happy little toxic soybeans.......SOY IT ISN'T SO!

Far from being the perfect food, modern soy products contain anti-nutrients
and toxins and they interfere with the absorption of vitamins and minerals.
Just take a look at this site:

Scan it then come back and leap to THIS ONE!


Extracted from Nexus Magazine, Volume 7, Number 3 (April-May 2000).

Each year, research on the health effects of soy and soybean components
seems to increase exponentially. Furthermore, research is not just
expanding in the primary areas under investigation, such as cancer, heart
disease and osteoporosis; new findings suggest that soy has potential
benefits that may be more extensive than previously thought.

So writes Mark Messina, PhD, General Chairperson of the Third International
Soy Symposium, held in Washington, DC, in November 1999.1 For four days,
well-funded scientists gathered in Washington made presentations to an
admiring press and to their sponsors - United Soybean Board, American
Soybean Association, Monsanto, Protein Technologies International, Central
Soya, Cargill Foods, Personal Products Company, SoyLife, Whitehall-Robins
Healthcare and the soybean councils of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky,
Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio and South Dakota.

The symposium marked the apogee of a decade-long marketing campaign to gain
consumer acceptance of tofu, soy milk, soy ice cream, soy cheese, soy
sausage and soy derivatives, particularly soy isoflavones like genistein
and diadzen, the oestrogen-like compounds found in soybeans. It coincided
with a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decision, announced on October
25, 1999, to allow a health claim for products "low in saturated fat and
cholesterol" that contain 6.25 grams of soy protein per serving. Breakfast
cereals, baked goods, convenience food, smoothie mixes and meat substitutes
could now be sold with labels touting benefits to cardiovascular health, as
long as these products contained one heaping teaspoon of soy protein per
100-gram serving.


"Just imagine you could grow the perfect food. This food not only would
provide affordable nutrition, but also would be delicious and easy to
prepare in a variety of ways. It would be a healthful food, with no
saturated fat. In fact, you would be growing a virtual fountain of youth on
your back forty." The author is Dean Houghton, writing for The Furrow,2 a
magazine published in 12 languages by John Deere. "This ideal food would
help prevent, and perhaps reverse, some of the world's most dreaded
diseases. You could grow this miracle crop in a variety of soils and
climates. Its cultivation would build up, not deplete, the land...this
miracle food already exists... It's called soy."

Just imagine. Farmers have been imagining - and planting more soy. What was
once a minor crop, listed in the 1913 US Department of Agriculture (USDA)
handbook not as a food but as an industrial product, now covers 72 million
acres of American farmland. Much of this harvest will be used to feed
chickens, turkeys, pigs, cows and salmon. Another large fraction will be
squeezed to produce oil for margarine, shortenings and salad dressings.

Advances in technology make it possible to produce isolated soy protein
from what was once considered a waste product - the defatted, high-protein
soy chips - and then transform something that looks and smells terrible
into products that can be consumed by human beings. Flavourings,
preservatives, sweeteners, emulsifiers and synthetic nutrients have turned
soy protein isolate, the food processors' ugly duckling, into a New Age

The new fairy-tale food has been marketed not so much for her beauty but
for her virtues. Early on, products based on soy protein isolate were sold
as extenders and meat substitutes - a strategy that failed to produce the
requisite consumer demand. The industry changed its approach. "The quickest
way to gain product acceptability in the less affluent society," said an
industry spokesman, "is to have the product consumed on its own merit in a
more affluent society."3 So soy is now sold to the upscale consumer, not as
a cheap, poverty food but as a miracle substance that will prevent heart
disease and cancer, whisk away hot flushes, build strong bones and keep us
forever young. The competition - meat, milk, cheese, butter and eggs - has
been duly demonised by the appropriate government bodies. Soy serves as
meat and milk for a new generation of virtuous vegetarians.

Marketing costs money, especially when it needs to be bolstered with
"research", but there's plenty of funds available. All soybean producers
pay a mandatory assessment of one-half to one per cent of the net market
price of soybeans. The total - something like US$80 million annually4 -
supports United Soybean's program to "strengthen the position of soybeans
in the marketplace and maintain and expand domestic and foreign markets for
uses for soybeans and soybean products". State soybean councils from
Maryland, Nebraska, Delaware, Arkansas, Virginia, North Dakota and Michigan
provide another $2.5 million for "research".5 Private companies like Archer
Daniels Midland also contribute their share. ADM spent $4.7 million for
advertising on Meet the Press and $4.3 million on Face the Nation during
the course of a year.6 Public relations firms help convert research
projects into newspaper articles and advertising copy, and law firms lobby
for favourable government regulations. IMF money funds soy processing
plants in foreign countries, and free trade policies keep soybean abundance
flowing to overseas destinations.

