ST. LOUIS, Aug. 10, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Soy consumption is up 14 percent since 2011,26 yet confusion lingers over soy's role in everything from human health to food production. To clear up misperceptions, the United Soybean Board (USB) busts five common soy myths with science-backed facts on SoyConnection.com/soy-wisdom.
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1) Eating soy does not increase breast cancer risk.
Clinical studies show soy isoflavone exposure does not adversely affect breast tissue as assessed by markers of breast cancer risk, such as breast cell proliferation.1–7 The American Institute for Cancer Research and the American Cancer Society say that women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer can safely consume soyfoods. In fact, the World Cancer Research Fund International has identified a link between soy consumption and an improved survival of breast cancer patients.8-9
"Not only does evidence indicate soyfoods may benefit women with breast cancer, but consuming soy when young helps prevent the onset of this disease later in life27-30," stated Mark Messina, Ph.D., who has dedicated the past 30 years to understanding the health effects of soyfoods.
2) Feminizing effects from soy? Not a chance.
A meta-analysis of more than 30 clinical studies found that neither soyfoods nor isoflavones affect levels of the male sex hormone, testosterone. And, a comprehensive review of the clinical research concluded that isoflavone exposure doesn't affect circulating estrogen levels in men, either.12-13 Clinical studies show soy has no effect on sperm and semen parameters.13
"Clinical research shows that soy does not lower testosterone levels, raise estrogen levels or affect sperm count," added Messina.
3) The bottom line is, crops derived through biotechnology are safe for people and the planet.
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recently released an analysis that concludes genetically engineered (GE) crops are safe for humans to eat and are not harmful to the environment.31 The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, European Food Safety Authority, and The World Health Organization, among others, have also concluded that food made from current GE crops in the U.S. are safe.32-34
GE ingredients have been part of the U.S. food supply since the 1990s.11 These foods must adhere to the same safety requirements under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act that apply to foods derived from traditionally bred plants.25
Many experts agree that GE crops play a positive role in food production. "Biotechnology is a tool that helps increase crop yield and may positively impact nutrition status and the global food supply," stated Lisa Katic, registered dietitian nutritionist, expert in food policy and biotechnology.
4) The largest survey conducted found only 0.0005 percent of adults are allergic to soy protein.16
Cow's milk allergy is about 40 times more common than soy allergy.16
The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology estimates that only 0.4 percent of children are allergic to soy protein. Of those, an estimated 70 percent will outgrow their allergy by age 10.15
5) Farmers grow what they want.
Farmers are not forced to grow GE crops. Many U.S. farmers choose to grow GE crops because they are a more sustainable option. As stewards of the land, farmers work to leave the land better than they found it.
"Farmers grow whatever they want, whenever they want," said United Soybean Board Farmer-Director Nancy Kavazanjian. "Genetically engineered crops actually enable us to use fewer chemicals, and we've reduced our carbon emissions35-36 – which is the equivalent of taking 10 million cars off our roads annually37."
For more soy wisdom and corresponding references (1-37), visit SoyConnection.com/soy-wisdom.
About the United Soybean Board (USB)
The 70 farmer-directors of USB oversee the investments of the soy checkoff to maximize profit opportunities for all U.S. soybean farmers. These volunteers invest and leverage checkoff funds to increase the value of U.S. soy meal and oil, ensure U.S. soybean farmers and their customers have the freedom and infrastructure to operate, and meet the needs of U.S. soy's customers. As stipulated in the federal Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soy checkoff. For more information on the United Soybean Board, visit SoyConnection.com.
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SOURCE United Soybean Board