We are now beginning our third year of educational and lobbying efforts to warn consumers about the dangers of modern soy foods and to have soy infant formula removed from the marketplace. And while we continue to read a lot of hype about soy foods in newspapers and magazines, I am encouraged by the progress we have made so far.
Warnings about the dangers of soy foods are finally beginning to appear in the mainstream press. For example, a recent study showing that soy-based infant formula may weaken babies’ immune systems was reported in several national newspapers, including the New York Times. And a wonderful article by Sean Carson was published in the Pacific Sun, a California publication with a a circulation of over 40,000. Lifestyle Magazine, a New Zealand publication, recently carried a story by Dr. Mary Enig and myself, while the ongoing debate in the Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients has alerted many practitioners to the dangers of modern soy foods.
You may have read about a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association purporting to vindicate the use of soy infant formula. Our scientific experts looked closely at this study and found that the results actually indicated several areas of concern. We issued a press release to the major media and members of Congress to report that there were higher rates of reproductive disorders, asthma and symptoms of thyroid problems in the soy-fed babies. Our report was carried in several alternative publications and published in the Townsend Letter.
Throughout the year, we have been working closely with Bill Sanda, our Director of Public Affairs, to meet with members of Congress and their staff about health issues related to the use of soy infant formula. We will be actively engaged with the staff of the Senate Agriculture Committee and the House Education and Workforce Committee during their deliberations on the reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act in order to develop sound proposals for the safeguard of infants and children. In particular, we will be presenting testimony on the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) legislation and will request a ban on the routine use of soy formula in the program.
Our most exciting breakthrough so far is our participation in a Georgetown University-sponsored forum on the food supply, with emphasis on the potential liability of soy products, during the Fall of 2002. The Environmental Law Forum of the Georgetown Law School has specifically asked the Weston A. Price Foundation to prepare a brief on the legality of soy foods. Members of the Foundation will also be included in several panel discussions throughout the day-long forum. This event will have wide exposure to the press, members of Congress and many Washington lawyers.
Thanks to the efforts of Bill Sanda, we have been able to engage the services of James Turner to help us prepare our report. Mr. Turner is a Washington lawyer with a long and distinguished career in the area of health freedoms and the safety of the food supply. He will raise questions about the legality of using soy protein isolate (SPI) as a food additive, due to its lack of Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) status and the fact that genistein in soy has been shown to be highly carcinogenic in rats. The famous Delaney amendment to the regulations of the Food and Drug Administration prohibits the addition to our food of any substance that causes cancer in humans or test animals.
So we have a strategy, excellent professional help and two great opportunities in the year ahead to present our case. However, as you can imagine, the legal and consulting services that we need do not come free. As we receive no income from any commercial interests, we must rely on our members for financial support.
We also need your help in our continuing efforts to educate the public and our elected officials.
That’s why I am sending this once-yearly update to you at this time. Here’s what you can do to help:
- Read the enclosed Soy Alert! brochure carefully to familiarize yourself with the issues. Note that the two most urgent dangers involve thyroid problems in adults who use soy foods and endocrine disruption in babies given soy formula. Armed with the facts in our brochure, you will be able to alert your friends and family at the appropriate time.
- Print the PDF version or order more professionally printed Soy Alert! brochures in our Store to give out to as many people as possible. This is an easy and non-confrontational way to provide consumers with the facts about soy foods. Many of our members keep some of the brochures on hand at all times to give out when the occasion arises–to teachers, officials, neighbors and shoppers standing in the supermarket checkout line.
- Don’t hesitate to send this brochure to your Senators and Congressional representatives, as well as the elected officials in your state and town. Send it with a personal note asking why soy protein isolate is allowed in the food supply.
- Then indicate the amount of your donation–whether it is $5 or $50 or $500. . . or even $5000. I’d like to be able to say that we had a 100% response from our membership. Your donations will be spent wisely on the services that we need. (Remember that many of us are putting our time and energy into this effort without pay.) Please mail your donation right away.
Your response to this appeal will make all the difference as we prepare for the Georgetown University Environmental Law Forum and our testimony on the Child Nutrition Act early next year. It will provide us with the resources we need to continue our patient, relentless dissemination of the facts.
We are up against a Goliath, but we have truth on our side and I am confident that slowly but surely, our concerns about soy foods will become widely known and our warnings about soy infant formula will be heeded.
Sally Fallon, President
PS: Our website www.westonaprice.org now receives almost 1700 hits per day and many of them go directly to our Soy Alert! section where we post the most up-to-date information on soy. Your financial support also helps us maintain the website and get new information out on the Internet as quickly as possible.