Prison Diet Danger: Soy

Updates on Soy Lawsuits Here

Download pdf. copy of Prisoners’ Dietary Rights

AELE Monthly Law Journal
Bernard J. Farber
Jail & Prisoner Law Editor
841 W. Touhy Ave.
Park Ridge IL 60068-3351 USA
E-mail: bernfarber@aol.com
Tel. 1-800-763-2802
© 2007, by the AELE Law Enforcement Legal Center
Contents may be downloaded, stored, printed or copied
but may not be republished for commercial purposes.

Jail & Prisoner Law Section –July, 2007 *Prisoner Diet Legal Issues *ISSN 1935-0007 *Cite as: 2007 (7) AELE Mo. L. J. 301

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Courtesy of prisoners in a FL geriatric unit. Designed to show the horrific pain of excess soy diet.

Courtesy of prisoners in a FL geriatric unit. Designed to show the horrific pain of excess soy diet.

EXPERTS DENOUNCE HIGH-SOY DIET OF ILLINOIS PRISONERS

Too Much Soy Causes Serious Health Problems, Plaintiffs Claim

The Weston A. Price Foundation
Contact: Kimberly Hartke, Publicist For Immediate Release

Washington, DC, June 26, 2012 — Plaintiffs in the lawsuit Harris et al. v. Brown, et al., Case No. 3:07-cv-03225 have submitted testimony of four qualified experts confirming the claim that large amounts of soy in the prison diet can cause serious health problems. In 2004, the state of Illinois began using large amounts of soy in prison menus to save money and use less meat.

Sponsored by the Weston A. Price Foundation, a nutrition education non-profit foundation, the lawsuit claims that the soy being fed to the plaintiffs, in the amounts being fed to them, 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.

Plaintiff health 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

Public Health Expert Sylvia P. Onusic, PhD, submitted an analysis of prison menus showing that soy protein in prison meals approaches 100 grams per day, four times greater than the amount recommended by the Food and Drug Administration. Soy protein is added in large amounts to meat patties, meat mixes and sauces, and in smaller amounts to almost all baked goods. The soy in the prison food is a deliberate artificial manipulation using processed soy products, manufactured using highly technical process and toxic chemicals

Toxicologist Mike Fitzpatrick, PhD, provided evidence that even 50 grams of soy can cause thyroid problems, including thyroid cancer. Soy contains compounds called phytoestrogens, which depress thyroid function and cause endocrine disruption.

Physician David Brownstein, MD, submitted his opinion that the amount of soy fed to the plaintiffs is, to a reasonable degree of scientific certainty, responsible for causing their health problems, including gastrointestinal distress and bowel dysfunction, vitamin deficiencies (vitamins B12 and D) as well as thyroid disorders.

Laboratory analysis expert William Shaw, PhD, noted that soy protein has the highest oxalate level of any known food and that the prisoners are receiving hundreds of milligrams of oxalates per day. According to Shaw, virtually all of the plaintiffs’ health problems can be explained by their high-oxalate diet. The toxicity of oxalates is well established; oxalates can deposit sharp crystals not only in the kidneys, but in virtually every tissue and organ of the body, including joints, heart, blood vessels, teeth, gums, eyes, skin, brain, nerves, thyroid and thymus glands. Oxalates also block the absorption of many essential minerals, leading to malnutrition.

The defendants have responded by arguing that the Illinois prisoners receive only minimal amounts of soy protein in their diets.

“Presiding judge Harold Baker has stated the importance of scientific and medical testimony in the case,” says Sally Fallon Morell, president of the Weston A. Price Foundation. “We have provided both the science and the medical evidence and look forward to the next steps in this trial.

The Weston A. Price Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nutrition education foundation with the mission of disseminating accurate, science-based information on diet and health. Named after nutrition pioneer Weston A. Price, DDS, author of Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, the Washington, DC-based Foundation publishes a quarterly journal for its 14,000 members, supports 572 local chapters worldwide and hosts a yearly international conference. The Foundation phone number is (202) 363-4394, http://www.westonaprice.org,info@westonaprice.org.

