88th LegislatureHealthcareStatewide NewsTexas Republican Looks to Require Labeling of Products That Include ‘Human Fetal Tissue’

Hall's bill comes after years of incidents where fetal cells were found to be used in design, testing, and production of a variety of consumer products.
February 2, 2023
State Sen. Bob Hall (R-Edgewood) has introduced Senate Bill (SB) 314, which will require the labeling of food, medical, and cosmetic products that include human fetal tissue in the product or during the testing process.

“Human fetal tissue” is defined in the bill as “tissues, cells, or organs obtained from an aborted unborn child.”

All food, medical, and cosmetic products that either “contain human fetal tissue; is manufactured using human fetal tissue, or is otherwise derived from research using human fetal tissue” must be labeled as such.

The form and content of the labeling will be determined by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission and shall be determined no later than December 1, 2023.

In an emailed statement to the Associated Press, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said they were “not aware of any company ever putting fetal cells into food products.”

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“There are no conditions under which the FDA would consider human fetal tissue to be safe or legal for human or animal consumption.”

Pharmaceutical research and development commonly use fetal cell lines to develop and produce vaccines, including the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.

Hall’s bill reads, “‘Fetal tissue medical product’ would include medications, vaccines, or other medical products used in medical treatments. This would include using human fetal tissue in the manufacturing or derived from research using human fetal tissue.”

“A person may not sell, dispense, or administer in this state a fetal tissue medical product unless the product is clearly and conspicuously labeled in accordance with department rules.”

In 2009, cosmetics brand NEOCUTIS admitted to the use of proteins derived from the cultured skin cells of an aborted fetus. According to bioethics news site BioEdge, this was “controversial because the proteins were obtained from a postage stamp-sized rectangle of skin taken from a terminated 14-week old male [fetus] in Switzerland.”

Oklahoma has attempted to pass a similar law. In 2012, SB 1418 was introduced to “prohibit the sale or manufacture of food or products which contain aborted human fetuses.” The bill did not make it out of committee.

Many companies and products will be impacted by Hall’s bill if it is to pass. It would mean all products that use human fetal tissue in their development, research, testing, and production must be labeled as including “human fetal tissue” on the packaging.

In a statement from Hall: “Unfortunately, many Texans are unknowingly consuming products that either contain human fetal parts or were developed using human fetal parts. While some may not be bothered by this, there are many Texans with religious or moral beliefs that would oppose consumption or use of these products. They have the right to know what is in the products they are consuming.”


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Cameron Abrams

Cameron Abrams is a reporter for The Texan. After graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Tabor College and a Master’s Degree from University of the Pacific, Cameron is finishing his doctoral studies where his research focuses on the postmodern philosophical influences in education. In his free time, you will find him listening to a podcast while training for an endurance running event.