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Ministry Of Health Warnings On Soy Formula Ignored

21 March 2002

Hon George Hawkins
Minister of Police
Green Party Health spokesperson Sue Kedgley says she is shocked that a review of baby formula has ignored Ministry of Health suggestions to put warning labels on soy-based formula.

"I am astonished that the Australian New Zealand Food Authority is going against a Ministry of Health submission that parents should be told not to use soy infant formula except on advice of a health professional.

"It is incredible that ANZFA has brushed off expert advice from the Ministry and decided to allow soy formula to remain on sale without any cautionary labels at all."

Ms Kedgley said the decision made nonsense of ANZFA's review, which was supposed to protect the health and safety of formula fed infants, and ensure that people have adequate information about infant formula products.

"I therefore call on ANZFA to reconsider their decision that no extra labelling will be needed for soy-based formulas.

"This conflict shows what can happen now that New Zealand has handed control over our food to the bureaucrats sitting in Canberra. They treat New Zealand as just another Australian state.

"It is vital that parents are made aware of scientific findings that soy infant formula floods the body with a high amount of phytoestrogens that could affect the sexual development of infants; potentially causing girls to enter puberty earlier than usual and retarding physical maturation in boys."

An American study found that babies fed on soy formula consume phytoestroens at six to 11 times the level (on a body weight basis) that causes changes in women's menstrual cycles.


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