State Sen. Ralph Shortey introduced a bill on Tuesday "prohibiting the sale or manufacture of food or products which contain aborted human fetuses."
Though he has allowed that he is not aware of this occurring in Oklahoma, or anywhere for that matter, Shortey cited research he did on the internet that claimed that some companies use embryonic stem cells to help develop artificial flavoring. "It would be a public relations nightmare for a company to use" aborted human fetuses for R&D, Shortey told KRMG Radio, so when asked they usually say something like "we strive to do things ethically."
"I'm not entirely sure if there are any" companies doing this, he continued. "But the fact is that there is a potential that there are companies that are using aborted human babies in their research and development of basically enhancing flavor for artificial flavors. And if that is happening -- because it is a possibility -- and if it's happening then I just don't think it should even be an option for a company."
Shortey added that if you took this idea to its logical conclusion, you could "force every human being" to be an organ donor, "and that's kind of what we're doing with these children. Before they're born, we're going to kill them and then we can do anything we want to with your body."
"You may think it's ethical to kill a child in the womb," he said. "But the question now before us is: is it ethical to then use that aborted child for research and development to enhance flavors in food?"
You can listen to the full audio of the interview here.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration spokeswoman Pat El-Hinnawy told the Associated Press
that the "FDA is not aware of this particular concern."
And Tony Lauinger, the executive director of Oklahomans for Life, a pro-life group that has pushed anti-abortion laws in the state, said "I don't know anything about that."
The bill will be taken up by the Senate Human Services Committee in February.
Shortey did not return TPM's request for comment.