The push for more soy has been relentless and global in its reach. Soy
protein is now found in most supermarket breads. It is being used to
transform "the humble tortilla, Mexico's corn-based staple food, into a
protein-fortified 'super-tortilla' that would give a nutritional boost to
the nearly 20 million Mexicans who live in extreme poverty".7 Advertising
for a new soy-enriched loaf from Allied Bakeries in Britain targets
menopausal women seeking relief from hot flushes. Sales are running at a
quarter of a million loaves per week.8

The soy industry hired Norman Robert Associates, a public relations firm,
to "get more soy products onto school menus".9 The USDA responded with a
proposal to scrap the 30 per cent limit for soy in school lunches. The
NuMenu program would allow unlimited use of soy in student meals. With soy
added to hamburgers, tacos and lasagna, dieticians can get the total fat
content below 30 per cent of calories, thereby conforming to government
dictates. "With the soy-enhanced food items, students are receiving better
servings of nutrients and less cholesterol and fat."

Soy milk has posted the biggest gains, soaring from $2 million in 1980 to
$300 million in the US last year.10 Recent advances in processing have
transformed the grey, thin, bitter, beany-tasting Asian beverage into a
product that Western consumers will accept - one that tastes like a
milkshake, but without the guilt.

Processing miracles, good packaging, massive advertising and a marketing
strategy that stresses the products' possible health benefits account for
increasing sales to all age groups. For example, reports that soy helps
prevent prostate cancer have made soy milk acceptable to middle-aged men.
"You don't have to twist the arm of a 55- to 60-year-old guy to get him to
try soy milk," says Mark Messina. Michael Milken, former junk bond
financier, has helped the industry shed its hippie image with
well-publicised efforts to consume 40 grams of soy protein daily.

America today, tomorrow the world. Soy milk sales are rising in Canada,
even though soy milk there costs twice as much as cow's milk. Soybean milk
processing plants are sprouting up in places like Kenya.11 Even China,
where soy really is a poverty food and whose people want more meat, not
tofu, has opted to build Western-style soy factories rather than develop
western grasslands for grazing animals.12


The propaganda that has created the soy sales miracle is all the more
remarkable because, only a few decades ago, the soybean was considered
unfit to eat - even in Asia. During the Chou Dynasty (246 BC)
the soybean was designated one of the five sacred grains, along with
barley, wheat, millet and rice. However, the pictograph for the soybean,
which dates from earlier times, indicates that it was not first used as a
food; for whereas the pictographs for the other four grains show the seed
and stem structure of the plant, the pictograph for the soybean emphasizes
the root structure. Agricultural literature of the period speaks frequently
of the soybean and its use in crop rotation. Apparently the soy plant was
initially used as a method of fixing nitrogen.13

The soybean did not serve as a food until the discovery of fermentation
techniques, some time during the Chou Dynasty. The first soy foods were
fermented products like tempeh, natto, miso and soy sauce. At a later date,
possibly in the 2nd century BC, Chinese scientists discovered that a purée
of cooked soybeans could be precipitated with calcium sulphate or magnesium
sulphate (plaster of Paris or Epsom salts) to make a smooth, pale curd -
tofu or bean curd. The use of fermented and precipitated soy products soon
spread to other parts of the Orient, notably Japan and Indonesia.

The Chinese did not eat unfermented soybeans as they did other legumes such
as lentils because the soybean contains large quantities of natural toxins
or "antinutrients". First among them are potent enzyme inhibitors that
block the action of trypsin and other enzymes needed for protein digestion.
These inhibitors are large, tightly folded proteins that are not completely
deactivated during ordinary cooking. They can produce serious gastric
distress, reduced protein digestion and chronic deficiencies in amino acid
uptake. In test animals, diets high in trypsin inhibitors cause enlargement
and pathological conditions of the pancreas, including cancer.14

Soybeans also contain haemagglutinin, a clot-promoting substance that
causes red blood cells to clump together.

Trypsin inhibitors and haemagglutinin are growth inhibitors. Weanling rats
fed soy containing these antinutrients fail to grow normally.
Growth-depressant compounds are deactivated during the process of
fermentation, so once the Chinese discovered how to ferment the soybean,
they began to incorporate soy foods into their diets. In precipitated
products, enzyme inhibitors concentrate in the soaking liquid rather than
in the curd. Thus, in tofu and bean curd, growth depressants are reduced in
quantity but not completely eliminated.

