\ soy infant formula is it good or bad

"Actually, mother's milk is low in iron for at least two reasons. 

Low iron levels in human milk contribute to its antiviral effects. 

Iron also competes with zinc for absorption and the human infant 

needs a plentiful supply of zinc for the development of his brain and nervous system."

... continue this article below ...


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The billion-dollar formula industry- two million dollars a day - is about money, not public health.

Exclusive breastfeeding has been eroded and undermined despite its exceptional benefits for infants and mothers. Although scientific studies continue to attest to the superiority of breastmilk, bottle-feeding formula is becoming the norm. Aggressive formula marketing has deceived mothers into believing that formula is equivalent to breastmilk. Good lactating breasts have been removed from the mouths of infants and promoted only as sexual organs.

(See this article below ... )

The video just below is one of my videos, which describes my experience with soy formula - which my pediatrician recommended for my child in 1995. Today I know so much more than I knew back then. Believing that my child's doctor had her best interest in mind, was my first mistake. The drug companies, the 'pushers' of these formulas have the pockets of the medical community - that is a battle that best not be waged. You couldn't win! There is money at stake. Greed is, once again, the bottom line.

In our case, the soy formula might have contributed to my child's scoliosis or her neurological eye condition, known as nystagmus. Yes, today I know much more. Nancy Koncilja Gurish

Cinderella's Dark Side

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Tricks of the Infant Food Industry

Written by Naomi Baumslag, MD, MPH Monday, 31 December 2001 21:21
If your lives were embittered as mine is, by seeing day after day this massacre of the innocents by unsuitable feeding, then I believe you would feel as I do that misguided propaganda on infant feeding should be regarded as murder. . . Anyone who, ignorantly or lightly, causes a baby to be fed on unsuitable milk, may be guilty of that child's death. —Dr. Cicely Williams, Milk and Murder, 1939
Baby in Bottle Image

The billion - dollar formula industry - two million dollars a day - is about money, not public health.

Exclusive breastfeeding has been eroded and undermined despite its exceptional benefits for infants and mothers. Although s
cientific studies continue to attest to the superiority of breastmilk, bottle-feeding formula is becoming the norm. Aggressive
formula marketing has deceived mothers into believing that formula is equivalent to breastmilk. Good lactating breasts have
been removed from the mouths of infants and promoted only as sexual organs. The positive effect of breastfeeding on mothers' health
has also been ignored. Throughout the world, scarce resources are used to buy formula when the money could be put to better uses.
Infant food companies influence government health policies and have made the medical profession their handmaiden. They use "science"
to scare mothers, exploit women's working rights and men's desires to adapt to family realities. While they have stopped some promotion to
mothers in the mass media, they have bought time and programs to undermine breastfeeding. They have taken baby faces off their formula
tins only to put them on "follow up milks." They have grudgingly endorsed the WHO/UNICEF International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes,
but whittled it down, and still complain it's too restrictive. Through the World Trade Organization, they are amassing even more power. In spite
of the Code, and in spite of the efforts of thousands of breastfeeding advocates, the infant formula market is thriving, formula companies are growing,
and profits are mounting. IT'S ALL ABOUT PROFITS The chief aim of corporations is to maximize profits by expanding markets, increasing the use
of products, inventing new products and extending the length of their use. Their greed appears insatiable as more and more babies suck rubber in
vain search for the juice of life. Their main concern is profit, not public health. It's clear that breastfeeding is not good for the baby food industry.
The baby food industry (which includes the production of bottles and nipples) is an eight-billion-dollar a year industry with an enormous profit margin
and vicious intercompany competition. For every dollar wholesale received, only 16 cents go to research and development.

Corporations invest only to maximize their returns. Formula companies give money to doctors, nurses, medical students and departments of pediatrics
for research, equipment, gifts, payments, conferences, travel and publications, with the goal of enlisting their endorsement and promotion of the products.
Money spent on promotion and lobbying means less for quality control, research and basic ingredients. WHO has recommended that docosahexaenoic acid
(DHA), essential to infant brain development, be added to infant formula. Europe and Asia have done this but formula makers in the US have resisted.
The FDA and Ross Pharmaceuticals (maker of Similac) say there is not enough scientific evidence to do so, but Ross also admits that it's too expensive.
Ross's earnings from the WIC program (Women, Infants and Children Supplementation program) has decreased because of rebates and so profit loss may
be a factor. Babies' health doesn't seem to have a high priority. Damage to the company's name is to be avoided at all costs so they do not lose the market,
especially now as there is an increasing number of competitors selling baby foods, formula for pregnant women (at least ten such products are now available),
bottles and nipples. Most of the ingredients in infant formula are incredibly cheap. Powdered milk contributes to only one-sixth of the total cost. Soy protein
isolate used in soy-based formula is even cheaper.

