continued Goodman's disgust is apparent in the ironic tones he uses to describe the situation. "I spoke with Naomi Baumschlag, a pediatrician on the faculty at Georgetown, and she's found that there's about 15 things that baby milk should have that soy-based formula doesn't have and about 15 things soy-based formula has that it shouldn't have. It's not the appropriate snack for a newborn baby. Of course, the government guidelines took teen levels of manganese that were able to be metabolized and back-extrapolated to the newborns! Which is great if you're playing dominoes or dice, where you can make linear back-extrapolations, but you can't do that with biological systems! So, of course, I interviewed the formula manufacturers and their scientists, and they said the predictable things: 'It'd be terrible if we didn't put manganese in,' and 'There's more reactions that are catalyzed by the manganese,' and all that kind of stuff. But the bottom line is, why the hell don't they reduce the manganese to the levels that it is in mother's milk? It may cost them a couple of cents to take it out, but then they could take out a few other things that are in soy-based formula. They should ask if they're feeding soybeans to human babies.
"We've been around a long time, and we've adapted to our mother's breast milk. Soy-based infant formula is a radical departure from the biological norm. The use of it has doubled in the last ten years, and the reason why it's so popular is because, allegedly, many babies are allergic to cow's milk. Soybeans are the great giant growth crop in the United States right now. Sales increased 23 percent last year. The female hormone that adult women take to allay the symptoms of menopause is available in soy milk, and it definitely has a biological action. Studies by our own government show that it may feminize males. That's the kind of stuff they don't want to put in print."
Insight is evidently willing to risk publishing Goodman's findings and more. "My editor wants to push for congressional hearings. He is a former secretary to the Committee on Foreign Relations, so he understands the machinery there.
"I've been talking with a fellow at the website Soybean.com, and he's going to post within a week a warning label that he's designed on soybeans for infants. The problem is, in the next two to three months the government is going to come out with new dietary standards for infants, and they're going to be essentially the same as they've been for 17 years: The baby has to get at least 5 micrograms of manganese, which is what the mother's milk provides, and there's no standards for increases. In plain English, you can put in as much as you want without breaking the government's rules. The six-month amount is 600 micrograms or 120 times what's required from the mother -- that's back-extrapolated. The FDA claims that there's not enough data on the manganese needs for the newborn, which is nonsense. It was probably lobbyists from the soybean industry that put those words in their mouths. There's been a lot of meetings and a lot of research, and it all points in the same direction. Perhaps there will be some kind of liability down the line. They've had 18 years to reduce it."
(Goodman's article is also available at Insight's website at www.insightmag.com/ archive/200106252.shtml.)