The Soy Agenda

A bit more on the soy agenda.

Jim Rutz provided blogosphere with a rich diet of comic material with his articles here and here.

In his articles there is a pattern of selectively quoting material and using questionable sources next to authoritative ones.

Just a couple of examples.

In the most recent article, he quotes an FDA report saying that there was immediate controversy regarding the FDA guidelines regarding the beneficial health consequences of soy. While it is true that there was controversy, this is true of all such regulations. He failed to provide the context and history of dietary guidelines which came in the next sentence in the FDA report:

This [controversy] came as no surprise to Elizabeth A. Yetley, Ph.D., lead scientist for nutrition at FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition . “Every dietary health claim that has ever been published has had controversy,” she says, “even the relationship of saturated fat to a healthy diet.”

Rutz later makes this statement: “…the FDA has encouraged Americans to eat 25 grams of soy protein a day as a way to prevent heart disease. This FDA health claim has doubled the consumption of soy protein in the U.S., yet was recently discredited when the American Heart Association changed its position on soy, now saying that soy does not lower cholesterol and does not prevent heart disease!”

It is true that the AHA did change its view on soy as prevention of heart disease. However, the organization did not advise people to avoid eating soy and even said “While the analysis of recent studies didn’t show any specific action of soy protein on heart risk factors, the authors said using soy protein products such as tofu, soy butter, soy nuts or some soy burgers could be beneficial. The reason is the high content of polyunsaturated fats, fiber, vitamins, minerals and a low content of saturated fat that could replace other high-fat proteins in the diet, the researchers noted. “Soy products may have benefits when replacing other foods such as hamburgers,” Sacks said. “Soy burgers have no cholesterol or saturated fat and have high amounts of fiber.”

So if the choice is a McDonald’s hamburger or a soy patty, go with the soy.

Post Christmas Stress Disorder (PCSD)

As a public service, I want to spread the word about Post Christmas Stress Disorder (PCSD) and remind folks that help is available. Just go easy on the soy nog…

Diagnostic Criteria for 311.5x Post-Christmas Stress Disorder

A. Four (or more) of the following symptoms have been present during the same two-week period and represent a change from previous functioning.

(1) refuses to take down Christmas decorations within one week after Christmas. (In chronic cases, leaves decorations up year round.) Note: In children, makes Christmas related requests year round;

(2) seeks out shopping opportunities on the day immediately following Christmas;

(3) depressed mood, more days than not (e.g., sings “Blue Christmas” repeatedly);

(4) vocal tics (e.g., “Ho, ho, ho”);

(5) compulsive Christmas related behavior (e.g., Wraps and unwraps presents even though no gift is inside);

(6) catatonic, expectant behavior (e.g., Stands for long periods of time, immobile, under mistletoe)…

To read the rest, go here

Soy boys = Gay?

Can soy formula make kids gay? A minister named Jim Rutz thinks so. In a WorldNet Daily article called, “Soy is making kids ‘gay'”, Rutz claims: “Soy is feminizing, and commonly leads to a decrease in the size of the penis, sexual confusion and homosexuality.” Soy formula is the blame, says Rutz, for the “rise in homosexuality.” And here I thought it was a shortage of tennis rackets and pillows needing a beating.

I researched this a bit and found some concern about mice but no adverse effects in humans. So if preventing nelly mice is your thing, go easy on the Soy Chow. For further information about the subject, read this and this and this. The summary of the latter article from the Journal of the American Medical Association says:

Long-term Effects of Soy-Based Formula on Health

Dietary phytoestrogens, including soy isoflavones, have been shown to influence hormone-dependent states. To determine whether exposure to soy-based infant formula is associated with long-term effects on health, especially reproductive health, Strom and colleagues evaluated adults aged 20 to 34 years who had participated in controlled feeding studies during infancy. Women who had been fed soy formula as infants reported slightly longer duration of menstrual bleeding and greater discomfort with menstruation. For more than 30 other general and reproductive health outcomes, however, no statistically significant differences were observed between the group of adults who had been fed soy-based formula as infants and those who had been fed cow milk formula.

You know though, I have been eating a bunch of soy protein in my Kashi cereal lately. Colors do look a little brighter, and I don’t say “dude” as much as I used to and I even think Cher sounds better (not looks better, that would require another type of substance). Perhaps, I should have a more open mind…

Soy and fathers of gay men?

A new study out today in the Journal of Amazing Facts sheds new light on the origins of homosexuality. The study by a team from the Univerity of Albigensia found that as infants, fathers of gay men were fed soy-based formula significantly more often than were the fathers of straight men. In other words, the weaning experience of the fathers of men in the study group significantly impacted the sexual orientation of their sons. No differences were reported for daughters.

In an interview, lead researcher, Dirk Tofusco, MD, commented, “So it really is the fathers fault, just not in the way we always imagined. We are postulating a paternal, hormonal transfer theory. Soy formula may demasulinize the fathers’ sperm thus leading to more feminine boys.”