BEHIND THE SCENES With restrictions to formula distribution, the corporations become more devious, lobbying governments, challenging the law
and establishing clinics and hospitals as marketing agents and centers. When other promotion avenues fail, companies go directly to governments to
meet their needs. Breast milk substitutes are based on doctored cow's milk or highly processed soy protein. Nevertheless, the formula industry
was able to persuade the FDA to classify formula as a food, not a drug, so that they would be subject to less stringent review. The FDA allows the
use of soy protein isolate in soy formula even though it does not have Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) status.

Corporations influence the selection of delegates to international infant-feeding meetings, including those sponsored by WHO. They offer special
deals for the purchase of breast milk substitutes for nutrition programs, famine relief and even for orphans, but require their logo to be used. Every
opportunity to advertise their products is maximized. There are financial incentives for governments to import infant foods. Governments get extra
income through sales taxes and import duties. In Zimbabwe, income is generated for governments through the 17.5 percent sales tax on imported formula
and a 10 percent import duty. Thus, the government shares in the profits when mothers abandon breastfeeding. The infant food companies have special
contacts in nutrition and child health divisions of various governments who are their advocates and look after their name and interests. They pay for
delegates to attend international nutrition conferences to vote their line. Formula companies and their agents even interfere with the production of
breastfeeding educational materials. On one known occasion Nestlé wrote to the US Secretary of Health urging him to withdraw an innocuous HEW publication
"Perspectives on Maternal-Infant-Feeding," which was in strong demand, as they feared its influence. The report was "unscientific," they claimed. However,
as it had been reviewed by leading authorities in the field, their efforts came to nil. In Zimbabwe, a pro-breastfeeding publication "Baby Feeding," funded by
UNICEF, was held up because of Nestlé's lobbying efforts. The Attorney General finally ordered that it be released for publication. We have no idea how many
such publications have been successfully blocked.

When a breastfeeding group in Guatemala protested the use of baby pictures on Gerber baby foods, Gerber reacted with attempts to bribe the
national breastfeeding committee. When that did not work, they threatened the government. If Guatemala did not allow Gerber to exercise their
free trade rights, they said, they would take their business out of the country. Unfortunately, Gerber got its way.

National breastfeeding groups are continually thwarted by the formula makers which insist that their representatives be included in their
workshops and conferences. These representatives then work to water down any recommendations that interfere with the sale of their products.
The Australian Federal Bureau of Consumer Affairs and several formula companies have a marketing agreement that ostensibly includes the Code
provisions, but the panel set up to receive and investigate complaints regarding the marketing of infant formula in Australia includes
representatives of the companies being policed! The Philippines has a strong national Code that restricts formula marketing yet the
government does nothing about the baby food companies' flagrant violations.
One of the most egregious
examples of formula-promotion through spurious science is the current dogma that HIV-positive mothers should not breastfeed.
Despite the incomplete and conflicting scientific evidence on the transmission of HIV through breastfeeding, the corporations
have seized on the HIV-epidemic as an opportunity to push formula feeding to the third world. For the formula companies, AIDS is
a window of opportunity that is exploited to the nth degree. In South Africa, the head of the health department in the Ministry of Health
stated at La Leche League's 1998 national meeting that "we're in bed with the enemy" to solve the AIDS breastfeeding crisis. Formula makers
have used AIDS research presented at the AIDS International Meeting in Vancouver 1996, and cited on the front page of the New York Times,
to pressure UNICEF to endorse formula for babies born to HIV-positive mothers. The industry endorsed this research even though it had not been
published in a peer-reviewed journal. The author of the New York Times article interviewed six "breastfeeding experts" but never reported any of
their views. He did, however, report the views of non-breastfeeding advocates such as Thad Jackson, an immunologist who formerly was a full-time
employee of Nestlé and now works for them as a consultant. The report was very biased and accused WHO and UNICEF of dragging their feet and not
looking out for third world infants. According to the Wall Street Journal, "UNICEF remains captive to a clutch of activists who have been leading boycotts
and protests against the baby formula makers since the 1970s on the highly spurious grounds that the companies trying to supply better nutrition
‘exploit' the poor. . . If the toll of African AIDS babies continues to rise, the credibility of one of the most beloved UN agencies may sink." This statement
was on the front page, not in the editorial section! A recent study in Durban shows that there is no difference between the incidence of HIV in exclusively
breastfed and exclusively formula-fed infants of HIV-positive mothers from birth till six months, but there are no lobbyists to herald this positive news.
Furthermore, is clear that mixed feeding of infants of HIV-positive mothers has the worst possible outcome.

