Australian Keepsake Company Reportedly Turning Extra IVF Embryos Into Jewelry

Photo Credit: Kidspot

SEMAPHORE PARK, Australia — An Australian keepsake company has become the center of controversy after a recent report brought to light the company’s practice of turning extra IVF embryos into jewelry.

“I don’t believe there is any other business in the world that creates jewelry from human embryos, and I firmly believe that we are pioneering the way in this sacred art, and opening the possibilities to families around the world,” Amy McGlade of Baby Bee Hummingbirds told Kidspot in an article published on May 3.

The report shared the story of Belinda and Shaun Stafford, who were unsure as to what to do with their remaining embryos following an in-vitro procedure. After learning that they could be turned into keepsake jewelry, they decided to use Baby Bee Hummingbirds’ services.

“My embryos were my babies, frozen in time,” Belinda Stafford told the outlet. “When we completed our family, it wasn’t in my heart to destroy them. Now they are forever with me in a beautiful keepsake.”

The heart-shaped pendant she wears around her neck now holds the “embryo ash” of her seven remaining children, which the company preserved and cremated.

“We are experts in preserving DNA so that it can be set in a jeweller’s grade resin,” McGlade explained. “It’s special because the embryos often signify the end of a journey, and we are providing a beautiful and meaningful way to gently close the door.”

The company provides various other keepsakes, including with breast milk, umbilical cords, placentas and snippets of hair. However, word of the IVF embryo jewelry raised alarm for some, and the company was flooded with feedback about the matter.

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Baby Bee Hummingbirds responded to the controversy by advising that it had deleted all negative comments and banned those who expressed opposition.

“We have chosen not to respond to any of the many articles written or posts shared publicly. We have also chosen to block, ban & delete the thousands of comments, emails & messages,” the company wrote on social media. “We craft & respect all journeys. We will not give up the last few years of our life’s work to satisfy others beliefs.”

“Those that have chosen to spread hate are not our people. They are not the people we would create for. They are uneducated in our craft or the many reasons behind our ‘why,'” it said. “We have chosen not to respond to a single word. We will continue to ban & delete. … We will not stop.”

The company also shared a photograph featuring the citation of Ephesians 4:32, which speaks of kindness.

However, some opined that while the tender sentimentality behind the memorialization concept is understandable, it still doesn’t make the situation right.

“It’s so undignified that these embryos have been destroyed to become jewelry,” Jennifer Lahl of the Center for Bioethics and Culture told reporters. “I thought, ‘… It really has hit rock-bottom.’”

“The founder asks, ‘What a better way to celebrate your most treasured gift, your child, than through jewelry?’ Well, you could let him live, I suppose,” also wrote blogger Simcha Fischer. “You could allow him the basic dignity of spending time in the womb of his mother, to live or not, to grow or not, but at least to have a chance.”

Lahl said that the ultimate solution is to “stop creating surplus embryos” so that society isn’t faced with ethical dilemmas of what to do with the created human life.

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  • cadcoke5

    I saw this item described on another news site, and commented there. I said that I was speculating that this may be a stunt designed to draw attention to the fact that destruction of these embryos is murder. The McGlades refer to the child that was conceived, like they accept that they are a child, rather than just some tissue, as the abortionists do.

    It also brings to mind the fact that the Nazis did things like turn the skin of their “non human” victims in to lampshades.

    • Chris

      “It also brings to mind the fact that the Nazis did things like turn the skin of their “non human” victims in to lampshades.”

      Two things.
      1) Only Ilsa Koch did that.
      2) She never sold her bizarre lampshades.

  • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    They use aborted babies in skin care and cosmetics and have for decades. We live in a sick, sick world.

    • Colin Rafferty

      Wow, really? Do they need a continuous stream of aborted fetuses, or is it something like proteins derived from a cultured fetal skin cell line? If it’s the former, I’d love to know what company is doing this, so I can make sure not to buy anything from them.

      • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

        So you wear make-up?

        • Colin Rafferty

          Nice way to avoid the question. I use moisturizer. It rubs the lotion on it’s skin.

          Really, who uses this?

