Always wondered why Pepsi tastes different to Coke

January 30th, 2012 at 8:58 am by David Farrar

AFP reports at the NZ Herald:

An Oklahoma lawmaker has proposed legislation to ban any use of foetuses in food in one of the more bizarre twists in the emotive US battle over .

The bill comes after wild rumors began circulating online and among anti-abortion groups that soft drink giant, Pepsi, was using aborted foetuses in its products.

I always wondered why I preferred Coke to Pepsi. Obviously I don’t like the taste of aborted foetuses!

I wonder if some evil Coke executive was responsible for starting the urban legend. You can just imagine the marketing team brain-storming ideas, and one of them saying “Hey, why don’t we start a rumour that Pepsi uses foetuses in their products”.

The company has denounced the urban legend as completely false.

“PepsiCo does not conduct or fund research that utilises any human tissue or cell lines derived from embryos,” spokesman Peter Land told AFP.

They would say that, wouldn’t they.

Oklahoma state senator Ralph Shortey said he has been researching the issue for about a year and is concerned there are no rules preventing the use of embryonic or fetal tissue in food and other products.

Oh my God. This is urgent. Imagine all the products out there which may have been using fetal tissue in their products. I mean, does anyone know what really is in a mince pie?

There could be other rules needed also. I’ve been researching the issue for about three minutes and there are also no rules preventing the use of human brain tissue in food products. Shockingly, not a single rule prevents a chef from cutting out his own heart, and including it in a tasty curry.

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50 Responses to “Always wondered why Pepsi tastes different to Coke”

  1. Graeme Edgeler (3,290 comments) says:

    Shockingly, not a single rule prevents a chef from cutting out his own heart, and including it in a tasty curry.

    The Food Hygiene Regulations 1974.

    [DPF: Does it specify hearts?]

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  2. Brian Smaller (4,026 comments) says:

    Oh my God. This is urgent. Imagine all the products out there which may have been using fetal tissue in their products. I mean, does anyone know what really is in a mince pie?

    That would account for the taste of those Mrs Mac pies you find in gas station pie-warmers.

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  3. Viking2 (11,575 comments) says:

    Its only meat. And lets face it it’s not that long ago a certain group of ethnic Kiwi’s used to eat each other.

    I know of a freezer that was raided in a burgulary and one of the plastic bags contained a placenta. The bag was missing along iwth the rest of the freezer contents. hope they enjoyed the Haggis.

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  4. Manolo (14,082 comments) says:

    And lets face it it’s not that long ago a certain group of ethnic Kiwi’s used to eat each other.

    I reckon Viking should be banned for file for being politically incorrect, insensitive, and trying to rewrite history. :D

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  5. tom hunter (5,095 comments) says:

    Stick all the bits of brain in a plastic bag, Barry.

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  6. BlairM (2,365 comments) says:

    If you read the actual story rather than just read DPF’s skewed summary of it, Shortey seems marginally more reasonable. He believes that Pepsi are using artificial sweeteners produced from research using foetus kidneys. It’s an ethical issue and he is highlighting it with his bill. I don’t necessarily think he is going the right way about his concerns, but he’s not a nutcase. It’s not dissimilar from the concerns many people have with cosmetics being tested on animals.

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  7. Will de Cleene (485 comments) says:

    But Mountain Dew does dissolve mice:
    http://grist.org/list/2012-01-04-mountain-dew-can-dissolve-a-mouse-says-pepsi/

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  8. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    This sounds like the work of Alan Abel a US prankster/ hoaxer. He was responsible for organizations like SINA ( society for indecency to naked animals ) which had a large following, they wished to put cloths on animals, nappies on horses dogs etc, I kid you not. Abel also introduced a campaign to ban all breastfeeding because “it is an incestuous relationship between mother and baby that manifests an oral addiction leading youngsters to smoke, drink and even become anti social”.

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  9. Mark (1,493 comments) says:

    Blair, well put, as with any story it is all in the way it is told

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  10. Monique Watson (1,062 comments) says:

    Good one Blair. Sideshow Bob: google Bonsai Kittens.

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  11. eszett (2,432 comments) says:

    He is a total nutcase.

    http://scienceblogs.com/erv/2012/01/oklahoma_senator_concerned_abo.php

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  12. tristanb (1,127 comments) says:

    Ha. Fundie Christians are so used to believing the most ridiculous things without any critical thinking, that now anything it fair game for their shrivelled brains.