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~ Letter to print/send to prisoners about dangers of high soy diets in prison ~

Effects of High Soy Diets 

There is a new trend across America to promote the introduction of more and more soy-based products (made from unfermented soybeans; not to be confused with the Asian use of fermented soybeans) into our diets. Claims are made that soy is a nutritionally sound alternative to everything from milk/ creamer and other dairy products to most meat products such as ground hamburger, hot dogs and pork just to give a few examples.

As this trend grows in our supermarkets, so it also grows in popularity in our prisons. Proponents of soy-based products sell it as a cost saving product that lowers fat content in foods. Even foods that are not outright replaced can be stretched and ‘enhanced’ by adding soy to them.  Think ground   soy-burger ravioli and tacos and you get the idea.

What is not being told is very much about the negative side effects that an excess of this refined and unfermented soy in a diet can cause. The refined soy being sold and widely used in the USA is not at all the same as the limited intake of fermented soy products used in Asia.  Little mention is made of facts about the neuro-toxin (brain damaging) chemicals that soy beans are first soaked in to be ‘refined’ or that these chemicals attach to the soy and are also being ingested with each serving of soy foods. Unfermented soy products do not have warning labels stating that they are extremely high in estrogen-like chemicals that are damaging to both males and females; that they can cause severe allergic reactions; that they can lead to long term brain damage.

Here is a little truth about high-soy protein diets and the health issues that can stem from a steady diet of soy based products and a brief outline of side effects that are common signs of soy allergies and indicators of too high of a soy intake in the diet.

** Soy has an extraordinary amount of estrogen in it – every 100 grams of soy protein you consume has as much estrogen as a high-dose birth control pill.

** Soybeans contain hemagluttins (hee-ma-glut-ins) which cause red blood cells to clump together. (Increases risk of blood clots)

** Soy contains goitrogens (goy-tro-jens), which can frequently lead to depressed thyroid function. (Goiter; Common symptoms include fatigue, weight gain, constipation, fuzzy thinking, low blood pressure, fluid retention, depression, body pain, slow reflexes)

** Most soybeans are genetically modified, and they contain one of the highest levels of pesticide contamination of all foods.

** Soybeans are very high in phytates (fy-tates), which prevent the absorption of minerals including calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc, all of which are needed in our bodies. Symptoms of iron deficiency symptoms include: fatigue, pallor, hair loss, irritability weakness and brittle or grooved nails. Zinc deficiency symptoms include dandruff, eczema, sleep disorders, white spots under finger nails and light headedness.

** Finally, in an effort to remove anti-nutrients (ingredients that block our bodies from being able to absorb minerals and nutrients properly) out of the final product, the soybeans are taken through a series of chemical processes including acid washing the soy in aluminum tanks. This leaches high levels of aluminum, a toxic heavy metal, into the final soy products. Many soy foods also have toxic levels of manganese. (Both lead to Alzheimer’s/Dementia)

Signs of severe soy allergy include tingling of your lips, swelling of your airways, breathing complications or rashes after consuming soy products. Anaphylactic shock is an allergic reaction that can be fatal within minutes, either through swelling that shuts off airways or through a dramatic drop in blood pressure.

Other side effects can include –

  • Gastro – intestinal problems, including diarrhea, cramping, excess gas, stomach pains and nausea.
  • Acne and other skin conditions, like eczema.
  • Itching or hives.
  • Swelling (bloating, swelling of feet, hands)
  • Nasal congestion, asthma, shortness of breath 
  • Canker sores or fever blisters in/around mouth
  • Conjunctivitis; pink eye
  • Fever, fatigue, weakness, and low blood pressure

How to recognize soy-filled products? This is extremely difficult to do and something that we here on the outside are helping with. Often times soy proteins are ground up in flour and other dry mixes and there is no way to taste/detect it.

We have found information concerning prison food vendors cutting costs and switching to more soy products; when we have more data about which vendors have increased use of soy products, which states and facilities might be effected we will send out the information out to you.

In the meantime, obvious forms of soy have been mentioned – more meat with odd texture/taste and sometimes “fillers” such as pieces of corn or grain can be seen. Anything low-fat or light – margarine, creamer or other dressings will be high in soy proteins. If you have access to vending machines on visiting days, beware of snack foods as many are filled with soy ingredients.