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ


            Cosmetics produced using human fetal cell lines and/or containing human fetal DNA, proteins, or cellular debris:

            Bio-Gel (NeoCutis)
            Journee (NeoCutis)
            Bio-Serum Intensive Treatment (NeoCutis)
            Bio-Restorative Skin Cream (NeoCutis)
            Lumiere (NeoCutis)
            Prevedem (NeoCutis)

            Are using human fetal cell lines necessary? No.

            Animal cell lines produce vaccines and biologics as economically and effectively as the human fetal cell lines. Rejuvenating anti-aging creams and cosmetic products are available produced using animal and non-fetal materials.

            Are using human fetal cell lines safe? We don’t know.

            Scientists are aware of the health risks of residual human DNA and retroviruses found in medical products. Ongoing studies need to be done, and SCPI is doing those studies.

          • Colin Rafferty

            Ok, thanks. So it is just the cell lines, and not ground up aborted fetuses. Thanks for clarifying.

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            Why would that make a difference? And what about ground up dead baby kidneys? And then there’s this:
            “Abortion body parts: Not just for medical research
            Debate over stem cell use in food flavors, face creams re-ignited following video about abortionist’s deal-making
            Published: 07/16/2015 at 8:07 PM
            As the debate about abortion and stem cell research reignites in the U.S., it may be instructive to note that not all stem cell research is utilized for medical purposes.

            Stem cells derived from aborted fetuses are used in the U.S. for food and cosmetic research, with one San Francisco-based beauty company notoriously incorporating cell lines in many of its products, including anti-aging face and eye creams.

            Some of those creams received awards in recent months from popular U.S. entertainment magazines Elle and InStyle.

            Earlier this week, an anti-abortion activist group released an online video that it claims evidences methods in which Planned Parenthood not only sells fetal organs for a profit – a felony in the U.S. – but even alters standard abortion practices in order to preserve fetal organs.

            Planned Parenthood denied the accusations, saying it does not sell the human tissue but instead donates the tissue to scientific research while only being reimbursed for expenses, which the group maintains is legal.

            The abortion group’s spokesman, Eric Ferrero, told reporters Planned Parenthood harvested the tissue “with full, appropriate consent from patients and under the highest ethical and legal standards.”

            The California anti-abortion group, Center for Medical Progress, which released a nearly 3-hour long undercover video, charged “Planned Parenthood’s criminal conspiracy to make money off of aborted baby parts reaches to the very highest levels of their organization.”

            The issue clearly has reinvigorated the debate about abortion and stem cell research using tissue harvested from aborted fetuses.

            Artificial flavors

            While much of the debate centers around medical research, stem cells are also utilized for lesser-known lifestyle uses.

            For example, Senomyx, a company that researches and sells flavor boosting products to major worldwide food conglomerates, utilizes Human Embryonic Kidney cells, or HEK-293 in many of its research patents.

            Step by step instructions for taking an abortion business out of your neighborhood have been compiled in “Abortion Free,” the book described as the manual for building a pro-life America one step at a time.

            The company does not use the stem cells in actual products but it seems to engineer HEK-293 cells for laboratory testing, using the cell lines to simulate the taste-receptor cells in the human mouth.

            HEK-293 cells are also used widely in pharmaceutical research and have been instrumental in the creation of numerous vaccines and drugs.

            Senomyx boasts on its website its products “are used by many of the world’s leading food and beverage companies.”

            “Like most flavor ingredients, Senomyx’s flavor boosters and flavors are used in miniscule quantities in foods and beverages. Our products are blended with other ingredients to create appealing new flavors.”

            Senomyx sells its Complimyx brand flavor ingredients, titled, Sweetmyx, Savorymyx, and Bittermyx, to flavor companies for use in a wide variety of foods and beverages.

            Two April 2015 press releases relate Senomyx maintains research partnerships with Nestle, PepsiCo and the Swiss-based Firmenich, the world’s largest privately owned company in the fragrance and flavor business.

            It was not immediately clear which research collaboration utilizes the HEK-293.

            PepsiCo previously released a statement clarifying its relationship with Senomyx is to “help us reduce sugar in future products.”