    BlairM…
    How is it more reasonable that artificial sweetener was developed using genetically modified fetal kidneys?!!!

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  13. kowtow (8,784 comments) says:

    Yeah, Once upon a time it was deemed a good idea to feed cow brains to cows,who’d a thought?

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  14. Pete George (23,688 comments) says:

    I think there’s something equally suspicious about Coke, that tastes just as bad as Pepsi.

    And what do they use for fertiliser for brussel sprouts!

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  15. BlairM (2,365 comments) says:

    tristanb – it’s a perfectly legitimate ethical concern. It’s not one that bothers me all that much, but if it bothers others, I respect that view, and don’t call them nutcases. We all have our taboos. In fact, I can’t say that I am all that thrilled by the science that goes into producing artificial flavours and sweetners myself. The idea that they are researching them using ANY form of human cells is icky. Not that I’d ban it, but I don’t think Shortey is being unreasonable at all. This is being painted as some sort of crazed fundamentalist going feral, and it’s not – it’s a legitimate ethical concern and I think we should take his arguments seriously and treat them that way when we respond.

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  16. Don the Kiwi (1,794 comments) says:

    What’s the big deal? I mean – abortions are just clumps of cells aren’t they? They’re not human…..are they?

    Maybe abortion should not happen, then it wouldn’t lead to any ethical problems.

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  17. Scott Chris (6,177 comments) says:

    Well there ARE bits of aborted fetus in Pepsi. And Coke. There are 7,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 atoms in the human body. They get around.

    Chances are there’s an atom or two of Hitler’s or Einstein’s in your morning tea.

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  18. adze (2,129 comments) says:

    BlairM, I don’t believe the ethical considerations between testing on human foetus organs and cosmetic testing on animals are comparable. One is concerned with animal suffering, the other is with (as far as I can tell) cultural taboos only.

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  19. BlairM (2,365 comments) says:

    BlairM, I don’t believe the ethical considerations between testing on human foetus organs and cosmetic testing on animals are comparable. One is concerned with animal suffering, the other is with (as far as I can tell) cultural taboos only.

    LOL so being crushed by forceps and then vacuumed out of the uterus doesn’t count as “animal suffering”?

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  20. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    Yes Monique, just goes to show how easy it is to excepted lies, hoaxes etc I suspect the internet will also be equally as good at making idiots of us all, it’s all to easy to believe sometimes. This was what Alan Abel was trying to demonstrate every time he came up with a new prank, we must question everything.

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  21. adze (2,129 comments) says:

    Are we talking about abortion or testing on organs? Naturally any related suffering is relevant, if it exists.

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  22. BlairM (2,365 comments) says:

    adze – the organs came from aborted foetuses. The origins of the organs make it an ethical issue.

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  23. Put it away (2,880 comments) says:

    It’s not just the xtian loons who will believe anything, I’ve seen loopy stuff from all kinds of religions. Favourite was an email forward intended for hindus to warn them of the evils of sausage meat in Coke.

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  24. adze (2,129 comments) says:

    So if their origins make it an ethical issue, why doesn’t it bother you that much?

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  25. Graeme Edgeler (3,290 comments) says:

    The Food Hygiene Regulations 1974.

    [DPF: Does it specify hearts?]

    All meat not stored at the correct temperature :-)

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  26. holysheet (433 comments) says:

    Scott says
    “There are 7,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 atoms in the human body”

    For someone who is always quoting supposedly correct data on every thing here on KB, I am a bit surprised at his definate quote here. With all those zeros, could there not be just a slight chance there might be 7,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,0001 or god forbid 7,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,002 atoms in the human body.

    How do you get this figure scott? Did you count them in another life?

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  27. Weihana (4,607 comments) says:

    BlairM,

    LOL so being crushed by forceps and then vacuumed out of the uterus doesn’t count as “animal suffering”?

    I don’t think so. I know animals can suffer and can comprehend their suffering due to changes in their behaviour. I am not aware that an aborted foetus has any comprehension of their suffering of even if there is a “their” there. If that was the case then the correct response would be to not allow abortion at such a developed stage. However I suspect their comprehension is about that of an insect, if that.