Soy also contains goitrogens - substances that depress thyroid function.

Soybeans are high in phytic acid, present in the bran or hulls of all
seeds. It's a substance that can block the uptake of essential minerals -
calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and especially zinc - in the intestinal
tract. Although not a household word, phytic acid has been extensively
studied; there are literally hundreds of articles on the effects of phytic
acid in the current scientific literature. Scientists are in general
agreement that grain- and legume-based diets high in phytates contribute to
widespread mineral deficiencies in third world countries.15 Analysis shows
that calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc are present in the plant foods eaten
in these areas, but the high phytate content of soy- and grain-based diets
prevents their absorption.

The soybean has one of the highest phytate levels of any grain or legume
that has been studied,16 and the phytates in soy are highly resistant to
normal phytate-reducing techniques such as long, slow cooking.17 Only a
long period of fermentation will significantly reduce the phytate content
of soybeans. When precipitated soy products like tofu are consumed with
meat, the mineral-blocking effects of the phytates are reduced.18 The
Japanese traditionally eat a small amount of tofu or miso as part of a
mineral-rich fish broth, followed by a serving of meat or fish.

Vegetarians who consume tofu and bean curd as a substitute for meat and
dairy products risk severe mineral deficiencies. The results of calcium,
magnesium and iron deficiency are well known; those of zinc are less so.

Zinc is called the intelligence mineral because it is needed for optimal
development and functioning of the brain and nervous system. It plays a
role in protein synthesis and collagen formation; it is involved in the
blood-sugar control mechanism and thus protects against diabetes; it is
needed for a healthy reproductive system. Zinc is a key component in
numerous vital enzymes and plays a role in the immune system. Phytates
found in soy products interfere with zinc absorption more completely than
with other minerals.19 Zinc deficiency can cause a "spacey" feeling that
some vegetarians may mistake for the "high" of spiritual enlightenment.

Milk drinking is given as the reason why second-generation Japanese in
America grow taller than their native ancestors. Some investigators
postulate that the reduced phytate content of the American diet - whatever
may be its other deficiencies - is the true explanation, pointing out that
both Asian and Western children who do not get enough meat and fish
products to counteract the effects of a high phytate diet, frequently
suffer rickets, stunting and other growth problems.20


Soy processors have worked hard to get these anti-nutrients out of the
finished product, particularly soy protein isolate (SPI) which is the key
ingredient in most soy foods that imitate meat and dairy products,
including baby formulas and some brands of soy milk.

SPI is not something you can make in your own kitchen. Production takes
place in industrial factories where a slurry of soy beans is first mixed
with an alkaline solution to remove fibre, then precipitated and separated
using an acid wash and, finally, neutralised in an alkaline solution. Acid
washing in aluminium tanks leaches high levels of aluminium into the final
product. The resultant curds are spray- dried at high temperatures to
produce a high-protein powder. A final indignity to the original soybean is
high-temperature, high-pressure extrusion processing of soy protein isolate
to produce textured vegetable protein (TVP).

Much of the trypsin inhibitor content can be removed through
high-temperature processing, but not all. Trypsin inhibitor content of soy
protein isolate can vary as much as fivefold.21 (In rats, even low-level
trypsin inhibitor SPI feeding results in reduced weight gain compared to
controls.22) But high-temperature processing has the unfortunate
side-effect of so denaturing the other proteins in soy that they are
rendered largely ineffective.23 That's why animals on soy feed need lysine
supplements for normal growth.

Nitrites, which are potent carcinogens, are formed during spray-drying, and
a toxin called lysinoalanine is formed during alkaline processing.24
Numerous artificial flavourings, particularly MSG, are added to soy protein
isolate and textured vegetable protein products to mask their strong
"beany" taste and to impart the flavour of meat.25

In feeding experiments, the use of SPI increased requirements for vitamins
E, K, D and B12 and created deficiency symptoms of calcium, magnesium,
manganese, molybdenum, copper, iron and zinc.26 Phytic acid remaining in
these soy products greatly inhibits zinc and iron absorption; test animals
fed SPI develop enlarged organs, particularly the pancreas and thyroid
gland, and increased deposition of fatty acids in the liver.27

Yet soy protein isolate and textured vegetable protein are used extensively
in school lunch programs, commercial baked goods, diet beverages and fast
food products. They are heavily promoted in third world countries and form
the basis of many food giveaway programs.