INTERFERENCE AND INFLUENCE There are an untold number of examples of the infant food industry's interference and influence. When the
International Nutrition Conference met in Geneva, the formula industry systematically infiltrated the meeting. The INC recommendations had
to be formulated in secret and were delivered to the plenary session to the surprise of the baby food industry. The Maternity Protection Convention,
adopted by the International Labor Organization in 1952, calls for 12 weeks' maternity leave, cash benefits equal to two-thirds of previous earnings
and breastfeeding breaks totalling at least one hour per day. At a 1999 International Labor Organization meeting in Geneva, the powerful
transnational corporations lobbied for removal of the nursing clause. New Zealand, Australia, UK, USA, Canada, and other some European
countries sided with the formula companies but Italy, Greece, Austria, Croatia, the Netherlands, Philippines, United Arab Emirates and all of Latin
America and Africa, as well as non-governmental organizations including the International Confederation of Nurses opposed the recommended change.
Although the vote was close, breastfeeding breaks remained. However the struggle is not yet over. As most of the world's women still breastfeed,
weakening the Maternity Protection Convention (MPC) would make it harder for governments to promote breastfeeding in the work place, depriving
women who want to breastfeed of their rights. The latest gimmick by Nestlé is to seek endorsements from governments stating they are in compliance
with the Code. Nestlé supplies "Certificates of Code Compliance" for government representatives to sign. This has already happened in Panama City
and Nestlé is pressing other Latin American governments to sign. The Western Cape Provincial government in South Africa is also under pressure but
according to the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN), this strategy is backfiring as an increasing number of governments are using the
opportunity to spell out Nestlé's shortcomings. The South African Department of Health asked Nestlé to change labels on some products because
they suggest introducing complementary foods at 4-6 months rather than at 6 months as required by the WHO resolutions. The Ministry of Health
also complained that Nestlé posters were in clinics and their brochures were freely available, resulting in the promotion of the company's image as wel
as its products. "Formula Fix," an Australian IBFAN video, was banned for use in a training program in South Africa. The request came from a long
time employee of the Ministry of Health nutrition section. Staff were instructed not to show the video at a breastfeeding workshop as Nestlé did not want
their image affected while they were in negotiations with the Ministry of Health. It's now being used again. Formula companies continue to violate the
Code and are engaged in relentless efforts to water it down. Meanwhile, they produce publications for government and health professionals to refute
allegations of code violations. RETAIL SHOPS Formula makers buy shelf space and flood stores with baby food products, posters and promotional materials.
In the Philippines, for example, the supermarkets have been flooded with infant foods and materials to make them seem attractive and make mothers
aware of brand names. Next to them on the shelf is Pedialyte for the diarrhea caused by formula when made up with unsanitary water. Now they are
selling bottled water for making up the formula but still they don't have the immunological effect of breastmilk. Soy formula is also for
S supermarkets, the infant formula shelf has a label saying "recommended by WIC," the US government Women, Infants and Children program. The
formula industry has used government programs to promote their goods. In Australia, the retail sector has not been a signatory of the Australian
Agreement on the Code and it is being used as a loophole for exploitation. The baby bottle companies never signed, either. Previously, promotion
materials were only in some pharmacies but now companies like Mead Johnson have orchestrated many pharmacies to have the same Baby Club
inducements. Recently, supermarkets have become baby food centers carrying anti-breastfeeding messages with massive display advertisements in
prime store locations. Pharmacies are now in competition with supermarkets to retain their old market share. AT THE DOCTOR'S Hospitals, clinics,
maternities and doctors' offices have become distribution centers. The sales reps actually come into the wards and clinics with their products,
promoting them with misleading information. In a hospital serving mainly south Africans in East London, nurses were told by the Abbott rep that
South Africa, Nestlé paid for nurses to teach infant care. They also funded a nutrition department at the University of Capetown. Doctors' offices
dispense formula samples and educational materials. They even give out videos on breastfeeding that are produced by the baby food industry! It has
been shown that 93 percent of mothers who receive gift packs use the brand issued. The US government-sponsored WIC program and similar
nutrition programs serve as distribution centers for formula. This hooks mothers on a particular brand. (Participants in the WIC program receive
only enough formula to feed a nine-pound baby. When the baby needs more, the mothers must buy it themselves. Had they not been persuaded to
formula-feed, they could have nursed their babies for free.) Hospitals are paid enormous sums for using and distributing only one company's product.
Despite distributors not being allowed on the wards, they do come to nurseries and maternity wards. In South Africa, Abbott uses the forumla product
Formance for pregnamt women falsely advertised to produce bigger babies and more milk, to gain access to prenatal and postnatal patients, a practice that
is not banned by the Code. Once there, they promote other products. HEALTH WORKERS Health workers have a special responsibility for the success or
failure of the Code. They are frequently the target for promotional practices and health care facilities are used by companies as the frequent channel for
encouraging the use of their products. Health professionals are very naive and often don't realize that they are being used. The baby food industry has
used and needs health professionals to endorse, distribute and sell its products. According to an Abbott Labs publication, "As the voice of Abbott, Abbott
Topics can be a positive force molding the physicians' opinion of Abbott. In effect we are striving to make the physician a low-pressure salesman of Abbott."
In Pakistan, the reps have cards on doctors that include information on their birthdays, families and practices and this information is passed from rep to
rep. The doctors with large pediatric practices and who teach are classified as type A and receive special attention.