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  28. Weihana (4,607 comments) says:

    Main article: Dietary mineral
    The average 70 kg adult human body contains approximately 6.7 x 10^27 atoms and is “composed of” 60 chemical elements. In this sense, “composed of” means that a trace of the element has been identified in the body. However, at the finest resolution, most objects on Earth (including the human body) contain measureable contaminating amounts of all of the 88 chemical elements which are detectable in nearly any soil on Earth. The number of elements thought to play an active positive role in life and augmentation of health in humans and other mammals, is about 24 or 25.[1]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Composition_of_the_human_body

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  29. Peter (1,723 comments) says:

    Jamie Oliver’s new book “30 Quick N Easy Foetus Recipes” predicted “not to do quite as well as previous titles in the US”.

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  30. Weihana (4,607 comments) says:

    Holysheet,

    Correct doesn’t necessarily mean exact. An approximation can be correct but is not exact.

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  31. cha (4,084 comments) says:

    snap!

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  32. BlairM (2,365 comments) says:

    So if their origins make it an ethical issue, why doesn’t it bother you that much?

    It doesn’t. What bothers me is the effort put into making this fellow out to be a nutcase, when I think his views are perfectly legitimate. I happen to disagree with them, but the idea that it’s wrong to do research on body parts from foetuses is not, in my view, an unreasonable or crazy idea.

    I know animals can suffer and can comprehend their suffering due to changes in their behaviour. I am not aware that an aborted foetus has any comprehension of their suffering of even if there is a “their” there. If that was the case then the correct response would be to not allow abortion at such a developed stage. However I suspect their comprehension is about that of an insect, if that.

    What utter nonsense. Foetuses are obviously unable to type out the complete works of Shakespeare, but if you don’t think a foetus can feel or comprehend pain like any other comparably sized mammal, you’re in denial of the obvious. There are many compelling arguments for legal abortion, but “they don’t feel any pain anyway” is not one of them.

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  33. Weihana (4,607 comments) says:

    BlairM,

    Aside from me being in denial of the obvious can you point me to the evidence which provides an indication of their level of sensory perception and comprehension?

    The accepted hypothesis of the means by which pain is perceived states that it requires certain physical structures and operations. These are not formed in fetuses until 30 weeks or more. The consensus of the scientific community at this time is that only fetuses of this age or older are capable of perceiving pain.
    Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded in a meta-analysis of data from dozens of medical reports and studies that fetuses are unlikely to feel pain until the third trimester of pregnancy.[2][3] There is an emerging consensus among developmental neurobiologists that the establishment of thalamocortical connections (at about 26 weeks) is a critical event with regard to fetal perception of pain.[4] Because pain can involve sensory, emotional and cognitive factors, it may be “impossible to know” when painful experiences are perceived, even if it is known when thalamocortical connections are established.[5]
    Electroencephalography suggests the capacity for functional pain perception in premature infants probably does not exist before 29 or 30 weeks; this study asserted that withdrawal reflexes and changes in heart rates and hormone levels in response to invasive procedures are reflexes that do not indicate fetal pain.[2]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fetal_pain

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  34. Mobile Michael (464 comments) says:

    I’m more concerned about Dihydrogen Monoxide, perhaps the Yanks should ban that first.

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  35. BlairM (2,365 comments) says:

    Weihana – they are living creatures. My experience of living creatures is that they all feel pain. Just because it is difficult to measure foetal pain, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Logic suggests that if in our experience living creatures all feel pain, we should assume foetuses do unless it is conclusively proven otherwise.

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  36. davidp (3,588 comments) says:

    I don’t see the issue here. If you come across a bit of aborted fetus in your Pepsi or your pie then just spit it out. People complain too much these days.

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  37. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    DPF is just keeping his liberal credentials up-to-date. This helps to keep you connected in Wellington. Even if you’re not pro-life, it’s still very hard to get invited to the best cocktail evening if you dare voice your unease with the high rates of abortion in NZ. I find the cognitive dissonance here quite interesting: DPF will mock TV1 and TV3 for their bias in certain areas, and then proceed with his own bias.

    DPF does a great blog, and reveals some great insights to NZ political life, and I enjoy reading KB most days. But his inconsistencies stick out like the proverbial.

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  38. Other_Andy (2,676 comments) says:

    BlairM at 10:53 am

    I agree, well said.

    Weihana at 11:05 am

    The “Consensus” is…
    I hope they are right.

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  39. adze (2,129 comments) says:

    Blairm

    My experience of living creatures is that they all feel pain. Just because it is difficult to measure foetal pain, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Logic suggests that if in our experience living creatures all feel pain, we should assume foetuses do unless it is conclusively proven otherwise.