In spite of poor results in animal feeding trials, the soy industry has
sponsored a number of studies designed to show that soy protein products
can be used in human diets as a replacement for traditional foods. An
example is "Nutritional Quality of Soy Bean Protein Isolates: Studies in
Children of Preschool Age", sponsored by the Ralston Purina Company.28 A
group of Central American children suffering from malnutrition was first
stabilised and brought into better health by feeding them native foods,
including meat and dairy products. Then, for a two-week period, these
traditional foods were replaced by a drink made of soy protein isolate and
sugar. All nitrogen taken in and all nitrogen excreted was measured in
truly Orwellian fashion: the children were weighed  every morning, and
all excrement and vomit gathered up for analysis. The researchers found
that the children retained nitrogen and that their growth was "adequate",
so the experiment was declared a success.

Whether the children were actually healthy on such a diet, or could remain
so over a long period, is another matter. The researchers noted that the
children vomited "occasionally", usually after finishing a meal; that over
half suffered from periods of moderate diarrhoea; that some had upper
respiratory infections; and that others suffered from rash and fever.

It should be noted that the researchers did not dare to use soy products to
help the children recover from malnutrition, and were obliged to supplement
the soy-sugar mixture with nutrients largely absent in soy products -
notably, vitamins A, D and B12, iron, iodine and zinc.


The best marketing strategy for a product that is inherently unhealthy is,
of course, a health claim.

"The road to FDA approval," writes a soy apologist, "was long and
demanding, consisting of a detailed review of human clinical data collected
from more than 40 scientific studies conducted over the last 20 years. Soy
protein was found to be one of the rare foods that had sufficient
scientific evidence not only to qualify for an FDA health claim proposal
but to ultimately pass the rigorous approval process."29

The "long and demanding" road to FDA approval actually took a few
unexpected turns. The original petition, submitted by Protein Technology
International, requested a health claim for isoflavones, the oestrogen-like
compounds found plentifully in soybeans, based on assertions that "only soy
protein that has been processed in a manner in which isoflavones are
retained will result in cholesterol lowering". In 1998, the FDA made the
unprecedented move of rewriting PTI's petition, removing any reference to
the phyto-oestrogens and substituting a claim for soy protein - a move that
was in direct contradiction to the agency's regulations. The FDA is
authorised to make rulings only on substances presented by petition.

The abrupt change in direction was no doubt due to the fact that a number
of researchers, including scientists employed by the US Government,
submitted documents indicating that isoflavones are toxic. (Worse it
distends the bowel giving PROLAPSED BOWEL)

The FDA had also received, early in 1998, the final British Government
report on phytoestrogens, which failed to find much evidence of benefit and
warned against potential adverse effects.30

Even with the change to soy protein isolate, FDA bureaucrats engaged in the
"rigorous approval process" were forced to deal nimbly with concerns about
mineral blocking effects, enzyme inhibitors, goitrogenicity, endocrine
disruption, reproductive problems and increased allergic reactions from
consumption of soy products.31

One of the strongest letters of protest came from Dr Dan Sheehan and Dr
Daniel Doerge, government researchers at the National Center for
Toxicological Research.32 Their pleas for warning labels were dismissed as

"Sufficient scientific evidence" of soy's cholesterol-lowering properties
is drawn largely from a 1995 meta-analysis by Dr James Anderson, sponsored
by Protein Technologies International and published in the New England
Journal of Medicine.33

A meta-analysis is a review and summary of the results of many clinical
studies on the same subject. Use of meta-analyses to draw general
conclusions has come under sharp criticism by members of the scientific
community. "Researchers substituting meta-analysis for more rigorous trials
risk making faulty assumptions and indulging in creative accounting," says
Sir John Scott, President of the Royal Society of New Zealand. "Like is not
being lumped with like. Little lumps and big lumps of data are being
gathered together by various groups."34

There is the added temptation for researchers, particularly researchers
funded by a company like Protein Technologies International, to leave out
studies that would prevent the desired conclusions. Dr Anderson discarded
eight studies for various reasons, leaving a remainder of twenty-nine. The
published report suggested that individuals with cholesterol levels over
250 mg/dl would experience a "significant" reduction of 7 to 20 per cent in
levels of serum cholesterol if they substituted soy protein for animal
protein. Cholesterol reduction was insignificant for individuals whose
cholesterol was lower than 250 mg/dl.

In other words, for most of us, giving up steak and eating vegieburgers
instead will not bring down blood cholesterol levels. The health claim that
the FDA approved "after detailed review of human clinical data" fails to
inform the consumer about these important details.

