police cruiser to block McDade’s path in an alley and rolled down his window, Lt. Phlunte Riddle said.

      McDade allegedly made a motion at his waistband and the officer opened fire. A second officer who was chasing McDade on foot also opened fire, Riddle said.

      McDade, who was less than 10 feet away from the patrol car when the officer opened fire, died of his injuries at Huntington Hospital. The Citrus College student was a football standout at Azusa High School.

      In an interview Monday with detectives, Sanchez said Carrillo admitted that he made up the story about the gun to speed up the officers’ response. Detectives now believe McDade and the other person, a juvenile, were unarmed, Riddle said.

    2. Carrillo was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the officer-involved shooting, Sanchez said.

      1. Every good police officer knows to have a good scapegoat for their own mistakes.

  26. Can we get an Ann Margaret-type to sing about Patio Cola and fetal cells?

    “Peggy! Get in here!”

    1. “Bye, bye, Baby!
      I drank you all away-ay-ay-ay
      Drank you all awaaaaaaaaay!”

  27. I prefer Pepsi. Except when I prefer Coke.

    But all colas are a distant third to The Nectar of the Gods?, tasty, delicisiou, all-the-caffeine-and-twice-the-sugar Mountain Dew.

    “It’ll Tickle Yore Innards!”

  28. Pepsi Throwback is the best thing ever.

    1. Mexican Coca-Cola is the best thing ever. And why did it become “hip” to put adjectives after nouns?

      1. I’ve gotta say the Heritage Dr. Pepper was my favorite major brand cola ever. You’re both wrong and anyone who disagrees with me isn’t a true libertarian.

  29. You people still order coke at a restaurant? Are you all 16?

    1. sometimes it’s easier to order combo meals instead of getting everything a la carte, and they don’t accept an order where you reply “I don’t care” when they ask what drink.

    2. I only order it to sprinkle on my neck to ward off Mormons.

    3. I order it to give my orphan workers more calories and caffeine so they can keep putting in 20 hour workdays.

  30. That plaid skirt would look good draped over my head.

  31. Soylent Pepsi is people!

  32. “Are you listening, Coke executives?” – NG

    Please. Are you really that naive Gillespie? Right.

    The polar bears are a FALSE FLAG OPERATION!

    And I guess you think this is just a FUCKING COINCIDENCE????



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