Industry representatives attend medical, nutrition, breastfeeding conferences and meetings and also sponsor many of these. It should be noted
that the infant food industry meetings never include doctors not in their employ unless the purpose of the meeting is to gain health profession support
of their point of view. At a recent Code meeting of health workers in Capetown, ten official company representatives attended in order to undermine
what was said about the Code and cause confusion. Additional Nestlé advocates who received funding and gifts from the company were at the meeting.
The formula companies even have the audacity to teach about breastfeeding when promoting formula and in so doing subtly undermine the process
and make women and babies dependent on the products.

The Infant Formula Council produces publications to educate health professionals. One of these, a review on infant feeding methods, contains a s
discussion arguing that formula is as good as breastmilk. When the International Group on Breastfeeding Monitoring published their expose
"Cracking the Code," Nestlé produced a denial document called "A Missed Opportunity" and distributed it to physicians and health workers
everywhere. Scientific studies showing deficiencies in human breast milk are also widely distributed but no one talks about improving the maternal
diet. The object is to create fear and sell formula.
tep-by-step discussion arguing that formula is as good as breastmilk. When the International Group on Breastfeeding Monitoring published their expose "Cracking the Code," Nestlé produced a denial document called "A Missed Opportunity" and distributed it to physicians and health workers everywhere. Scientific studies showing deficiencies in human breast milk are also widely distributed but no one talks about improving the maternal diet. The object is to create fear and sell formula.
The companies do not give money for nothing. The American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) receives $1 million a year from formula
companies and they got $8 million for their building fund. (It was after the $8 million grant that the AAP dropped its objection to soy formula.)
Companies pay for conferences, special guests, functions, display products in exhibits, sponsor research, journals, publications, institutional premises,
scholarships and yearly stipends. Some groups have resisted. The Indian Pediatric Association takes no "milk money" from the formula companies.

IN THE MEDIA The media portrays women as sexual objects. Nursing women are shown in dressing gowns with fat bosoms like domestic cows.
Men are shown bottle feeding and often men portray breasts as their goods. Women need to reclaim their rights and their breasts.

There is no question that the corporations have access to the media and make good use of it to push their case. Nestlé bought the time before and
after a television segment on a breastfed baby who died because of stated insufficient milk and not getting formula. Abbott did the same for a report
on an infant death due to medical neglect blamed on breastfeeding. The companies effectively use publications like the Wall Street Journal,
Time and the New York Times to undermine breastfeeding but recalls of thousands of harmful cans of formula do not get attention.
The internet has become a very important marketing tool and formula makers are very smart in how they use it. Sometimes it's difficult to
recognize how it's used to promote bottle feeding. Examples include "Women's Link" by Bristol Meyers and Mead Johnson; Robin Adler's campaign
"Bottle Feeding Without Feeling Guilty" "Parents' Choice" by Wyeth (marketed by Walmart); "Bottle Buddy" and "Carnation Baby." Baby food
companies are now organizing nutrition education for parent and baby groups with a focus on correct infant feeding. Is there conflict of interest?

