This is a guest article by Mannie Barling and Ashley F. Brooks.

Throughout discussions about our articles, books, lectures and media interviews, we are constantly asked about how much soy Americans are consuming every day. It is as if we have opened a locked door to an industry secret that no one seems to know about or are just in denial regarding the truth.

In the 1980s, Stuart Berger, MD, labeled soy one of the seven top allergens – one of the “sinister seven.” Food allergies are abnormal inflammatory responses of the immune system to dust, pollen, a food or some other substance.

The soybean industry knows that many people experience severe allergic reactions to its products. In a recent petition to the FDA, Protein Technologies International (PTI) identified “allergenicity” as one of the “most likely potential adverse effects associated with ingestion of large amounts of soy products.”

Swedish researchers recently concluded, “Soy has been underestimated as a cause of food anaphylaxis”.  The Swedish study was not the first study to report “fatal events” after eating soy.

In 1976, researchers learned that the fetus is capable of producing IgE antibodies against soy protein during early gestation and newborns can be sensitized through the breast milk of the mother and later react to foods they’ve “never eaten”.

Families who would be well advised to take these precautions seriously include those with individuals who have known peanut and/or soy allergies, vegetarians who would otherwise eat a lot of soy foods during pregnancy or lactation and parents considering the use of soy infant formula.

Scientists are not completely certain which components of soy cause allergic reactions. They have found at least 16 allergenic proteins, and some researchers pinpoint as many as 25 to 30.

One study showed that clinical reactions occurred in 16% of the children on soy formula, but that histological and enzymologic intestinal damage occurred in an additional 38% of the children.

Celiac disease is a serious malabsorption syndrome most commonly associated with gluten (a protein fraction found in wheat and some other grains) and dairy intolerance. Few people know that there is also a connection with soy.

Some adults with celiac disease experience diarrhea, headache, nausea and flatulence even on a gluten-free diet when they eat a tiny amount of soy.  And a study of 98 infants and children with multiple gastrointestinal allergies revealed that 62% had both soy and milk allergies and 35% had both soy and gluten.

Evidence is mounting that soy allergies are on the rise because of genetic engineering.  The York Nutritional Laboratories in England –one of Europe’s leading laboratories specializing in food sensitivity — found a 50% increase in soy allergies in 1998, the very year in which genetically engineered beans were introduced to the world market.

York’s researchers noted that one of the 16 proteins in soybeans most likely to cause allergic reactions was found in concentrations higher by 30 percent or more in Monsanto’s genetically modified (GM) soybeans. The York researchers sent their findings to British Health Secretary Frank Dobson, urging the government to act on the information and impose an instant ban on GM food pending further safety tests.

Dr. Michael Antonion, a molecular pathologist at Guy’s Hospital, Central London, observed, “This is a very interesting if slightly worrying development. It points to the fact that far more work is needed to assess their safety. At the moment, no allergy tests are carried out before GM foods are marketed and that also needs to be looked at.”

People allergic to GM soybeans may not even be allergic to soy. The culprit can be foreign proteins introduced into the soybean. The soybean lectin – another anti-nutrient now promoted as a disease preventer – has also been identified as an allergen.  People must be careful of all foods because soy protein often appears in margarine.

A substantial body of evidence published during the 1990s showing that some of these people only learn for the first time about their soy allergies after experiencing an unexpectedly severe or even life-threatening reaction.

When you shop next at the market, look at the ingredients in soy in products such as bagels, donuts, rolls, pizza.  You will find many ingredients that also contain undeclared soy protein

Neither the FDA nor USDA require food manufacturers to set forth the volume of soy on the ingredient labels required on packaged food.  Recently passed legislation requires fast food stores to post the totals of many ingredients, such as sugar, salt, cholesterol and carbohydrates, but not soy or high fructose corn syrup.  These foods, along with MSG, are exempted from the list because of industry lobbying which sought to protect the industry practice of “clean labeling”.

Clean labeling is the art of hiding one ingredient in another ingredient to prevent placing the ingredient (generally MSG) on the label.  For example, there are more than140 ingredients containing MSG to avoid the consumer from reading MSG on the product’s label.  As a result, no one really knows how much soy, high fructose corn syrup and MSG is in the food they eat.

Why is this important?  It is because MSG is dangerous to most Americans, corn syrup more than doubles the amount of sugar on the label and soy is used to reduce the cost of many foods acting as a filler or substitute.  It is also used to “spike” the taste of genetically modified foods which are, by their nature, bland and almost tasteless.  A full disclosure of the accurate contents of any of these hidden ingredients would likely result in a person not buying the product.

Clean labeling is a fraud on the American public.  It is the food industry acting as “big brother” deciding, without public participation, what is good for all of us to eat.  Of course, clean labeling is not good for Americans.  It is only good for Big Food and their corporate profits.  It is sad that corporate decision makers do not feel that their food products will sell if they tell the truth about what is in their foods.

The fact is that only 19% of the price of food goes toward the food itself.  According to the USDA the balance goes to the cost of chemical additives, packaging and marketing the product.  Among the chemical additives in hamburger is ammonia which is a common ingredient in fertilizers and household cleaning products.

Your food can also legally contain maggots and rat poop.  While the FDA does limit the amount, any amount of maggots and rat poop in our food is too much.  Taco Bell’s meat mixture contains less than 35 percent beef—5 percent below the FDA’s 40-percent standard for “meat taco filling.”

There is no way to determine ones daily consumption of soy for many reasons.  Animals in CAFOs (factory farms) are fed with so much genetically modified soy and corn that their fat becomes more like vegetable oil than lard.  As a result, there is no way of calculating how much soy residue remains in the meat from cattle, pigs and chickens after slaughter.

Since soy and corn are genetically modified by using the Bt toxin, then there is also the issue of undisclosed bacterial and toxic residues in the food.  Of course, Big Food, particularly Monsanto, will tell you that genetically modified foods are “nature-identical”.  That is akin to saying that Frankenstein and George Clooney are “nature-identical”.

Certainly the industry has no intention of testing their products to determine the amounts of soy in your food.  The political might of Big Food makes it politically impossible for the FDA to compel testing.  Worse, there is little or no independent testing because the food industry uses its political might to block the funding of private grants and are equally effective blocking ones from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  Big Food’s ability to stifle any source who could expose their skillful hiding of the truth rivals the actions of the Robber Barons of the late 1800s.

Mannie Barling and Ashley F. Brooks, R.N., are the authors of award winning books – Arthritis, Inflammation, Gout, Crohn’s, IBD and IBS – How to Eliminate Pain and Extend your Life (Books and Authors 2010 Best Books in the Health, Diet & Reference Categories) and Mannie’s Diet and Enzyme Formula – A Change of Lifestyle Diet Designed for Everyone (Blogger News Net 2010 Best Health And Nutrition Book Award winner) available at, Amazon, Barnes&Noble, and other booksellers around the world.

It’s Not Your Fault – Weight Gain, Obesity and Food Addiction is now available at, Amazon and booksellers everywhere. The authors latest book, The Food Revolution Papers – A Primer on What’s in Your Food, is due in bookstores on October 1, 2011.

Mannie Barling and Ashley F. Brooks are the co-hosts of Surviving the 21st Century with Simon Barrett on Blogger News Network on Saturdays at 10:00 A.M. PST/1:00 PM EST found at or Blog Talk Radio.

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