Published on July 2nd, 20141
Are Hobby Lobby and Eden Foods Guilty of Hypocrisy?
Was Hobby Lobby’s Supreme Court victory this week a triumph for religious freedom or a blow against women’s rights? Let’s allow that debate to rage elsewhere and focus here on how Hobby Lobby– and Eden Foods, a natural food company that shares Hobby Lobby’s religious values — appear to be guilty of hypocrisy.
Hobby Lobby has proudly stood up for “Christian values” yet manufactures many of its products in China, a country notorious for abysmal factory conditions, serious labor rights violations and a history of population control through forced abortion, infanticide and involuntary sterilization. Leslie Marshall, a born-again Christian and radio host, summed up the hypocrisy issue well in US News and World Report when she asked, ‘What would Jesus do?’ and concluded “He would remind Hobby Lobby that ‘he that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone.’ Hobby Lobby should put its stones down.”
Another company that needs to put its stones down is Eden Foods The company bills itself as the “oldest natural and organic food company in America” and is best known for its EdenSoy line of organic soy milk. Many health-conscious consumers think this company walks on water because of its line of organic and mostly vegan products, and its good work combatting GMOs.
Like Hobby Lobby, Eden filed a lawsuit against Kathleen Sibelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, and other government parties associated with the Obama administration’s rule on contraception. The lawsuit claimed the contraception rule violates Eden Foods owner Michael Potter’s religious freedom under the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act by requiring him to cover contraception for his employees. Potter believes contraception “almost always involves immoral and unnatural practices.” Yet Eden is one of the top manufacturers of soy milk, a product with well-known contraceptive effects.
All soy milks — including organic soy milks — include high levels of the plant estrogens known as isoflavones. Over the past seven decades, scientists have linked isoflavones to reproductive problems in all animals tested, including the human animal. For women, soy contributes to anovulatory cycles and other symptoms indicative of infertility; for men it causes adverse effects on the quality and quantity of sperm. Thus people who would “be fruitful and multiply” are wise to minimize their soy consumption.
Even more importantly, Eden Foods also has a shabby track record in terms of supporting the good health of babies. In 1990 the FDA investigated after a two month old girl in California was hospitalized with severe malnutrition. Her parents had fed her EdenSoy brand soy milk instead of infant formula. Because of this and a similar incident in Arkansas involving the SoyMoo brand of soy milk, the FDA issued a warning on June 13, 1990 stating soy milk was “grossly lacking in the nutrients needed for infants.” The FDA asked — but has never required — all manufacturers to put warning labels on soy milks so that they would not be used as soy infant formula substitutes.
Since then, most brands of soy milk – but not EdenSoy – include warning labels in tiny print on their package. Below are three examples of the warnings printed on brands of soy milk found at Whole Foods Market.
Sadly, babies continue to be hospitalized and die because of EdenSoy and other brands of soy milk. At least four couples have been found guilty of the the deaths of their babies fed soy milk in lieu of infant formula. Many of these parents were health-conscious vegans who truly thought they were doing a good thing for their babies by choosing organic soy milk instead of commercial soy formula. The persistent myth that soy is a health food plus lack of proper warning labels on soy milk packaging led to these tragic deaths.
How many more unnecessary and tragic cases of malnutrition and deaths will occur before Eden Foods decides “better late than never” and takes this one simple pro life step?
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For more on the dangers of soy milk and soy infant formula, please read my book The Whole Soy Story: The Dark Side of America’s Favorite Health Food.