            “Senomyx does not provide ingredients to PepsiCo, nor does it manufacture PepsiCo products,” continued the statement

            PepsiCo stated that “Senomyx is required to abide by our responsible research statement for any work they conduct for PepsiCo.”

            The statement includes a clause stating PepsiCo does not “conduct or fund research that utilizes any human tissue or cell lines derived from human embryos.”

            Following some negative publicity on the reported use of HEK-293 in Senomxy research products in 2011, the term “HEK-293” cannot be found on the company’s website or in any promotional material.

            However, a WND search of the U.S. Patent Collection database finds Senomyx filed 156 patents and that the majority of those utilized HEK-293 cells in its research, some quite extensively.

            In one of over 100 examples, the company’s patent titled, “Compounds that inhibit (block) bitter taste in composition and use thereof” details the research process of using HEK-293 cells to simulate human taste receptors to test products.

            The cells were also utilized in research tasting for numerous “Sweet flavor modifier” patents and other patents testing “bitter” flavors.

            This does not mean Senomyx requires a constant stream of aborted fetus kidney cells to test its products.

            In fact, HEK-293 cell lines used in modern research all were derived from human embryonic kidney cells from one fetus aborted legally under Dutch law and cultured in 1973 in Leiden, The Netherlands. HEK-293 cells used today are drawn from that one cell line.

            Senomxy did not respond to a WND request seeking comment about the use of HEK-293 in its research.

            In 2011, Gwen Rosenberg, vice president of investor relations and corporate communications for Senomyx, told Laine Doss of the Miami Herald that “We don’t discuss details of our research, but you won’t find anything on our website about HEK-293.”

            When asked by the Herald reporter whether Senomyx had a position on stem cell research, Rosenberg replied, “We’ve never been asked that.”

            “We don’t have a position on anything. We’re dedicated to finding new flavors to reduce sugars and reduce salt. Our focus is to help consumers with diabetes or high blood pressure have a better quality of life,” Rosenberg said.

            U.S. entertainment magazines celebrate ‘fetus’ face cream

            Meanwhile, human embryonic stem cells are also utilized in cosmetic research and products.

            Neocutis Inc., based in San Francisco, has developed a series of beauty product lines from processed Skin Cell Proteins, or PSP, which, as the company has openly discussed, are derived from a 14-week old aborted male fetus.

            The cells were developed at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland after the fetus was donated by the parents for medical research.

            The company states on its website “the small skin donation that, ultimately, made the development of our treatment possible originated from a single terminated pregnancy that could not survive to term and was deemed medically necessary by the attending physicians.”

            “This voluntary donation to medical research was granted by the parents with their written consent, and was performed in adherence with strict Swiss laws that regulate organ donations and similar procedures.”

            The company clarified that “our products do not directly use the originally donated tissue in any way.”

            Continued the Neocutis statement: “We only use proteins derived from cultured skin cells (grown from a dedicated cell bank). These were not embryonic stem cells. No other donation will ever be necessary. In fact, this cell bank enables the production of some 900 million biological bandages for patients suffering from severe wounds, burns and other serious skin conditions.”

            The cell line is used in Neocutis products such as Bio-Restorative Skin Cream, Bio-Gel Bio-Restorative Hydrogel, Lumiere Bio-Restorative Eye Cream and Bio-Restorative Serum with PSP Intensive Spot Treatment.

            In the May 2015 issue of InStyle magazine, WND found, Neocutis received five “Best Beauty Buy” awards for three of their anti-aging products, including LUMIÈRE eye cream, which the company writes is “powered by 30 percent more PSP to help smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.”

            The PSP, or Skin Cell Proteins, were derived from the human cell line.

            WND found the company’s BIO CRÈME was featured in the 2015 Elle Beauty Genius Awards Hall of Fame. The cream is openly marketed as “the first and original skincare cream formulated with patented PSP.”

            Neocutis President Mark J. Lemko invoked the “laws of God” in an email response to critics, stating, “We feel we are in complete compliance with the laws of God and the laws of man.”

            Asked for his comment on the use of stem cells in beauty products, such as face creams, Rabbi Dr. Moshe Tendler, senior biology professor and chair of Jewish Medical Ethics at Yeshiva University, told WND, “There’s a concept of human dignity. Human tissue was given the priorities over all of nature by biblical ethics.