CONSUMERS' ACTION As powerful as these corporations seem to be, they can be compelled by market forces to behave in ways consistent with
global and local progress, meeting human needs, doing no harm and building a better future for our children. We have to take action to protect public
health and end inferior feeding practices that interfere with breastfeeding and only benefit corporate profit. We need a system that will make regulations
binding on corporations to protect the health of mothers and babies. Evidence-based studies are essential to ensure that all the baby foods are not harmful
and that the claims made for them are substantiated. We must value mothers and ensure maternity entitlements. Society has to recognize the value
of mothers and support them. But most of all, women need to recognize the unique importance of their ability to breastfeed and stand up for their rights.

Sidebars The WHO/UNICEF International Code of Marketing Breastmilk Substitutes The aim of the Code is: . . . to contribute to the provision of safe
and adequate nutrition for infants, by the protection and promotion of breastfeeding and by the proper use of breastmilk substitutes, when these are
necessary, on the basis of adequate information and through appropriate marketing and distribution. The code includes ten main provisions:
No advertising of breastmilk substitutes.
No free samples of breastmilk substitutes to mothers. No promotion of products through health care facilities.
No company mothercraft nurses to advise mothers. No gifts or personal samples to health workers. No words or pictures idealizing
artificial feeding, including pictures of infants, on the labels of the products. Information to health workers should be scientific and factual.
All information on artificial feeding, including the labels, should explain the benefits of breastfeeding and the costs and hazards associated
with artificial feeding. Unsuitable products, such as sweetened condensed milk, should not be promoted for babies. All products should be of
a high quality and take into account the climatic and storage conditions of the country where they are used. WHAT'S IN INFANT FORMULA?
WATER: May contain high levels of fluoride. CORN SYRUP: Contains glucose. Mother's milk contains lactose as the main carbohydrate.
Not all brands of formula contain lactose. SUCROSE: Contains no lactose. The wrong sugar for babies. SOY OIL: Processed using high temperatures
and chemicals, bleached and deodorized. Likely to be rancid. WHEY PROTEIN: High temperature processing likely to destroy fragile whey proteins.
SOY PROTEIN ISOLATE: Highly processed, contains phytoestrogens that can adversely affect baby's hormonal development and depress thyroid function.
Does not have GRAS status. CARRAGEENAN: Extremely hard to digest. In most ready-mixed formulas, carrageenan is one of the main causes of digestive
disorders in formula-fed infants, not lactose-intolerance. Caused liver problems and retarded growth in rats. SOY LECITHIN: Extracted from the soy oil
sludge. Likely to be high in pesticides. SYNTHETIC VITAMINS: Often have the opposite effect of vitamins naturally occurring in food.
FREE GLUTAMIC ACID (MSG) and ASPARTIC ACID: Neurotoxins formed during processing of milk and soy protein powders.
Levels are especially high in hypoallergenic formulas. US INFANT FORMULA RECALLS 1982-1994
Year Problem Product Class 1994 Klebsiella and pseudomona contaminants Nursoy concentrate (Wyeth Labs) II 1993 Salmonella contamination
Soyalac (Nutricia Inc.) I 1993 Glass contamination Nutramigen (Mead Johnson) II 1993 Peeling can lining Isomil Soy Formula with iron (Ross Labs)
III 1990 Bacterial contamination I-Soylac Concentrated Formula (Loma Linda) I 1989 Deficient in vitamin D, below label claim for vitamin K Similac
PM60/40 low iron (Ross Labs) III 1989 Unfit appearance, didn't pass through bottle nipple Carnation Good Nature (Nestlé) III 1989
Deficient in vitamin D
Nutramigen iron fortified protein hydrolysate III 1986 Progressive vitamin A degradation Soyalac powder (Loma Linda) III 1986 Curdling,
discoloration SMA Ready to Feed (Wyeth Labs) II 1985 Superpotent vitamin A levels Gerber Meat Base Formula with iron (Gerber) II 1985
Deficient in folacin, vitamin D and zinc Kama-Mil powder (Kama Nutritional Products) I 1985 Pamphlet erroneously suggests can be used as
substitute for human milk Edensoy (Eden Foods) I 1985 Deficient in copper and linoleic acid Cow & Gate Improved Modified Infant Formula II
1985 Deficient in copper and linoleic acid Lactogen with iron (Nestlé) III 1985 Glass particles (from bottle chipping) 5% glucose water (Ross Labs)
II 1985 Overprocessed, lumpy, brown, unfit for human consumption Similac with iron (Ross Labs) II 1983 Deficient in vitamin A Soyalac Powder Milk
Free Fortified Soy Formula II 1983 Copper, thiamine and vitamin B6 too low Naturalac Infant formula (Filmore Foods) II 1982 Deficient in vitamin B6 Nursoy
Concentrated Liquid (Wyeth Laboratores) I 1982 Deficient in vitamin B6 SMA brands (Wyeth Labs) I Class I: May cause serious health consequences.
Class II: May cause
medically reversible health conditions. Class III: Not likely to cause medically adverse health effects. Adopted from Milk, Money and Madness
One trick of the formula makers is to exaggerate the problem of iron deficiency. Mother's milk is very low in iron and the formula makers have seized
on this fact to promote iron-fortified formula as an improvement on Mother Nature. Of the studies examining the evidence for iron supplementation of
infants, 77% were industry-funded. Infants on this formula get 22 times as much iron as breastfed infants and risk contracting iron storage disease,
but this appears irrelevant to researchers. Iron-fortified formula is more expensive than no-iron formula and presumably more profitable.

