|In My Opinion
The Dark Side of Soy
should soy be banned from Horse Feed?
One of the challenges with the issue the Chemical Contamination of what we eat, and what we eat eats, is that it can be very complex. The Chemical Industry works hard to complicate what are very simple questions. Do you want to eat food that is sprayed with toxic Weed Killer? Do you want your animals to eat food that is sprayed with toxic Weed Killer?
You get to decide. It is not something that a politician who takes money from the Chemical Industry should decide nor is it something that a bureaucrat who is heavily lobbied and influenced by the Chemical Industry should decide. It should be a personal choice.
One of the areas I have been investigating is the increased presence of Chemical Contaminated Soy in horse feed. If you feed your horses a complete feed it may be that your Feed Mill has quietly slipped Contaminated Soy into the mix as one of the main ingredients. While the inclusion of this cheap source of protein may be good for the Feed Mills' financial statements, management bonuses and employee profit sharing the question I wonder about is, is it the right thing for our horses?.
Three issues. The first is that not only is Soy a GMO crop that is sprayed repeatedly sprayed with Chemical Weed Killer but for some reason Soy seems to uniquely absorb and retain the chemicals. My experience has been that Soy consistently tests high for Glyphosate and Arsenic.
Secondly, because Glyphosate is a Chelating Agent the life sustaining minerals can be blocked from absorption by the plant which results in compromised mineral levels. In addition, any minerals cosmetically added to the feed may not be absorbed by the horse because of the chelating effect in the digestive system reducing the bioavailability of the minerals.
Thirdly, as the Seralini studies show, one of the active elements in the most common Agricultural Weed Killers is Arsenic. Arsenic is a Heavy Metal that is antimicrobial (digestive issues) as well as capable of damaging both the liver and the kidneys resulting in a multitude of systemic issues. The co-toxicity of Glyphosate and Arsenic is especially brutal as the Glyphosate binds with the Arsenic and delivers it directly to the Kidney resulting in Chronic Kidney Disease. In the following chart the products that are preceded by R are Roundup product. The red bars show the levels of Arsenic (As) present in the formulas.
Human studies showing the dark side of soy date back 100 years, says clinical nutritionist K. Daniel, author of The Whole Soy Story (New Trends, 2005). 'The 1999 FDA-approved health claim pleased big business, despite massive evidence showing risks associated with soy, and against the protest of the FDA's own top scientists. Soy is a $4 billion [U.S.] industry that's taken these health claims to the bank.'
Despite what the FDA and other badly broken and compromised Regularity Agencies say, some of the concerns that researchers have about soy include
* High levels of phytic acid in soy reduce assimilation of calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc. High phytate levels may cause growth issues in young horses as it does in children.
* Trypsin inhibitors in soy interfere with protein digestion and may cause pancreatic orders. In test animals soy containing trypsin inhibitors caused stunted growth.
* Soy phytoestrogens disrupt endocrine function and have the potential to cause infertility and to promote cancer in adult women. Could be the same for fillies and mares.
* Soy phytoestrogens are potent antithyroid agents that cause hypothyroidism and may cause thyroid cancer. In infants, consumption of soy formula has been linked to autoimmune thyroid disease.
* Vitamin B12 analogs in soy are not absorbed and actually increase the body's requirement for B12.
* Soy foods increase the body's requirement for vitamin D.
* Fragile proteins are denatured and destroyed during high temperature processing to make soy protein isolate and textured vegetable protein.
* Processing of soy protein results in the formation of toxic lysinoalanine and highly carcinogenic nitrosamines.
* Free glutamic acid or MSG, a potent neurotoxin, is formed during soy food processing and added to many soy foods.
* Soy foods contain high levels of aluminum which is toxic to the nervous system and the kidneys.
It is my belief that in order to protect health, animals should be fed Species Specific, Biologically Appropriate Feed. In my mind, soy meets neither of these criteria.
Unfortunately for our horses they are lumped into the same category as Slaughter Animals. Feeds that some think are okay for chickens, hogs and cattle that are slaughtered at 6 weeks, 6 months and 18 months may not be the best choices for horses whose lives may span three decades.
The Feed Mill Industry is highly unregulated. In some areas, what regulations do exist may be ignored as a certain chumminess can develop between the people operating the Feed Mills and the supposed Regulators. Having regulations and enforcing regulations are two different things. Some people think that if you are concerned about protecting the health of your horse extreme caution is advised when dealing with Feed Mills. Their commercial interests may not be in the best interest of your horse.
So, should soy be banned from horse feed? With all of the problems with soy, there are some real issues with feeding soybean protein to horses, according to Jack Grogan, CN, vice president of research and development at Uckele Health & Nutrition in Blissfield, Mich. "Soy protein by itself can directly interfere with hormonal balance and be pro-inflammatory, increasing the metabolic stress load and affecting immune function," he said. "We feel feed enhancers that use soy protein are not in the horse's best interest." Isn't that a kind way of putting it? Not in the horse's best interest.
Dr. Mark DePaolo of Pilot Point, Texas, a trusted Equine Vet says, For your horse to be as healthy as possible you should be vigilant in eliminating any and all forms of soy from the feed and supplement that you give. He goes on to explain that there is only one reason that soy is in horse feed. Because it is the cheapest form of protein available. Since almost all soy is Chemically Contaminated with Agricultural Weed Killers, Common Sense tells me that the potential co-toxicity of Glyphosate, Arsenic, Oxalates, POEA and other elements could potentially result in a cascade of health issues including allergies, diarrhea, malabsorption syndrome, colic and irritable bowel syndrome. For many of these conditions, by the time you know about it, much of the damage has already been done and it is too late.
Over the years I have become a big believer in the Precautionary Principle. What I do know is that whenever I see a horse being fed Soy that I will also see high levels of Glyphosate, high levels of Arsenic, high levels of Aluminum, a strong likelihood of organ damage and a cascade of health issues. In the best interest of my horses I will not be feeding any soy to them. While it may be right for slaughter animals, to my way of thinking, it is neither Species Specific nor Biologically Appropriate for horses.
That's just my opinion. You get to decide for yourself and your horses.
NO Conflict of Interest
I hereby certify that I have no affiliations with or involvement in any organization or entity with any financial interest in the subject matter, nor do I profit personally. Ross Buchanan