Research that ties soy to positive effects on cholesterol levels is
"incredibly immature", said Ronald M. Krauss, MD, head of the Molecular
Medical Research Program and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.35 He
might have added that studies in which cholesterol levels were lowered
through either diet or drugs have consistently resulted in a greater number
of deaths in the treatment groups than in controls - deaths from stroke,
cancer, intestinal disorders, accident and suicide.36 Cholesterol-lowering
measures in the US have fuelled a $60 billion per year cholesterol-lowering
industry, but have not saved us from the ravages of heart disease.


The new FDA ruling does not allow any claims about cancer prevention on
food packages, but that has not restrained the industry and its marketeers
from making them in their promotional literature.

"In addition to protecting the heart," says a vitamin company brochure,
"soy has demonstrated powerful anticancer benefits...the Japanese, who eat
30 times as much soy as North Americans, have a lower incidence of cancers
of the breast, uterus and prostate."37

Indeed they do. But the Japanese, and Asians in general, have much higher
rates of other types of cancer, particularly cancer of the esophagus,
stomach, pancreas and liver.38 Asians throughout the world also have high
rates of thyroid cancer.39 The logic that links low rates of reproductive
cancers to soy consumption requires attribution of high rates of thyroid
and digestive cancers to the same foods, particularly as soy causes these
types of cancers in laboratory rats.

Just how much soy do Asians eat? A 1998 survey found that the average daily
amount of soy protein consumed in Japan was about eight grams for men and
seven for women - less than two teaspoons.40 The famous Cornell China
Study, conducted by Colin T. Campbell, found that legume consumption in
China varied from 0 to 58 grams per day, with a mean of about twelve.41
Assuming that two-thirds of legume consumption is soy, then the maximum
consumption is about 40 grams, or less than three tablespoons per day, with
an average consumption of about nine grams, or less than two teaspoons. A
survey conducted in the 1930s found that soy foods accounted for only 1.5
per cent of calories in the Chinese diet, compared with 65 per cent of
calories from pork.42 (Asians traditionally cooked with lard, not vegetable

Traditionally fermented soy products make a delicious, natural seasoning
that may supply important nutritional factors in the Asian diet. But except
in times of famine, Asians consume soy products only in small amounts, as
condiments, and not as a replacement for animal foods - with one exception.
Celibate monks living in monasteries and leading a vegetarian lifestyle
find soy foods quite helpful because they dampen libido.

It was a 1994 meta-analysis by Mark Messina, published in Nutrition and
Cancer, that fuelled speculation on soy's anticarcinogenic properties.43
Messina noted that in 26 animal studies, 65 per cent reported protective
effects from soy. He conveniently neglected to include at least one study
in which soy feeding caused pancreatic cancer - the 1985 study by Rackis.44
In the human studies he listed, the results were mixed. A few showed some
protective effect, but most showed no correlation at all between soy
consumption and cancer rates. He concluded that "the data in this review
cannot be used as a basis for claiming that soy intake decreases cancer
risk". Yet in his subsequent book, The Simple Soybean and Your Health,
Messina makes just such a claim, recommending one cup or 230 grams of soy
products per day in his "optimal" diet as a way to prevent cancer.

Thousands of women are now consuming soy in the belief that it protects
them against breast cancer. Yet, in 1996, researchers found that women
consuming soy protein isolate had an increased incidence of epithelial
hyperplasia, a condition that presages malignancies.45 A year later,
dietary genistein was found to stimulate breast cells to enter the cell
cycle - a discovery that led the study authors to conclude that women
should not consume soy products to prevent breast cancer.46


The male species of tropical birds carries the drab plumage of the female
at birth and 'colours up' at maturity, somewhere between nine and 24

In 1991, Richard and Valerie James, bird breeders in Whangerai, New
Zealand, purchased a new kind of feed for their birds - one based largely
on soy protein.47 When soy-based feed was used, their birds 'coloured up'
after just a few months. In fact, one bird-food manufacturer claimed that
this early development was an advantage imparted by the feed. A 1992 ad for
Roudybush feed formula showed a picture of the male crimson rosella, an
Australian parrot that acquires beautiful red plumage at 18 to 24 months,
already brightly coloured at 11 weeks old.

Unfortunately, in the ensuing years, there was decreased fertility in the
birds, with precocious maturation, deformed, stunted and stillborn babies,
and premature deaths, especially among females, with the result that the
total population in the aviaries went into steady decline. The birds
suffered beak and bone deformities, goitre, immune system disorders and
pathological, aggressive behaviour. Autopsy revealed digestive organs in a
state of disintegration. The list of problems corresponded with many of the
problems the Jameses had encountered in their two children, who had been
fed soy-based infant formula.