            “We would never approve the use of human tissue for the use of face cream,” he said. :Besides the fact is that it is probably a hoax and it doesn’t work any way and it’s nothing more than a sales gimmick.”

            “I’m here in Israel and I recommend Dead Sea mud as the cosmetic we have in nature,” he joked.”

          • Colin Rafferty

            > what about ground up dead baby kidneys?

            What about them? There are none. The article you pasted specifically says there aren’t any.

            “[C]ell lines used in modern research all were derived from human embryonic kidney cells from one fetus aborted legally … in 1973”

          • Parodyx

            He tries so hard…doesn’t he?

          • Colin Rafferty

            He does. But he just can’t make it stick.

          • Parodyx

            He’s not terribly interested in facts, he just wants to be believed.

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            Isn’t it time for you to make “Last Honest Lawyer” appear?

          • Parodyx

            Is this really all you’ve got – accusing other people of sock accounts?

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            How do you think they get the kidney cells, Colin?

          • Colin Rafferty

            As your article says, there are no kidney cells in the product. The only aborted fetus involved was from a donated kidney in 1973, and its cell lines are used to produce proteins.

            You are not reading your own articles properly if you think there are kidney cells in the product.

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            From the article, “In fact, HEK-293 cell lines used in modern research all were derived from human embryonic kidney cells from one fetus aborted legally under Dutch law and cultured in 1973 in Leiden, The Netherlands. HEK-293 cells used today are drawn from that one cell line.”

          • Colin Rafferty

            Right, just the cell lines from a single fetus. Which are used to get proteins for the product.

            Glad you’ve realized there are no “ground up dead baby kidneys” in the product.

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            Dude, you denied kidney cells were involved. How do you think they got there? Here you go:

            “For many years it was assumed that HEK 293 cells were generated by transformation of either a fibroblastic, endothelial or epithelial cell, all of which are abundant in kidneys. However, the original adenovirus transformation was inefficient, suggesting that the cell that finally produced the HEK 293 line may have been unusual in some fashion. Graham and coworkers provided evidence that HEK 293 cells and other human cell lines generated by adenovirus transformation of human embryonic kidney cells have many properties of immature neurons, suggesting that the adenovirus preferentially transformed a neuronal lineage cell in the original kidney culture.[“Shaw G, Morse S, Ararat M, Graham FL (June 2002). “Preferential transformation of human neuronal cells by human adenoviruses and the origin of HEK 293 cells”. FASEB J. ]

            In layman’s terms, that means they were derived from ground up kidneys.

          • Colin Rafferty

            If I gave the impression that there were zero kidneys involved, I apologize. I never meant that. There was exactly one kidney involved, from 1973.

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            And re-used and re-used. Next time read the entire article prior to commenting.

          • Colin Rafferty

            Yes, as I had said multiple times, the cell line from that single kidney is what is being used.

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            You’re misspeaking again. 🙂 Did you not read the direct quote that explained it to you, or are you going to pretend you didn’t see that like you did with the Torcaso v. Watkins case? 🙂

          • Colin Rafferty

            Hm, so you don’t think they are using a cell line from that single kidney. Okay, if that’s what you think, who am I to correct you? It’s just in your own article.

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            You do know people actually read the articles posted, don’t you? 🙂

          • Colin Rafferty

            Yes, which is why I generally drop out after correcting you so many times. Here’s the facts:

            One kidney from 1973. It created a cell line. That cell line is used to create proteins. Those proteins go into the products.

            There are no kidney in the products. There have been no kidneys harvested in the last 40+ years.

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            You are lying. I gave a direct quote that showed that not only was a kidney or kidneys used, but how it/they was/were used. You denied kidneys were used at all. You clearly have no scientific or medical knowledge. You also don’t know what has been harvested since the 1973 case, but even if it was just one, do you think that makes it all right? If one Jew was slaughtered for your eye cream, would that make it okay?

      • Robert

        The united states government gave Joseph Mengele a new name when they let him go.he did work in new York at one time and was financed by that same group so he could do his human experments on Jews mostly as they were so handy.