Actually, mother's milk is low in iron for at least two reasons. Low iron levels in human milk

contribute to its antiviral effects. Iron also competes with zinc for absorption and the human

infant needs a plentiful supply of zinc for the development of his brain and nervous system.

In traditional societies, parents compensated for this in two ways. First, they allowed the umbilical cord blood to flow into the infant before cutting
or tying the cord. This gave the infant an infusion of iron-rich blood without going through the digestive process. Then, at the age of about 4-6 months,
baby was given his first food, usually iron-rich liver, which the mother had thoughtfully prechewed. Iron-fortified formula can cause constipation and
zinc blockage and should never be used. Modern parents should insist that their baby gets his cord blood, and then should supplement his diet with a
little grated liver along with egg-yolk feeding at the age of four months. Of course, mothers should get plenty of iron-rich foods while nursing,
to replenish iron stores lost during childbirth and to prevent anemia. In some cultures, the placenta was cooked in a stew and served to the mother for this very
purpose. WORLD HEALTH RESOLUTION 47.5 At the World Health Assembly meeting in Geneva in May 1994, the United States reversed its lone opposition
to the WHO/UNICEF International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk substitutes. The Code was adopted by international consensus. Here is a summary
of what was gained:
In theory, the United States is now in support of the Code. The door is open at last for the United States to do what the Code calls for: "To
take action appropriate to the social and legislative framework and overall development objectives to give effect to the principles and aim of this Code,
including the enactment of legislation, regulations or other suitable measures."
WHA Resolution 47.5 clarifies Resolution 39.28 (passed in 1986) and affirms that all products under the scope of the Code, not just infant formula, are not
to be provided for free or at subsidized cost. It states that this is intended for the whole health care system, not just maternity wards and maternity hospitals.
This language 
closes significant loopholes claimed by the industry.
WHA 47.5 also corroborated the position of the health care community that most babies need no other food than breastmilk
until the age of about six months and also emphasizes the

need for local foods—not expensive, imported, processed foods or follow-up milks—and

continued breastfeeding. This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly
magazine of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Fall 2001.

(Please move through the heading to this full text and source.)

by Sally Fallon & Mary G. Enig, Ph.D.

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 (1134-246 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.

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 sulfate or magnesium sulfate (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. Additionally 99% a very large percentage of soy is genetically modified and it also has one of the highest
percentages contamination by pesticides of any of our foods. 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 Protein Isolate: Not So Friendly

Soy processors have worked hard to get these antinutrients 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 fiber, then precipitated and separated using an acid wash and, finally, neutralized in an alkaline solution.

Acid washing in aluminum tanks leaches high levels of aluminum 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 flavorings, particularly MSG, are added to soy protein isolate and textured vegetable protein products to mask their strong "beany" taste and to impart the flavor 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 stabilized 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 naked 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 diarrhea; 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. Marketing The Perfect Food "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. Flavorings, preservatives, sweeteners, emulsifiers and synthetic nutrients have turned soy protein isolate, the food processors' ugly duckling, into a New Age Cinderella. 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 This is 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 favorable 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 gray, 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-publicized 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 FDA Health Claim Challenged On October 25, 1999 the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decided 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. 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 estrogen-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-estrogens and substituting a claim for soy protein - a move that was in direct contradiction to the agency's regulations. The FDA is authorized 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. 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 unwarranted. "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.
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