    So if you’re appealing to logic, we can test that logic.

    1. Blairm’s experience of living creatures suggests that the ability to feel pain is a universal characteristic.
    2. We cannot always measure pain.
    3. Therefore we should assume creatures always feel pain until we can prove they do not.

    How do you reconcile 1 and 2?

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  40. Weihana (4,607 comments) says:

    BlairM,

    An insect is a living creature. Is fly spray now an ethical dilemma? Sorry but I think a little more judgment will be necessary than the simple observation that they are a “living creature”.

    There is a little more to the notion of fetal pain than a difficulty with measuring it. Rather it is the observed absence of those physical mechanisms and structures which are known to facilitate the perception of pain. It would not be an exercise in good judgment to disregard such evidence simply to maintain a false ignorance.

    Abortion is an issue where the rights and interests of one person must be weighed against the rights and interests of what may or may not be another “person”. As such I don’t consider it acceptable to deny consideration to the rights and interests of the mother until the unattainable hurdle of “conclusively proven” is met in relation to the unborn.

    On the evidence it is apparent that a foetus, for much of the time, does not possess those characteristics which should induce us to accord it a legal right to life. Notwithstanding your assertion to the contrary, the apparent lack of any mechanism to feel or perceive pain would appear to me to be a very good reason to limit the rights of a foetus even while exercising caution in favour of the foetus.

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  41. SHG (319 comments) says:

    As a NZ Maori the consumption of human tissue – with or without the previous owner’s consent – is a historically-recognised aspect of my culture and I condemn as racist cultural relativism any attempt by the colonialist government and media to marginalise or denigrate the practice.

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  42. RRM (10,034 comments) says:

    It all sounds like a big joke, until it’s not:

    http://www.drmomma.org/2009/10/foreskins-in-oprahs-facecream.html

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  43. Scott Chris (6,177 comments) says:

    Weihana says:- “Abortion is an issue where the rights and interests of one person must be weighed against the rights and interests of what may or may not be another “person”.”

    In other words Life or Death verses 9 months of inconvenience and stretch marks. Yes okay, giving birth is fucking horrible, but at least most people live through it.

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  44. BlairM (2,365 comments) says:

    An insect is a living creature. Is fly spray now an ethical dilemma? Sorry but I think a little more judgment will be necessary than the simple observation that they are a “living creature”.

    I think insects feel pain too. As with foetuses, the crucial issue is how important we regard the life of those creatures, not whether they experience pain. It seems like a pointless argument trying to say that a foetus does not feel pain. Of course it fucking feels pain! It’s just retarded to try and defend abortion from that angle. If you support legal abortion, you should be discussing more relevant issues such as the importance of the life of the foetus versus the rights of the parents.

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  45. Weihana (4,607 comments) says:

    Scott Chris,

    Life has a price. We sacrifice the life of animals for our own interests all the time, beings which are clearly superior in cognitive function and perception and far more capable of suffering than any foetus. Why should an arbitrary line in the sand be drawn on the basis that the living creature in question has human DNA? On this basis we would have to hold embryos as sacred also, despite the fact that they are little more than a collection of cells.

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  46. Weihana (4,607 comments) says:

    BlairM,

    No, retarded is believing that “of course it [does]” bears some resemblance to a rational argument.

    Further, I am discussing the importance of the life of the foetus and it is my position that characteristics of the foetus, such as its ability/inability to feel pain, are a measure of its importance and whether or not it should be awarded legal protection.

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  47. SHG (319 comments) says:

    If QoT ever finds this thread shit’s gonna get real.

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  48. Viking2 (11,575 comments) says:

    SHG (177) Says:
    January 30th, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    As a NZ Maori the consumption of human tissue – with or without the previous owner’s consent – is a historically-recognised aspect of my culture and I condemn as racist cultural relativism any attempt by the colonialist government and media to marginalise or denigrate the practice.

    Quite, however you SHD forgot to put clause 4 in the TOW allowing this as a customery practice so you will have to go to the TOW Tribunal to have it verified. I look forward to your hearing. It will be great fun.

    P.S. Don’t forget to list the various delicacies. i.e. Delicacy no1. Labia Minor and Major: teenage

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  49. wreck1080 (3,972 comments) says:

    Used to love having a coke and a kitkat for lunch— pepsi never tasted quite right to me.

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  50. Viking2 (11,575 comments) says:

    what, toke and pussy for lunch?
    Now wreck that’s too much.

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