Startled, aghast, angry, the Jameses hired toxicologist Mike Fitzpatrick.
PhD, to investigate further. Dr Fitzpatrick's literature review uncovered
evidence that soy consumption has been linked to numerous disorders,
including infertility, increased cancer and infantile leukaemia; and, in
studies dating back to the 1950s,48 that genistein in soy causes endocrine
disruption in animals. Dr Fitzpatrick also analysed the bird feed and found
that it contained high levels of phytoestrogens, especially genistein. When
the Jameses discontinued using soy-based feed, the flock gradually returned
to normal breeding habits and behaviour.

The Jameses embarked on a private crusade to warn the public and government
officials about toxins in soy foods, particularly the endocrine-disrupting
isoflavones, genistein and diadzen. Protein Technology International
received their material in 1994.

In 1991, Japanese researchers reported that consumption of as little as 30
grams or two tablespoons of soybeans per day for only one month resulted in
a significant increase in thyroid-stimulating hormone.49 Diffuse goitre and
hypothyroidism appeared in some of the subjects and many complained of
constipation, fatigue and lethargy, even though their intake of iodine was
adequate. In 1997, researchers from the FDA's National Center for
Toxicological Research made the embarrassing discovery that the goitrogenic
components of soy were the very same isoflavones.50

Twenty-five grams of soy protein isolate, the minimum amount PTI claimed to
have cholesterol-lowering effects, contains from 50 to 70 mg of
isoflavones. It took only 45 mg of isoflavones in premenopausal women to
exert significant biological effects, including a reduction in hormones
needed for adequate thyroid function. These effects lingered for three
months after soy consumption was discontinued.51

One hundred grams of soy protein - the maximum suggested
cholesterol-lowering dose, and the amount recommended by Protein
Technologies International - can contain almost 600 mg of isoflavones,52 an
amount that is undeniably toxic. In 1992, the Swiss health service
estimated that 100 grams of soy protein provided the oestrogenic equivalent
of the Pill.53

In vitro studies suggest that isoflavones inhibit synthesis of oestradiol
and other steroid hormones.54 Reproductive problems, infertility, thyroid
disease and liver disease due to dietary intake of isoflavones have been
observed for several species of animals including mice, cheetah, quail,
pigs, rats, sturgeon and sheep.55

It is the isoflavones in soy that are said to have a favourable effect on
postmenopausal symptoms, including hot flushes, and protection from
osteoporosis. Quantification of discomfort from hot flushes is extremely
subjective, and most studies show that control subjects report reduction in
discomfort in amounts equal to subjects given soy.56 The claim that soy
prevents osteoporosis is extraordinary, given that soy foods block calcium
and cause vitamin D deficiencies. If Asians indeed have lower rates of
osteoporosis than Westerners, it is because their diet provides plenty of
vitamin D from shrimp, lard and seafood, and plenty of calcium from bone
broths. The reason that Westerners have such high rates of osteoporosis is
because they have substituted soy oil for butter, which is a traditional
source of vitamin D and other fat-soluble activators needed for calcium


But it was the isoflavones in infant formula that gave the Jameses the most
cause for concern. In 1998, investigators reported that the daily exposure
of infants to isoflavones in soy infant formula is 6 to11 times higher on a
body-weight basis than the dose that has hormonal effects in adults
consuming soy foods. Circulating concentrations of isoflavones in infants
fed soy-based formula were 13,000 to 22,000 times higher than plasma
oestradiol concentrations in infants on cow's milk formula.57

Approximately 25 per cent of bottle-fed children in the US receive
soy-based formula - a much higher percentage than in other parts of the
Western world. Fitzpatrick estimated that an infant exclusively fed soy
formula receives the oestrogenic equivalent (based on body weight) of at
least five birth control pills per day.58 By contrast, almost no
phytoestrogens have been detected in dairy-based infant formula or in human
milk, even when the mother consumes soy products.

Scientists have known for years that soy-based formula can cause thyroid
problems in babies. But what are the effects of soy products on the
hormonal development of the infant, both male and female?

