Lawsuit Challenges Soy Health Claim

By Dave Fusaro, Editor in Chief

Dec 17, 2014

Weston A. Price Foundation on Dec. 17 filed a lawsuit meant to compel the FDA to make a final statement on whether soy should continue to have a heart-health claim.

The independent nutrition education foundation claims there is a large body of evidence that soy protein does not improve heart health and may, in fact, have negative health consequences.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, essentially wants the FDA to respond to a citizen petition filed by the foundation (www.westonaprice.org) in 2008, which challenged the FDA’s 1999 approval of a health claim for soy protein. That ruling allowed foods containing soy protein to make advertising and labeling claims that 25g of soy protein a day, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease.

In addition to pointing out evidence to the contrary, the foundation cites scientific evidence showing that soy protein consumption may have adverse health consequences, due to the presence of antinutrients, including protease inhibitors, phytates, lectins, saponins and oxalates, as well as phytoestrogens. "To prevent consumers from continuing to be misled about the connection between soy protein and heart health, the Citizen Petition requested revocation of the FDA’s Final Rule," a foundation announcement said.

Under FDA regulations, the agency is required within 180 days of the filing of a citizen petition to either approve or deny the petition or provide a tentative response indicating why the FDA has been unable to reach a decision. "To this date, the FDA has not approved, denied, or provided a tentative response," says the foundation.

The foundation says it currently supports a lawsuit by Illinois prisoners, who allege health problems resulting from the large amounts of soy in the meals fed to them by the state.

The Weston A. Price Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nutrition education foundation with the mission of disseminating accurate, science-based information on diet and health.