        • Colin Rafferty

          What alternate history fiction did you read that from? He was never in the US, and fled Germany to Argentina in 1949.

          But you say there was a group that financed him. What was the name of this group?

  • Amos Moses

    i am not going insane ….. i am going sane in an insane world ………..

  • Nidalap

    “Sacred art”!?!
    Deceiving and being deceived…

  • Grace Kim Kwon

    Barbarism is deeply inbedded into the fallen humanity’s basic nature. Nazism is invading the English people this century. Paganisms are familiar with this kind of barbarisms, but the English should stay Christian and do not associate with Nazism. Children should not be killed, and dead people should be returned to soil. The English people need Christianity to get saved and stay civilized and protect their children properly this century.

  • Human skin lampshade anyone?

  • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    This is from ABC News, not a pro-life site:

    “Bill Would Ban Aborted Fetuses in Food
    January 26, 2012
    Katie Moisse More from Katie »
    Health Editor

    An Oklahoma bill that would ban the sale of food containing aborted human fetuses has some people wondering: What food currently contains aborted human fetuses?

    The bill, introduced Jan. 18 by State Sen. Ralph Shortey, prohibits the manufacture or sale of “food or any other product intended for human consumption which contains aborted human fetuses in the ingredients or which used aborted human fetuses in the research or development of any of the ingredients.”

    Shortey declined to give specific examples but said some food manufacturers used stem cells in the research and development process.

    “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,” he told KRMG Radio. “I don’t know if it is happening in Oklahoma, it may be, it may not be. What I am saying is that if it does happen then we are not going to allow it to manufacture here.”

    Shortey may be acting on claims that the San Diego-based company Semonyx used proteins derived from human embryonic kidney cells to test artificial sweeteners, NPR reported. The cell line, known as HEK 293, was created from a human embryo in 1970 and has become a staple in biochemistry labs around the world.

    Some people are calling the bill a back-door attempt to ban embryonic stem cell research – a ban Shortey said he would support, KRMG reported.

    Indeed, embryonic stem cell research is controversial. Critics argue it destroys embryos, which they consider the earliest form of life. But proponents say stem cell research could cure diseases. Last week, for example, embryonic stem cells were found to improve vision in two women who were legally blind.”

    If passed, the bill would take effect Nov. 1.

    • Colin Rafferty

      It’s a pretty dumb bill, because it conflates two very different things.

      1. Food containing aborted human fetuses.

      That’s already banned, because you can’t have food containing any kind of human remains. So already, no food contains this.

      2. “[Food] which used aborted human fetuses in the research or development of any of the ingredients.”

      This has nothing to do with what is put in food, but what kind of research is allowed. It’s like banning thinking about sex while preparing food. Nothing’s going in the food.

      • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

        In addition to you not knowing about the law, you’ve also proven you know nothing about science. 🙂

        • Colin Rafferty

          As always, you critique generally, but without a specific issue with my statement.

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            I pointed out your error. Want to go on again now about your kidney error? 🙂

          • Colin Rafferty

            You are mistaken about pointing out my error. Here is your entire comment: “In addition to you not knowing about the law, you’ve also proven you know nothing about science.”

            Maybe in your head, you pointed out my error about the bill. But those voices don’t translate to keystrokes.

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            My posts from the previous article are still there, the ones that point out the error of your ways. 🙂

          • Colin Rafferty

            I was talking about the bill. The previous article is about skin care products, this bill is about food.

            Please keep up.

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            I was talking about your obvious ignorance in both cases. 🙂 Please keep up.

          • Parodyx

            It’s nothing short of amazing you haven’t been banned.

  • Robert

    The Rockefeller’s should be so proud . Murder at its sickest

  • Robert

    Did the united states Rockefeller foundation finance this sick stuff to or do they just prefer Joseph Mengulas work?

  • Robert

    How many of you know Joseph Menegele worked in new York city. For the Rockerfellar foundation and that they helped support and financed his human expermenting in Nazi concintration camps. Guess who gave

    • Colin Rafferty

      This is news to me. What years did Menegele work in NYC?