Other names for soy -Soya, soja, soybean and soyabeans,  Soy protein (isolate and concentrate), vegetable protein, textured soy flour (TSF), textured soy protein (TSP) and textured vegetable protein (TVP)

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~ Letter for Prisoners from Weston Price Foundation ~

Dear Prisoner,

Over the past two years, the Weston A. Price Foundation has received many letters from prisoners incarcerated in the Illinois Department of Corrections, and also from inmates in other states, concerned about the detrimental health effects of the soy-laden prison diet.

As you may know, the case of Harris et al. v. Brown, et al., Case No. 3:07-cv-03225 addresses this very issue. This case is being heard and is currently pending before the Honorable Harold Baker in the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois. We expect a trial in the latter part of 2011.

The case currently has eight plaintiffs. Our hope is to obtain a permanent injunction against serving soy in the prisons, so that in the end all prisoners—not just those involved in the lawsuit–would benefit by getting a soy-free diet. We expect that additional lawsuits will follow after the decision.

The right to a nutritionally adequate diet is guaranteed under the United States Constitution/Prison key Law 17: “Obligation of state to provide inmate with healthy environment includes obligation to provide nutritionally adequate food that is prepared and served under conditions which do not present immediate danger to health and well-being of inmates” (U.S. CONST. AMEND. 8” Key Note 8 RamosV. Lamm 639 F.2d 559 (1980).

In addition, the United States Supreme Court case of ESTELLE V.GAMBLE mandates adequate medical care. Key Note 6 Prison Key Law 17 states: “Government has the obligation to provide medical care for those whom it is punishing” ESTELLE V GAMBLE, 97 S. Ct. 285 (1976).

WHAT YOU CAN DO
Under the 1996 Prison Litigation Reform Act, each state prisoner is required to file a grievance and exhaust his grievance procedure all the way through to the end before he can bring an action in the federal court system. In fact, before any lawyer can help you, you must file your grievance, exhaust the grievance procedure and be able to present the proof. There may be prisoners versed in the law who can help you with these procedures.
These are the required steps each prisoner must take and have proof of to file a 42 U.S.C §1983 Civil Rights Complaint:
* File a grievance with the Grievance Counselor. Most state laws provide that the counselor has a specified number of days (14 days in Illinois) to give you a written response and return your grievance to you. If you do not get the grievance back in this specified time period, write the Counselor requesting to know why.
* The grievance must then be delivered to the grievance officer at the prison’s grievance committee. Again, most state laws provide that the grievance officer has a specified number of days (45 days in Illinois) to respond to your committee grievance. When the grievance officer returns your grievance, it will be signed by the warden and will include a typed-out response and an appeal form on the bottom. On this appeal form is the date the warden signed off on it.
* You should then appeal the warden’s decision to the Administrative Review Board for your state. If you do not send your appeal of the warden’s decision in the mail in the required time limit (30 days in Illinois), you have procedurally defaulted and cannot bring action in court as a state prisoner. DO NOT MISS THIS DEADLINE OF APPEALING THE WARDEN’S DECISION TO THE STATE REVIEW BOARD. You have a legal deadline here, as this is the 14th Amendment, and the 1st Amendment right to access the courts under the 1996 Prison Litigation Reform Act.
* Before submitting your appeal to the Administrative Review Board, make two copies of your grievance and the replies submitted by the counselor, the grievance office and the warden. Keep one with you and send one to a family member or friend for safe keeping. This is important because the facility in which you are incarcerated has a habit of “losing” your grievance.
* Mail the grievance (as legal mail) to the Administrative Review Board (ARB). The address for the ARB in Illinois is P.O. Box 19277, Springfield, Illinois 62794-9277. The ARB has 6 months to respond with an answer to your grievance.
* When you receive their response, again make two copies. Keep one with you and send one to a friend or family member for safe keeping. Attach a copy of the ARB’s written response to your copy of your grievance. You will need these papers for any civil action you file.

WHAT TO SAY IN YOUR GRIEVANCE
First, you need to specify the facts that have resulted in a deprivation of your right to adequate medical treatment. These facts must be specific to the person(s) involved, the dates, the times, the locations, and the specific conduct that you are grieving.
Second, you need to state how you were harmed by the specified conduct. Were you denied adequate medical treatment? Were you denied your ability to speak? Were you denied nourishing food? Are you experiencing pain or discomfort? Where? How often? Be as specific as possible with the type of harm that you have suffered from the conduct that you are grieving.
Third, specify the type of relief that you want. Do you want medications? Do you want more medical treatment? Do you want a specific type of food (such as a non-soy diet)? Specify what you want to make the grieving conduct stop.

