- Nestle has entered a partnership with Cellular Dynamics International (CDI) that will give the world's largest food company access to unspecified amount of human stem cells to use in research. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
- Nestle hopes to use the partnership with the biotechnology firm to expand its research into the links between food and disease.
- While it's quite common for pharma companies to buy stem cells from CDI, Nestle is the first food company on earth to do so.
Oh boy. Our first thought here was "did anyone tell the public-relations team about this deal beforehand?"
Allow us to be frank. Stem cell research is a vital part of the battle to conquer disease. It may even, in fact, hold the key to wining the battle against death. It is important work. We support it. We applaud those researchers and scientists who toil in the biotech trenches. But we also accept that stem cells are controversial ... and rightly so. And we applaud those theologians and ethicists who ponder the moral questions raised by the science.
Given such controversy, and given that this is an era in which millions of consumers are already worried about GMO foods, we have to wonder about the wisdom of taking things a step further and linking a food brand to human stem cells.