Male infants undergo a "testosterone surge" during the first few months of
life, when testosterone levels may be as high as those of an adult male.
During this period, the infant is programmed to express male
characteristics after puberty, not only in the development of his sexual

organs and other masculine physical traits, but also in setting patterns in
the brain characteristic of male behaviour. In monkeys, deficiency of male
hormones impairs the development of spatial perception (which, in humans,
is normally more acute in men than in women), of learning ability and of
visual discrimination tasks (such as would be required for reading).59 It
goes without saying that future patterns of sexual orientation may also be
influenced by the early hormonal environment. Male children exposed during
gestation to diethylstilbestrol (DES), a synthetic oestrogen that has
effects on animals similar to those of phytoestrogens from soy, had testes
smaller than normal on manturation.60

Learning disabilities, especially in male children, have reached epidemic
proportions. Soy infant feeding - which began in earnest in the early 1970s
- cannot be ignored as a probable cause for these tragic developments.

As for girls, an alarming number are entering puberty much earlier than
normal, according to a recent study reported in the journal Pediatrics.61
Investigators found that one per cent of all girls now show signs of
puberty, such as breast development or pubic hair, before the age of three;
by age eight, 14.7 per cent of white girls and almost 50 per cent of
African-American girls have one or both of these characteristics.

New data indicate that environmental oestrogens such as PCBs and DDE (a
breakdown product of DDT) may cause early sexual development in girls.62 In
the 1986 Puerto Rico Premature Thelarche study, the most significant
dietary association with premature sexual development was not chicken - as
reported in the press - but soy infant formula.63

The consequences of this truncated childhood are tragic. Young girls with
mature bodies must cope with feelings and urges that most children are not
well-equipped to handle. And early maturation in girls is frequently a
harbinger for problems with the reproductive system later in life,
including failure to menstruate, infertility and breast cancer.

Parents who have contacted the Jameses recount other problems associated
with children of both sexes who were fed soy-based formula, including
extreme emotional behaviour, asthma, immune system problems, pituitary
insufficiency, thyroid disorders and irritable bowel syndrome - the same
endocrine and digestive havoc that afflicted the Jameses' parrots.


Organisers of the Third International Soy Symposium would be hard-pressed
to call the conference an unqualified success. On the second day of the
symposium, the London-based Food Commission and the Weston A. Price
Foundation of Washington, DC, held a joint press conference, in the same
hotel as the symposium, to present concerns about soy infant formula.
Industry representatives sat stony-faced through the recitation of
potential dangers and a plea from concerned scientists and parents to pull
soy-based infant formula from the market. Under pressure from the Jameses,
the New Zealand Government had issued a health warning about soy infant
formula in 1998; it was time for the American government to do the same.

On the last day of the symposium, presentations on new findings related to
toxicity sent a well-oxygenated chill through the giddy helium hype. Dr Lon
White reported on a study of Japanese Americans living in Hawaii, that
showed a significant statistical relationship between two or more servings
of tofu a week and "accelerated brain aging".64 Those participants who
consumed tofu in mid-life had lower cognitive function in late life and a
greater incidence of Alzheimer's disease and dementia. "What's more," said
Dr White, "those who ate a lot of tofu, by the time they were 75 or 80
looked five years older".65 White and his colleagues blamed the negative
effects on isoflavones - a finding that supports an earlier study in which
postmenopausal women with higher levels of circulating oestrogen
experienced greater cognitive decline.66

Scientists Daniel Sheehan and Daniel Doerge, from the National Center for
Toxicological Research, ruined PTI's day by presenting findings from rat
feeding studies, indicating that genistein in soy foods causes irreversible
damage to enzymes that synthesise thyroid hormones.67 "The association
between soybean consumption and goiter in animals and humans has a long
history," wrote Dr Doerge. "Current evidence for the beneficial effects of
soy requires a full understanding of potential adverse effects as well."

Dr Claude Hughes reported that rats born to mothers that were fed genistein
had decreased birth weights compared to controls, and onset of puberty
occurred earlier in male offspring.68 His research suggested that the
effects observed in rats "...will be at least somewhat predictive of what
occurs in humans. There is no reason to assume that there will be gross
malformations of fetuses but there may be subtle changes, such as
neurobehavioral attributes, immune function and sex hormone levels." The
results, he said, "could be nothing or could be something of great
concern...if mom is eating something that can act like sex hormones, it is
logical to wonder if that could change the baby's development".69

A study of babies born to vegetarian mothers, published in January 2000,
indicated just what those changes in baby's development might be. Mothers
who ate a vegetarian diet during pregnancy had a fivefold greater risk of
delivering a boy with hypospadias, a birth defect of the penis.70 The
authors of the study suggested that the cause was greater exposure to
phytoestrogens in soy foods popular with vegetarians. Problems with female
offspring of vegetarian mothers are more likely to show up later in life.
While soy's oestrogenic effect is less than that of diethylstilbestrol
(DES), the dose is likely to be higher because it's consumed as a food, not
taken as a drug. Daughters of women who took DES during pregnancy suffered
from infertility and cancer when they reached their twenties.  