You can cite the following cases in your grievance:
ESTELLE V. GAMBLE, 97 S.Ct. 285 (1976) (The Conditions of Confinement)
DURAN V. ANAYA, 624 F.Supp. 510 (1986) (Deliberate Indifference)
RAMOS V. LAMM, 639 F.2d 559 (1980) (Deliberate Indifference 8th Amendment)

OUTCOMES FROM FILING A GRIEVANCE
You are protected against retaliation for filing a grievance by the 14th Amendment of the United State Constitution under due process of the law.
If you are harassed by staff or medical personnel for filing a grievance or for requesting proper and adequate medical care, including a soy-free diet, you should immediately file a grievance for retaliation by staff, for exercising your constitutionally protected right to file a grievance, and seek redress in a court of law. You can cite the following cases regarding retaliation for filing a grievance:
BRIDGES V. GILBERT, 557 F. 3d 541,522 (7th Cir.2009) quoting BART V.TELFORD 677 F.2d 622,625 (7th Cir. 1982), “Prison officials may not retaliate against inmates for filing grievances or otherwise complaining about their conditions of confinement.”
WALKER V. THOMPSON, 228 F.3d 1005 (7th Cir. 2002)
DEWALT V. CARTER, 244 F. 3d 607(7th Cir. 2000)
BABCOCK V. WHITE, 102 F. 3d 267 (7th Cir. 1996)
CAIN V. LANE, 857 F. 2d 1139 (7th Cir. 1988)

MEDICAL EXAMINATION.
Some people are affected more quickly than others by the soy diet. Soy protein damages the thyroid gland, located in your neck. Your thyroid supplies the chemical signals to your liver and other digestive organs that make your body work right. A lot of prisoners suffer from a disease caused by eating soy. It is called hypothyroidism, and is easily detected by a blood test. Symptoms of hypothyroidism include weight gain, brain fog and fatigue.
If you suspect that you have thyroid disease due to the soy-based diet, request to have your thyroid hormone levels checked. You should request a test called a thyroid panel which measures the levels of three hormones in your blood: TSH, T-4, and T-3. If your TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) values are above 4.2, you need a soy-free diet and medical care to correct your bodily functions. Thyroid hormone treatment is required by taking a pill every day and not eating soy, as soy causes the disease. Eating soy will make the disease worse, especially if you are forced to eat it every day.
Request to buy a copy of your test results. This is your right. Be sure to make two copies of the test results. Keep one for yourself and send one to a family member or friend for safe keeping.
If you have a TSH value of over 4.2, you should request a soy-free diet for medical reasons. If you are not given a soy-free diet, you should file another grievance, following the procedures outlined above.
Even if you do not have abnormal TSH values, the State is required by law to provide you with a diet to sustain your health. However, it is vital to keep records of all your grievances, committee responses and medical records. You should also keep a personal log of your medical problems.

AFTER THE GRIEVANCE PROCESS.
If you have carried out the grievance process described above without results, please send copies of all your records to the Weston A. Price Foundation. Remember, without AN EXHAUSTED GRIEVANCE, no attorney can help you while you are in prison.

Once you are out of prison, you do not have to follow the Prison Litigation Reform Act rules. You will have two years to file a lawsuit. Again, it is very important to keep copies of all of your grievances and medical records.

DIETARY SUGGESTIONS
If possible, have your loved ones send you enough money to purchase commissary foods. Use your commissary money wisely to purchase healthy foods. Good choices include sardines, tuna, salmon, cheese, summer sausage, Spam (for vitamin D and healthy fats), beef, pork cracklings and plain rice. Avoid sweets, chips, sodas, etc. as these make you more vulnerable to the harmful effects of soy.

Sincerely yours,
The Weston A. Price Foundation
PMB 106-380, 4200 Wisconsin Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20016

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Courtesy of prisoners in a FL geriatric unit...

