Neurotoxic pollutant Hexane used by leading natural soy brands
The Cornucopia Institute’s report called Behind the Bean reveals higher than expected levels of Hexane contamination in “natural” brand name soy products.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not set a maximum residue level in soy foods for Hexane.
A majority of infant formula makers routinely use Hexane-derived soy protein and DHA in their formulas.
Although organic sources are readily available from U.S. producers, over 50 percent of organic soybeans come from cheaper sources in China.
In November of 2008 a French farm cooperative found melamine up to 30 times the maximum levels allowed by authorities in 300 tons of organic soy meal imported from China.
The Cornucopia Institute report
While the comprehensive report details many problems with products within the healthy lifestyle category of products, it also spotlights unsung heroes supplying ethically-produced organic foods.
"Part I of the comprehensive report explores the reasons for asking these questions, including why organic consumers should be wary of Chinese imports, given the lax oversight by the USDA over organic certifiers working in China."
"Gardein™ is a Canadian company that produces meat analogs — soy-based “chicken” and soy-based “beef” — for popular brands and private labels. While the company describe its process for making these meat analogs as “pure and simple,” it does not mention that it starts with hexane-extracted soy protein.”
"Part II of the report exposes the “dirty little secret” of the “natural” soy foods industry: the widespread use of Hexane in processing. Hexane is strictly prohibited in organic food processing, but is used to make “natural” soy foods and even some that are “made with organic ingredients,” such as Clif Bars®. Hexane is a neurotoxin petrochemical solvent that is listed as a hazardous air pollutant with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)."
"The Cornucopia Institute sent a sample of hexane-extracted soy oil, soy meal, and soy grits to a registered independent analytical labora¬tory . While there was less than 10 ppm hexane residue in the oil, both the soy meal and soy grits contained higher levels of hexane residues. The soy meal contained 21 ppm hexane and the grits contained 14 ppm. These FDA and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) laboratory-approved tests raise important questions regarding the presence of hexane residues in everyday foods."
The Hexane process
- "Hexane is a petroleum chemical produced as a by-product of gasoline refining."
- "Hexane is used to process nearly all conventional soy protein ingredients and edible oils and is prohibited when processing organic foods."
- "Soybeans are bathed in hexane as part of their processing by food manufacturers."
- "Hexane is a neurotoxin chemical that poses serious occupational hazards to workers, is an environmental air pollutant, and can contaminate food."
- "Soy protein isolate and texturized soy protein (TVP) are made using Hexane baths."
- “The soy protein ingredients in most nonorganic foods such as vegetarian burgers and nutrition bars are processed with the use of Hexane.”
- “Products such as nutrition bars with the label “made with organic oats and soybeans” are required by law to have 70% organic ingredients — the remaining 30%, however, can legally be Hexane extracted.”
Significant environmental downside
Recent studies compiled in a report by the Union of Concerned Scientists clearly show that GM seeds do not produce higher yields and have created “superweeds” .
Over the last decade America’s farmers, promised higher-yields, replanted 92 percent of U.S. soy fields with GM seeds.
- "Soybean processing plants release hexane into both the air and water."
- "Hexane is considered by the EPA to be a hazardous air pollutant. It defines this as airborne compounds “that cause or may cause cancer or other serious health effects, such as reproductive effects or birth defects, or adverse environmental and ecological effects.”
- “In 2007, the last year for which data is available from the EPA Toxics Release Inventory, grain processors were responsible for more than two-thirds of all Hexane emissions in the United States, releasing 21 million pounds of this hazardous air pollutants.”
- “Solae, a major supplier of soy protein ingredients found in vegetarian burgers, energy bars, and other “all-natural” foods, emitted nearly one million pounds of hexane, as a pollutant, from its factories in Ohio and Illinois. Its plant in Bellevue, Ohio, is the nation’s seventh largest emitter of hexane, releasing more of this hazardous air pollutant than other major sources such as Exxon Mobil’s oil refinery plant in Baytow, Texas, and Firestone’s tire factory in Orange, Texas.”
Soy health fiction
On or shortly before one month of age, my son Aidan began experiencing violent reactions to the five different formulas with DHA. I accidentally bought a non-DHA formula and the symptoms stopped approximately 24 hours after using the non-DHA formula, if not sooner. (The Cornucopia Institute has more than 100 similar adverse reaction reports on file.)
In 2008 after a review of the latest scientific data, the president of the American Medical Association “strongly recommended” that soy be taken off the heart-healthy list.
The Institute call for Hexane-derived soy lecithin, algal DHA and fungal ARA oils to be removed from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National List of approved substances for use in organically labeled products.
Last month, based on a growing body of evidence, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine called for an immediate on all GM crops and GM foods.
The Cornucopia Institute: 978-369-6409 voice
To locate clean soy and non-GMO soy products named in the Cornucopia Institute’s report: http://www.cornucopia.org/2009/05/soy-report-and-scorecard/