Soy is coming under attack more and more in health conscious circles as a genetically modified processed junk food masquerading as a health food. Some people think the addition of soy in an estimated 2,700 food products borders on criminal – including some criminals who have sued to get it out of their diets.
The Honorable Judge Harold Baker of the United States District Court for the central district of Illinois has ruled that litigation challenging the use of soy foods in Illinois prisons will go forward. In his September 9, 2011 ruling, Judge Baker denied motions by the State and Wexford Health Sources for a summary judgment in their favor, thus bringing the case closer to trial. The ruling emphasized the importance of scientific and medical testimony at the trial.
The trial’s six plaintiffs are represented by the Weston A. Price Foundation, a leading voice on the dangers of soy foods, especially when consumed in large amounts. Involved in this suit since June 2009, the Foundation is seeking an injunction against serving soy-laden meals to Illinois prisoners. The lawsuit claims that feeding of soy-laden food constitutes cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the eighth amendment to the Constitution, as well as a denial of plaintiffs’ liberty in violation of their due process rights under the fourteenth amendment to the Constitution.
The lawsuit also alleges that the private corporation and its private doctors, Wexford Health Sources, Inc. have been negligent in failing to provide adequate medical care to each of the plaintiffs who are suffering bodily injury and adverse health effects from being fed too much soy.
The use of soy in prison meals began when Rod Blagojevich was elected governor of Illinois in 2002. Beginning in January 2003, inmates began receiving a diet largely based on processed soy protein, with very little meat. In most meals, small amounts of meat or meat by-products are mixed with 60-70 percent soy protein; fake soy cheese has replaced real cheese; and soy flour or soy protein is now added to most of the baked goods.
Early in 2007, the Weston A. Price Foundation began hearing from inmates who were suffering from a myriad of serious health problems due to the large amounts of soy in the diet. Complaints include chronic and painful constipation alternating with debilitating diarrhea, vomiting after eating, sharp pains in the digestive tract, especially after consuming soy, passing out, heart palpitations, rashes, acne, insomnia, panic attacks, depression and symptoms of hypothyroidism, such as low body temperature (feeling cold all the time), brain fog, fatigue, weight gain, frequent infections and thyroid disease.
A related case in the Second Judicial Court for Leon County, Florida, seeks a class action against the Florida Department of Corrections, for use of large amounts of soy in prison meals.