Courtesy of prisoners in a FL geriatric unit…

Soy protein is a cost-effective way to reduce fat and match or increase protein levels in a variety of meat products. These include:

  • Emulsified products:
    franks, bologna, sausage.
  • Coarsely ground/chopped meats:
    pizza toppings, chili, meat sauces, burgers/patties.
  • Whole muscle products:
    ham, roast beef.
  • School lunch/military food products
  • Canned products:
    chili, stew.
  • Analogues:
    ham or bacon crumbles.
  • Poultry and seafood products:
    breaded patties, shapes, rolls and loaves.
  • Frozen/refrigerated dietary meals

Soy Products Used Isolated soy protein is designed to replace a portion of salt-soluble meat proteins, bind fat and water, stabilize emulsions and ensure cohesiveness in finished cooked products. Soy protein concentrates contain a high concentration of protein providing dispersibility, solubility and emulsion properties. Both isolated soy protein and soy protein concentrate are designed to improve texture and provide a juicy and meaty mouth-feel. Soy flour and grits are used to retain moisture and reduce cost. Textured soy flour is used to develop textures and can be flavored depending on the application.

Soy Protein Functional Benefits

Meat, Poultry and Seafood Products

 Benefits

Soy Protein Products

 Isolated Soy Protein

Soy Protein Concentrates

Soy
Flour Grits

Moisture Retention

X

X

X

Replaces / Increases Protein

X

X

X

Acts as Adhesive / Cohesive

X

X

X

Entraps and Releases Flavors

X

X

X

Binds Fat and Water

X

X

X

Gelation

X

X

Stabilizes Fat Emulsions

X

X

X

Enhances Texture

X

X

X

Fat Reduction

X

X

X

For more information, contact: 2405 Grand Blvd., #700, Kansas City, MO 64108, 816-512-2355

SAMPLE FORMULAS

Sloppy Joe Filling

Ingredients %
beef (80 / 20) 42.18
textured soy flour (Ultra Soy*) 3.66
water 6.88
fresh onions, chopped 3.44
garlic powder 0.09
tomato paste 11.09
catsup 11.09
water 17.59
vinegar 3.44
dry mustard 0.09
black pepper 0.02
brown sugar 0.43

*Ultra-Soy QR800C(F) is a product of PMS Foods, Inc.

Directions:

1. Add 6.88% water to the textured soy flour. Let stand 10 minutes.

2. Add meat and brown.

3. Add onions and garlic powder. Cook for 5 minutes.

4. Add tomato paste, catsup, remaining water, vinegar, dry mustard, pepper and brown sugar. Mix well and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes.

5. Portion with #12 scoop (1/3 cup).

SOURCE: PMS Foods, Inc.

Chicken Nuggets
(Breaded, Cooked, Nugget-Shaped Chicken Patties)

Ingredients %
chicken breast meat 59.00
chicken skin 11.00
water 20.40
textured soy protein concentrate
(Response 4400*)
5.95
functional soy protein concentrate
(Promine DSP*)
1.90
seasoning salt 1.50
sodium phosphates 0.25

*Response 4400 and Promine DSP are products of Central Soy Company, Inc.

Directions:

1. Double grind skin through 1/8″ plate. Grind breast meat through 1/4″ to 3/8″ plate.

2. Prehydrate textured soy protein concentrate with about 3/4 of water amount.

3. Blend breast meat with phosphate, salt and a portion of the remaining water.

4. Add functional soy protein concentrate, remaining water, ground skin and seasoning. Mix until uniform.

5. Add hydrated textured soy protein concentrate and blend until uniform.

6. Batter, bread, flash fry and cook.

SOURCE: Central Soy Company, Inc.

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Mad Soy Disease

Source: Institute of Science in Society – Dr. Mae-Wan Ho

Senior scientists in the United States, who have studied glyphosate and glyphosate-tolerant GM crops for decades, identified more than 40 diseases linked to glyphosate, and the list is growing.

No cure for mad soy disease

They call it “mad soy disease” in Brazil, where it has been spreading from the north, causing yield losses of up to 40 percent, most notably in the states of Mato Grosso, Tocantins and Goias.

Like its namesake, mad cow disease, it is incurable.

This is the latest GMO fiasco to surface since our report on the meltdown in the USA (GM Crops Facing Meltdown in the USA, Science in Society Issue #46), China  (GM-Spin Meltdown in China, SiS Issue #47), and Argentina  (Argentina’s Roundup Human Tragedy, SiS Issue #48).

