Drew Zahn is a WND news editor who cut his journalist teeth as a member of the award-winning staff of Leadership, Christianity Today's professional journal for church leaders. A former pastor, he is the editor of seven books, including Movie-Based Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching, which sparked his ongoing love affair with film and his weekly WND column, "Popcorn and a (world)view."More ↓Less ↑
One of Neocutis’ skin products containing PSP
A pro-life organization is blasting a Switzerland-based cosmetics manufacturer whose website openly admits some of its products were developed from the tissues of an aborted baby.
Children of God for Life is a nonprofit organization focused on the bioethics of embryonic-tissue use in medicine and manufacturing. One of its current campaigns includes petitioning pharmaceutical companies to produce safe, effective alternatives to vaccines derived or cultivated from aborted fetal tissue.
But the organization’s attention has now turned to Neocutis, a company with offices in San Francisco, which has developed a line of antiaging products that include an ingredient the company has trademarked as Processed Skin-Cell Protein, developed from skin cells harvested from an abortion.
“It is absolutely deplorable that Neocutis would resort to exploiting the remains of a deliberately slaughtered baby for nothing other than pure vanity and financial gain,” said Debi Vinnedge, executive director of Children of God for Life, in a statement. “There is simply no moral justification for this.”
The website for Neocutis, which is privately held with estimated annual sales of in excess of $2 million, explains that its research began years ago, when scientists discovered fetal skin’s unusual ability to heal without scarring. Scientists at the University Hospital of Lausanne, Switzerland, then created a process to extract proteins from fetal cells in the attempt to obtain an optimal, naturally balanced mixture of nutrients.
The scientists then infused those nutrients into a line of cosmeceutical antiaging products: Neocutis skin cream, Journée day cream, Lumière eye cream and Bio-Gel bio-restorative hydrogel – products Vinnedge is advising women to throw in the garbage before contacting Neocutis to voice their concerns.
“There is absolutely no reason to use aborted babies for such selfish motives,” Vinnedge said. “It is antilife, antiwoman and counterproductive, as Neocutis is about to find out!”
Children of God for Life boasts that it has been a watchdog on pharmaceutical companies using aborted fetal-cell lines in medical products and has received thousands of inquiries from the public on the use of aborted fetal material in cosmetics. But this is the first time, the organization says, that any company was bold enough to put the information right on its own website and in product literature.
“A small biopsy of fetal skin was donated following a one-time medical termination,” the website states, “and a dedicated cell bank was established for developing new skin treatments. Originally established for wound healing and burn treatments, today this same cell bank also provides a lasting supply of cells for producing Neocutis’ proprietary skin-care ingredient Processed Skin-Cell Proteins.”
The company adds, “No additional fetal biopsies will ever be required.”
But Children of God for Life finds little consolation in the company’s statement.
“You note in your literature that ‘no further fetal biopsies will be needed,’ as though the life of the one child you have exploited has no value,” wrote the organization in a letter to Neocutis’ CEO. “It is deplorable that you would attempt to mollify the public and whitewash your badly tarnished image so thoughtlessly.”
Vinnedge also told WND that companies aren’t required to disclose their research history to the public, so there may be facts conveniently omitted from the Neocutis story.
“What we don’t know is how many other fetuses were involved before they perfected that one cell line,” she surmised. “There’s a possibility there were more.”
WND contacted Neocutis repeatedly for comment, but phone messages were not returned. A Businessweek web report says the company was founded in 2003 and its directors were identified as Frederic-Edouard Koehn, Patrick Hohlfeld, Diego Braguglia and Jennifer Pearson.
Children of God for Life, however, is actively calling for a boycott of all Neocutis products, beginning a campaign to contact the company’s investors and even offering free publicity to companies that will certify in writing their products are free from ingredients derived from aborted babies.
“We know there are companies using moral sources for collagen and skin proteins,” Vinnedge said. “We intend to publicly promote these other cosmetic companies competing with Neocutis that are willing to step forward and contact us.”