The federal Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has decided against a group of PepsiCo shareholders in their efforts to stop the company from contracting with a firm that uses cells from aborted babies in producing artificial flavor enhancers.
As reported last year in The New American, the shareholders had filed a resolution with the SEC after Pepsi ignored tens of thousands of concerned pro-life individuals who had expressed their disgust and opposition to its contracting with Senomyx, a biotech company that tests its food additive products using a process that includes fetal cells from aborted babies.
In a decision delivered by letter February 28, the SEC said that Pepsi’s research and development agreement with Senomyx, which includes the use of aborted fetal remains in flavor enhancement research, falls under “ordinary business operations” for the soft drink company. According to LifeSiteNews.com, the SEC decision came in response to a 36-page document submitted by Pepsi through its attorneys in January 2012. “In that filing, PepsiCo pleaded with the SEC to reject the shareholders’ resolution filed in October 2011 that the company ‘adopt a corporate policy that recognizes human rights and employs ethical standards which do not involve using the remains of aborted human beings in both private and collaborative research and development agreements,’” reported the pro-life news site.
PepsiCo lead attorney George A. Schieren had argued that the shareholder resolution should be disregarded because it “deals with matters related to the company’s ordinary business operations.” He added that “certain tasks are so fundamental to run a company on a day-to-day basis that they could not be subject to stockholder oversight.”
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