Mad soy disease has afflicted soybeans sporadically in the hot northern regions of Brazil in the past years, but is now spreading to more temperate regions in the south “with increased prevalence overall”, according to a US Department of Agriculture scientist.

The disease delays the maturation of infected plants indefinitely; the plants remain green until they eventually rot in the field. The top leaves thin out, and the stems thicken and become deformed. The leaves also darken compared to healthy plants; the pods, when formed, are abnormal with fewer beans.

Researchers have yet to find a cure for the disease, as they are still not sure what causes it. The prime suspect for spreading disease is the black mite found in stubble when soybean is grown in no-till production systems.

According to the USDA Global Agricultural Information Network, Brazil has 24 million acres planted to soybean, 78 percent of which are GM. Apart from mad soy disease; Brazil’s soybean is simultaneously afflicted by soybean Asian rust that first appeared in 2001-2002.  Producer groups are requesting the Brazilian Government Agency to speed up approval of more effective fungicide to combat the disease, which would have significant cost implications. But for mad soy disease, no cure is forthcoming. Mato Grosso, which alone produces nearly 30 percent of Brazil’s soybean crop, is among the states that have brought the issue of mad soy disease “to the forefront”.

US scientists identified more than 40 diseases associated with glyphosate and glyphosate-tolerant crops

Disease of GM soybean is no longer a surprise. Senior scientists in the United States, who have studied glyphosate and glyphosate-tolerant GM crops for decades, identified more than 40 diseases linked to glyphosate, and the list is growing (Scientists Reveal Glyphosate Poisons Crops and Soil, SiS #47). Glyphosate tolerant crops play a pivotal role in causing and spreading diseases, not only to the crops themselves, but also to other crops grown nearby or planted subsequently (Glyphosate Tolerant Crops Bring Diseases and Death, SiS #47).

The scientists warned of “dire consequences for agriculture.” Don Huber, recently retired from Purdue University, stated that the widespread use of glyphosate in the US can “significantly increase the severity of various plant diseases, impair plant defense to pathogens and diseases and immobilize soils plant nutrients rendering them unavailable for plant use.”

References
1. “Brazil battles spread of ‘mad soy disease”, Agrimoney.com, 5 October 2010,
http://www.agrimoney.com/news/brazil-battles-spread-of-mad-soy-disease–2316.html
2. “Mad soy disease hits Brazil farmers”, Kieran Gartlan, DTN Progressive Farmer19 August 2010, http://bit.ly/ajSdRA
3. Brazil, oilseeds and products update, record soybean planted area forecast for 2010-11 crop. GAIN /report, 9/29/2010, USDA foreign Agricultural Service, Global Agriculture Information Network, http://gain.fas.usda.gov/Recent%20GAIN%20Publications/Oilseeds%20and%20Products%20Update_Brasilia_Brazil_9-29-2010.pdf
 4. Ho MW. GM crops facing meltdown in the USA. Science in Society 46
5. Saunders PT and Ho MW. From the Editors: GM spin meltdown in China. Science in Society 47, 2-3, 2010.
6. Robinson C. Argentina’s Roundup human tragedy. Science in Society 48 (to appear).
7. Ho MW. Scientists reveal glyphosate poisons crops and soil. GM meltdown continues. Science in Society 47, 10-11, 2010.
8. Ho MW. Glyphosate tolerant crops bring diseases and death. Science in Society 47, 12-15, 2010.

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Soy Diet is Cruel & Unusual Punishment

NYTimes – “Florida prisons serve meals with 50 percent soy and 50 percent poultry three times a day, a mixture that costs half as much as using beef and pork, the Department of Corrections says. The cost per meal: $1.70 a day for each inmate. Florida prisons first began serving soy-based meals in 2009.

As an inmate at the Lake Correctional Institution, near Orlando, Mr. Harris, a former paralegal, has few culinary choices. He can eat 100 grams of soy protein a day, use his own money to buy food at the commissary or eat a vegan diet, he said in the lawsuit, which was filed in state court in Tallahassee and which The Orlando Sentinel reported onthis week.

Gretl Plessinger, a spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Corrections, said inmates can choose an alternative vegan meal if they do not want soy. “We have a constitutional obligation to feed them healthy, nutritious food, but we don’t have an obligation to feed them beef,” she said.

