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Interesting Information: Dangerous Cross Reactivity: Soy/Peanuts

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Interesting Information:  August 4, 2012

Dangerous Cross Reactivity:  Soy/Peanuts

This information on cross reactivity is from Kaayla Daniels, writing in WISE TRADITIONS, the journal of the Weston A. Price Foundation, summer 2012.  (Daniel’s book THE WHOLE SOY STORY is the work of someone who has the credentials to read and understand soy studies and the talent to explain the dangers of soy to us in ways we can understand easily, and I will write an essay on it soon.)

Here’s where you can read the article on cross reactivity in full:  http://www.westonaprice.org/soy-alert/the-soy-ling-of-america-second-hand-soy-from-animal-feeds.

The main article is about the amounts of soy showing up in the meat of animals fed a lot of soy and, of course, in eggs.  This has been a worry for me since I read THE WHOLE SOY STORY.  Soy is filled with all kinds of chemicals that are not healthy for people.  And, no, Asians don’t eat all that much soy.  Besides, soy tastes nasty, bitter, and no matter what industry has done, it has not been able to lick this problem or to prove that soy is healthy.  I don’t feed my chickens any soy, so our eggs are soy-free.  If you eat soy, limit it to small amounts of fermented soy:  miso, tempeh, and natto (which you are unlikely to like as it is an acquired taste.)  Tofu is NOT fermented.

The sidebar article, though, is the one I think you should read if you have a peanut allergy or a tree-nut allergy–because you might be subject to a dangerous, if not fatal, allergic reaction to any soy you might eat–and remember that industry is putting soy into everything it can and is padding meat (hamburger, hot dogs, roasted chickens, etc.), so you could eat soy without knowing it.  If you are eating fast food, you most certainly are eating soy.

The title of the sidebar article is “The Odwalla Chocolate Protein Monster:  The Little Known Soy/Peanut Allergy Connection.”

Back in April of this year, four consumers drank Odwalla’s Chocolate Protein Monster and had severe allergic reactions.  The product was recalled.  Contamination from peanuts was ruled out, so experts started looking at cross reactivity as the cause.  Soy and peanuts are members of the grain-legume botanical family, so people allergic to one are, Daniels writes, “often allergic to the other.”  The Odwalla drink contained soy protein.

Daniels writes that “severe reactions to soy were once rare.  Today they are increasingly common, and pose especially high risks to children already afflicted with peanut allergies.”  In 1999, four children in Sweden died of the soy/peanut link.  Other risk factors include “other food allergies, a family history of peanut or soy allergies, a diagnosis of asthma, rhinitis or eczema, and/or a family history of those diseases.”  Researchers “found it took only a tiny, almost indiscernible, amount of soy to create a severe and even life-threatening reaction in susceptible individuals.”  Worse, they found that “severe allergic reactions could happen suddenly and unexpectedly to people with no known soy allergies.”  The Swedish National Food Administration issued warnings.

Daniels laments the fact that Sweden’s warning has “not been publicized much in the U.S.  Indeed, the Soyfoods Association of North America–and even many allergy support groups–recommend soy nut butter and soy nuts for children allergic to peanuts and tree nuts.  As a result, few people have heard of the deadly soy/peanut connection, and numerous adverse reactions have been reported.”

Daniels chronicles several deaths to this cross reaction here in the U.S.

But, why is this severe reaction happening now?

Daniels answers:  “The main reason appears to be the increased number of allergenic proteins found in genetically modified (GMO) soy.”  Apparently, genetic engineering of soy has produced a soy allergen that is “41 percent identical to a known peanut allergen, ara h 3.”  This new allergen is “recognized by 44 percent of peanut allergic individuals.”  And, in the U.S., “90 percent of soy now contains these new proteins, chemicals and allergens.”  (I think almost 100 percent of the soy crop is now GMO–I have to check that fact.)

As soy ingredients are now in “60 percent of processed or packaged foods and nearly 100 percent of fast foods,” writes Daniels, not issuing a warning “is simply irresponsible.”  And, here’s a devastating piece of information:  “Not surprisingly, the reason appears to be the usual principle of profits over people.  According to Robyn O’Brien [AllergyKids website], “`Leading pediatric allergists and researchers have been funded by the agrichemical corporation responsible for engineering these proteins, chemicals and toxins into soy.'”

Note that soy has not yet been identified officially  in the Odwalla Chocolate Protein Monster case, so Daniels is asking that we all make a “concerted grassroots effort to share this information with as many people as possible.”


PS:  Odwalla drinks are not really a health drink.  Their juices are pasteurized, so all the goodies are killed.  Mostly, you’re just drinking sugar and lots of it.  If you want to drink more veggie juices, get a good juicer.  I wrote about mine here on this blog.  Limit all fruit juices to the barest minimum–the sugar loads are just too great.  There are, surely, better sources of protein than an industry-produced Odwalla drink.

2 Responses

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  1. The same thing happened to my 6 year old daughter. She is highly allergic to peanuts and treenuts. She had a severe anaphylactic reaction after having a few sips of Shaklee’s Cinch Vanilla “non-GMO ” soy isolate protein shake. The shake mix tested negative for peanuts and treenuts. She never had a problem w/ soy before this incident and now is testing positive IgE 73 for soy. (433 IgE for peanut). She did pass a soy milk challenge (she did get 2 hives on her lip). It’s almost as if this reaction triggered a soy allergy. Very scary. We’ve cut soy out of her diet.

    Megan Hopkinson

    November 27, 2012 at 11:19 pm

    • Cutting out soy would be a really good idea for everyone in your family. It is not safe, despite industry hype claiming it is healthy. I will be writing on the soy myth next, using Kayla Daniels work on soy. She has a great blog and Weston A. Price has lots of good info on soy for you to eat. Louisa


      November 28, 2012 at 10:48 am

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