- Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D.Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration
Mandate Food Allergy Labeling To Include All Soy Derivatives in Foods and Drugs
Soybean oil and soy derivatives such as stearic acid, glycerin, magnesium stearate, natural flavors or soy-derived tocopherol acetate are among almost a hundred other soy allergen derivatives exempt from labeling on foods and drugs.
This presents a major health hazard to the small percentage of children and adults with severe soy allergies. The studies which say soybean oil does not present a health risk because it does not contain the proteins to present a reaction did not use participants anaphylactic to soy. They used people allergic to soy, with IgE levels not high enough to risk death. People with anaphylaxis are usually excluded from such studies due to the risk of death, therefore no conclusive evidence exists for those severely allergic to soy or a history of anaphylactic shock from soy.
Currently, certain medical professionals stand by this study and base their recommendations on it. Yet, the more sensitive individuals within the soy allergy community are suffering and attempting to 'dodge a bullet' at every meal.
Other studies prove that transgenic soy or genetically modified soy contains similar proteins to other major allergens such as Brazil Nuts.
Soy shares a similar structure to peanut proteins which also presents a very high cross-reactivity risk for those with peanut allergy.
People have died from cross-reactivity reactions. Labeling foods for soy derivatives in foods and medications is a matter of life and death for some and will provide a higher quality of life for others.
Right now, pharmacies across the USA only flag medicines with 'soy' in the ingredient, which is highly inaccurate; many of us with anaphylaxis to soy get severe allergic reactions from medicines with stearate, glycerine or other soy-based derivatives. Many people take these medications thinking that the FDA labels for soy, but many people with soy allergy do not know derivatives are not labeled and then end up suffering.
Please mandate labeling for soy in food industry products in the Draft For Industry: Food Allergy Labeling Exemption Petitions and Notifications. We are reacting to aluminum cans which use soy-based adhesives inside the cans and are not labeled for soy as well as soy-derived citric acid.
There are over 600 members on the Soy Allergy Board on Facebook and many, many more who are not a part of this online community. If someone could take the time to read through these boards or the soy allergy blogs online, you will have an idea of the scope of what severe soy allergic people endure on a daily basis.
Please help make this country safer for those of us with a severe life-threatening allergy to soy by changing the Food Allergy Labeling Law to include all soy derivatives for foods and medicines.
- Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration
Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D.
Please mandate food allergy labeling to include all soy derivatives in foods and drugs and any ingredients that are in any way soy-derived.
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