“Excessive soy can be toxic to the thyroid gland,” said Sally Fallon Morell, the president and treasurer of the Weston A. Price Foundation, a nonprofit group that advocates a diet of whole, largely unprocessed foods and food high in saturated fats, and is publicizing the lawsuit. “It can have hormonal effects.”

It turns out that Mr. Harris is not alone in his objection. Nine inmates at the Danville Correctional Center in Illinois filed a similar lawsuit there in 2009, which is pending. That lawsuit is being financed by the Price Foundation.

Prisoners who have soy allergies or other ailments are especially at risk, said Ms. Fallon Morell, who added that her organization has received hundreds of calls from inmates and their relatives in Illinois and Florida who complain about the ill effects from too much soy. Illinois switched to soy-based meals in 2004 to save money.

Ms. Fallon Morrell said Illinois prisons serve more than 100 grams of soy protein a day — much more than the 25 grams the government recommends. Story Continues

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Soy 4

12 Responses to Prison Diet Danger: Soy

  1. Pingback: High Soy Prison Diet Causes Serious Health Problems | A Solitary Torture

  2. moorbey says:

    Thank u 4 making me aware of thiz information that iz very important to our prisoner population. I will be making copies and get it sent out by tha weekend. Panther Love

    • MisBehaved Woman says:

      ​Really, really glad you can make use of the information. We tried to organize volunteers to flood prisons with the brochures I made 3-4yrs ago but when it came time to print and send, Steve and I ended up being the only ones doing a mass mailing. Most of our effort went to the guys in FL that original brought soy issues to our attention and not nearly as many prisoners were reached as we’d hoped. ​I know by now the problem has only spread so I hope to hell more people can be made aware and possibly get more lawsuits going nationwide.

      • moorbey says:

        I will repost as well. I appreciate Stevei’z and ur effortz to make tha prisoner’s aware, now I will help az well

      • john boitano says:

        as an inmate in the fdoc from 1-27-05 to 7-26-2013 i personally experienced the transition from a halfway healthy diet to the poison tvp. from the time they started serving tvp to us i complained to medical on regular basis that something was wrong in my stomach, iwas told it probably something i ate,duh! after two years of complaining to medical that something was terribly wrong in my stomach i was sent to an outside hospital an immediately diagnosed with a blockage in my colon that turned out to be a stage two tumor that had been growing in me . i developed this cancer from the gross amount of tvp that we were fed for breakfast, lunch,and dinner. during those two years of hell i went through,vommiting, severe stomach aches, headaches,loss of serious weight;passing out, all the time being told that i was faking it, given ant-acid pills and told that if i persisted in my complaints that i would be put in confinement. after two years of suffering i was found passed out on the bathroom floor and taken to medical, where a dr. finally ordered a bloood test,stat, ahen it came back that day hey rushed me to outside hospital, the doctor came in and told that the test showed a large blockage in my colon and they were going to operate on me first thing in the morning , that was a saturday night. well doc decided that they could get the operation done cheaper in jacksonville where they had deal with the hospital, so after taking a gallon of sani-flush to totally clean out my system for the operation doc put me in my prison blues that i had already soiled cuffed and shackled me for transport in a van with a cage 3ft by 3ft to jacksonville from zephyr hills which is about a 4 hr drive, do i need to describe what condition i was in when we finally got there? i was degraded and humiliated by the doc gaurds who showed no mercy. i was to out of it to even complain to any one at the time but i sure would to meet them today! the operation was performed two days later and they took a tennis ball sized tumor out of me which was cancerous. a couple of days later i had a chance to talk to the the surgeon and he stated that the tumor had been growing in me for about two years and wanted to know why i waited so long to have it taken care on, he also stated that he believed that that the tvp diet had alot to do with it. after a 3 day at the hospital i was transported to lake butler and put in general population where i was forced to carry a 30 lb mattress and told by a guard that if i complained that he would turn me upside down and bounce my head on the cement, that i was nothing but mf’n convicted felon. while at butler i had an opportunity to speak with a phycologist and i asked him how it was that the guards got away with treatin the inmates the way they do, he said ,yes it was abhorrible the treatment the inmates recieved i asked him why he didn’t let someone in talahassee know what was going on there, his answer was that the last guy that did that hAD his tires slashed the treatment that inmates recieve in fldoc is primevil the staff feels it their duty to further punish all inmates while incarcerated. i could go on and on about the things i personally experienced and saw with my own eyes but nobnody seems to give a damn. well anyway i tried to file a lawsuit so that no other inmates would have to suffer what i went through ,that was an exercise in futility as the state has a thousand hoops you must jump through to even get started .from my grievances getting lost in the mail to the office of risk management demanding my medical records to the medical director at zephyr fill c.i. refusing to give my medical records so that i could send them to the office of risk management they have this system set up to prevent law suits from being filed i know this because i spent a lot of time in the law library and speaking with other inmates who have tried to file suits with the state when i got out i contacted numerous attorneys to try and get them to take my case, but i got the same answer everywhere i turned, the state has set a two hundred thousand dollar limit law suits and that it cost more than that to go ahead with suit, not to mention that it takes years to get anything done so no one would take my case even though i would undoubtedly win, which i was told by every lawyer that read my case. if there are any class actions suits that moving forward out there i would like to know about them as i would like very much to put my two cents worth in. i would also like an answer to why the treatment of inmates is allowed to continue. is there somebody out there that cares?