Lurking in the background of industry hype for soy is the nagging question
of whether it's even legal to add soy protein isolate to food. All food
additives not in common use prior to 1958, including casein protein from
milk, must have GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) status. In 1972, the
Nixon administration directed a re-examination of substances believed to be
GRAS, in the light of any scientific information then available. This
re-examination included casein protein which became codified as GRAS in
1978. In 1974, the FDA obtained a literature review of soy protein because,
as soy protein had not been used in food until 1959 and was not even in
common use in the early 1970s, it was not eligible to have its GRAS status
grandfathered under the provisions of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.71

The scientific literature up to 1974 recognised many antinutrients in
factory-made soy protein, including trypsin inhibitors, phytic acid and
genistein. But the FDA literature review dismissed discussion of adverse
impacts, with the statement that it was important for "adequate processing"
to remove them. Genistein could be removed with an alcohol wash, but it was
an expensive procedure that processors avoided. Later studies determined
that trypsin inhibitor content could be removed only with long periods of
heat and pressure, but the FDA has imposed no requirements for
manufacturers to do so.

The FDA was more concerned with toxins formed during processing,
specifically nitrites and lysinoalanine.72 Even at low levels of
consumption - averaging one-third of a gram per day at the time - the
presence of these carcinogens was considered too great a threat to public
health to allow GRAS status.

Soy protein did have approval for use as a binder in cardboard boxes, and
this approval was allowed to continue, as researchers considered that
migration of nitrites from the box into the food contents would be too
small to constitute a cancer risk. FDA officials called for safety
specifications and monitoring procedures before granting of GRAS status for
food. These were never performed. To this day, use of soy protein is
codified as GRAS only for this limited industrial use as a cardboard
binder. This means that soy protein must be subject to premarket approval
procedures each time manufacturers intend to use it as a food or add it to
a food.

Soy protein was introduced into infant formula in the early 1960s. It was a
new product with no history of any use at all. As soy protein did not have
GRAS status, premarket approval was required. This was not and still has
not been granted. The key ingredient of soy infant formula is not
recognised as safe.


"Against the backdrop of widespread praise...there is growing suspicion
that soy - despite its undisputed benefits - may pose some health hazards,"
writes Marian Burros, a leading food writer for the New York Times. More
than any other writer, Ms Burros's endorsement of a low-fat, largely
vegetarian diet has herded Americans into supermarket aisles featuring soy
foods. Yet her January 26, 2000 article, "Doubts Cloud Rosy News on Soy",
contains the following alarming statement: "Not one of the 18 scientists
interviewed for this column was willing to say that taking isoflavones was
risk free." Ms Burros did not enumerate the risks, nor did she mention that
the recommended 25 daily grams of soy protein contain enough isoflavones to
cause problems in sensitive individuals, but it was evident that the
industry had recognised the need to cover itself.

Because the industry is extremely exposed...contingency lawyers will soon
discover that the number of potential plaintiffs can be counted in the
millions and the pockets are very, very deep. Juries will hear something
like the following: "The industry has known for years that soy contains
many toxins. At first they told the public that the toxins were removed by
processing. When it became apparent that processing could not get rid of
them, they claimed that these substances were beneficial. Your government
granted a health claim to a substance that is poisonous, and the industry
lied to the public to sell more soy."

The "industry" includes merchants, manufacturers, scientists, publicists,
bureaucrats, former bond financiers, food writers, vitamin companies and
retail stores. Farmers will probably escape because they were duped like
the rest of us. But they need to find something else to grow before the soy
bubble bursts and the market collapses: grass-fed livestock, designer
vegetables...or hemp to make paper for thousands and thousands of legal

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About the Authors:

Sally Fallon is the author of Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that
Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats and loves MEAT. (1999, 2nd
edition, New Trends Publishing, tel +1 877 707 1776 or +1 219 268 2601) and
President of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Washington, DC

Mary G. Enig, PhD, is the author of Know Your Fats: The Complete Primer for
Understanding the Nutrition of Fats, Oils and Cholesterol (2000, Bethesda
Press,, is President of the Maryland Nutritionists
Association and Vice President of the Weston A. Price Foundation,
Washington, DC.