Elsewhere, the government of France announced a crackdown on Soy Bars. The trendy hotspots serve soy-based drinks and have been blamed for the decline of masculinity of French men.

60 Minutes segment: Mother of fraternal twin boys a lesbian

In this 60 Minutes segment “Gay or Straight?” the mother of the young fraternal twins is a lesbian who was artificially inseminated to form a fatherless family. For some reason, I think I had heard this from some source that I cannot now find. The web story on the segment is available on the CBS News website. Dr. Michael Bailey disclosed this information today in response to a question from the audience at the Catholic University of America conference on sexual orientation. The 60 Minutes segment was shown to lead off the day.

While this fact alone does not invalidate potential biological explanations, it does call them into question as the only plausible explanation. In the interests of reporting the facts of the story, CBS News should have at least mentioned the context of the twins existence. Leaving aside this disclosure, ruling out parental influence in this situation flies in the face of what we know about how parents regard and treat fraternal twins. Parents often think of them and rate them on a variety of personality dimensions as more divergent than they actually are. It is entirely conceivable to me that a parent might take any temperamental difference and accentuate it (e.g., at 18 months of age, one twin’s desire for a Barbie while the other wanted a fire truck). This may not have happened routinely, of course I don’t know, but to rule it out requires the discounting of other well-established evidence.

Same-sex marriage conference at Catholic Univ. of America

I’ll write about this when I get back…


Columbus School of Law, Interdisciplinary Program in Law & Religion

The Marriage Law Project, Washington, DC 20064

What’s the Story? A multidisciplinary discussion of Same-Sex Marriage & Religious Liberty

Monday, December 11, 2006

8:30-10:00am Sexual Orientation, Gay Marriage and Child Well- Being: Understanding the Social and Behavioral Science Debate

Are people born gay? Is there a gay gene? Because social and behavioral scientists study the ways in which society’s understanding of human sexuality affects the daily lives of individuals and groups, social and behavioral science data are among the most important components of the SSM debate. A panel of leading experts will discuss what the latest identical- twin studies and other cutting-edge scientific research suggests about the origins of sexual orientation.

Scheduled panelists include:

Michael Bailey, PhD, Professor, Northwestern University

Bradford Wilcox, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of Virginia

Warren Throckmorton, PhD, Associate Professor, Grove City College

10:15-12:00 Human Sexuality, Catholic Teaching & Human Rights

Drawing on Scripture, tradition, and the natural law, the Catechism of the Catholic Church makes two points central to the marriage debate: 1) The equality of all persons rests essentially on their dignity as persons and the rights that flow from it: Every form of social or cultural discrimination in fundamental personal rights on the grounds of sex, race, color, social conditions, language, or religion must be curbed and eradicated as incompatible with God’s design (1935) and 2) All extra-marital sexual activity is forbidden (2351-2359). “Queer Theorists” the leading edge thinkers of the GLBTT (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, and transsexual) community take precisely the opposite view. They argue that any attempt to draw a distinction between the dignity of persons “who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies” (Catechism 2358) and their sexual conduct is at best, irrational, and, at worst, evidence of anti-homosexual hostility. So too with the traditional understandings of marriage, family, sex, gender, and sexuality.

Scheduled Panelists include:

Rev. Thomas Acklin, O.S.B, S.T.D, Ph.D, Director Of Counseling, St. Vincent Seminary

The Rev. Donald Paul Sullins, MDiv., PhD., Associate Professor, The Catholic University of America

David Crawford,PhD, Assistant Professor, John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family

1:30pm-3:00 – Send Lawyers, Lobbyists, and Lots of Money!

A panel on the financial and legal consequences for Catholic institutions when gay marriage and domestic partnerships become official state public policy. Because legalization of SSM is based on the premise that restricting marriage to opposite sex couples is a form of discrimination on the basis of sex or sexual orientation, one of the most significant dangers facing the Church is litigation that seeks to prove that Church teaching is discriminatory. If accepted, religious organizations will not only be forced to pay damages, but also the attorney fees of the plaintiffs who sue them. Because many states also take the view that discrimination by charitable organizations is against public policy, the Church will also face a sustained attack on its tax exempt status.

Scheduled Panelists include:

Marc Stern, Assistant Executive Director of the American Jewish Congress and Co-Director of its Commission on Law and Social Action

Anthony Picarello, Esq., President and General Counsel, The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty

Jordan Lorence, Esq., Senior Legal Counsel, Alliance Defense Fund

Robert Destro, Esq., Professor, The Columbus School of Law, The Catholic University of America

3:15-4:30 p.m. Religious Expression or Illegal Discrimination? Reports from the Streets

Scheduled Panelists include:

Paul Devin, Esq., Supreme Advocate, Knights of Columbus

Daniel Avila, Massachusetts Catholic Conference, Associate Director for Policy & Research

James Sweeney, Esq., Legal Counsel, California Catholic Conference