  3. Pingback: Prison Diet Danger: Soy | Moorbey'z Blog

  4. John,
    I am so sorry to hear of all that you went through. The soy-filler diet is slowly spreading but it seems as if Illinois and Florida prisons were the ‘kick-off’ point for the trend. My husband & I took in thousands of letters over the course of 5 years and I cannot begin to count the numbers of letters that describe everything you laid out here in your comment. From the piss-poor medical treatment, the endless running in circles for the smallest of things…it makes me sick to know what happens inside – and how little people out here care is just…infuriating. People still don’t -Get It- yet. This ‘prison issue’ is going to hit nearly every damned family as the police state continues to morph into the full monstrosity it is going to inevitably become.

    As for the lawsuit – I did a search for the Illinois case tonight and found a pdf. that lists all of the actions taken so far.

    http://www.plainsite.org/dockets/2ci80104/illinois-central-district-court/harris-v–brown-et-al/

    In Florida – Weston Price has also agreed to push a class-action suit. This case seems to be a little more…iffy. The prisoner has already filed lawsuits about frivolous shit like video games so judges are already prone to rule against him according to a couple of the articles in the NY Times and Huffington Post. I don’t think WP will drop it though but it looks like any real, positive action is a hell of a long ways off. I found this link on their website and you might want to use it to contact them directly –

    “Florida inmates or taxpayers wishing to participate in the lawsuit should contact the Weston A. Price Foundation at info@westonaprice.org.”

    http://www.westonaprice.org/press/florida-prisoner-challenges-soy-laden-diet/

    I am not as involved as an advocate as I used to be. I danced too close with the wrong prisoners at got my knuckles rapped by the DoD/FBoP for my stupidity. At the same time, we took a hell of a financial hit and lost everything we had & just for a good kick-in-the-ass, my dad was diagnosed with mesothelioma and doesn’t have long to live. Advocacy work, meet the brick wall of Life.
    I’ve decided to take a hiatus until we could get things turned around again. On the financial front, I expect to be able to return to dedicating some of our resources to working/helping prisoners one-on-one within this next year. We were dropping several hundred dollars a month into the work before and I would dearly love to do so again. Yes, some of us damned well DO care just because we are humans.

    I’ve tried to keep up this blog but it’s been haphazard at best as we try to keep a roof over our heads. If you ever want to contribute to the blog as a co-author or write about your experiences here, you’d be more than welcome to do so. Forgive me if I am slow to reply at times; that financial upturn I mentioned requires a hell of a lot of hours on the road and there’s not a lot of free wi-fi in hell’s little 8 acres known as W. TX.
    You can also reach me via email – misbehavedwoman@gmail.com

    ~Rebecca

  5. Pingback: Prison Soy Diet Lawsuit Updates | A Solitary Torture

  6. Pingback: Food for Thought – From The Inside Out

  7. Iboomerang says:

    My son came out of a Florida prison with many health issues. Contacted an attorney who said he’d have to prove it was the prison food.

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