The NIEHS’s (National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences) Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction (CERHR) has invited the submission of public comments on the draft National Toxicology Program (NTP) Briefs on Genistein and Soy Formula.
Mary G. Enig, PhD, and Kaayla T. Daniel, PhD represented the Foundation’s concerns at CERHR hearings early last year. However, on March 17, the panel announced its decision, namely that soy infant formula should be considered “safe” until proven otherwise and that there is “negligible concern” for reproductive and developmental effects. The panel most likely ruled in the industry’s favor because they felt overwhelmed by the sheer mass of studies and/or by industry pressure. Only one member disagreed. Dr. Ruth Etzel of the Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage said there should be a higher level of concern for infant exposure to genistein as it could adversely affect brain and reproductive system development.
Your comments may cause the panelists to reconsider their conclusions and, at the very least, will become part of the public record on these hearings.
If you can report on a case of early or delayed development, learning disorders, reproductive and/or thyroid problems, please write to CERHR Director Dr. Michael D. Shelby. Your letter should include your name and contact information. A sample letter is provided below-feel free to alter it so that it expresses your thoughts in your own words. Please state that you are writing as a concerned private citizen. The deadline for submissions is DECEMBER 8, 2006.
Submissions may be sent to by email, fax or mail to
Dr. Michael D. Shelby, CERHE Director
PO Box 12233
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709
(919) 316-4511 Fax
Shelby (at) niehs.nih.gov
Please feel free to broadcast this important Action Alert to other
individuals and organizations. Thank you!
Sally Fallon, President
Dear Dr. Shelby:
I am writing to comment on the National Toxicology Program’s draft reports on Genistein and Soy Formula.
I am deeply concerned about the expert panel’s conclusion that soy infant formula should be considered “safe until proven otherwise.” Although the panel raises valid questions about the quality of many of the studies they examined, the failure of researchers to prove absolute danger does not prove safety, and many studies indicate that safety must not be assumed. Over the years, expert independent scientists — including leading toxicologists from the FDA’s and NIEHS’s own laboratories — have expressed serious concerns about the effect of soy phytoestrogens on brain, thyroid and reproductive development. We need to take their conclusions seriously.
I believe the United States should follow the examples of the Israeli Health Ministry and British Dietetic Association to warn parents and pediatricians about the potential dangers of soy infant formula. NIEHS should recommend that babies not receive soy infant formula except as a last resort. Better yet, we should also follow the example of the French Food Agency, which will soon require manufacturers to remove almost all the isoflavones from soy infant formula. These actions would help protect our babies.
I personally know of the dangers of soy infant formula because ______________(please briefly state what happened to you, your children or friends’ children etc. i.e. allergies, learning disabilities, digestive distress, premature puberty, infertility, menstrual disorders, etc). I am making this a part of the public record in the hope of saving other babies from this fate.
I hope this letter will encourage the panel to reconsider its conclusions and to commit to the precautionary principle of “better safe than sorry.”
(Your Name and Address)