Position Papers


ENSA Position Papers

ENSA’s response to the ANSES report on the dietary exposure of children under three years of age to chemical substances

Brussels, 11 October – A recent report published by French agency ANSES presents the results of the agency’s study on the dietary exposure of children under three years of age to chemical substances. One of the outcomes of the report is that the risk of consumption of isoflavone genistein, which occurs in soy-based products, cannot be ruled out. The report recommends that the consumption of soy-based products by children under three years of age be limited. The European Natural Soy
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ENSA position on WHO guidelines on free sugars intake

 On 4 March 2015, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has published a new report entitled ‘Guideline: sugars intake for adult and children’, which advises to restrict ‘free sugars’ in the diet to less than 10% of the total energy intake. The WHO is concerned that an increasing intake of ‘free sugars’ in the diet is associated with increases in body weight due to excess energy intake. ENSA would like to express its concerns regarding the discrimination of food products which
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ENSA position on FAO report on the evaluation of dietary protein quality

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has just published a new report entitled ‘Research approaches and methods for evaluating the protein quality of human foods’, in which several methods are presented for measuring protein digestibility of commonly eaten foods. In this light, ENSA – the European Natural Soyfood Manufacturers Association – would like to express its views on the report and stress the importance of recognising the high quality of soy protein. Up to now, the
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ENSA position on the Finnish Tax on Sweets

Late September 2014, the Finnish Government announced that it will not be putting to action the raise of the tax on sweets for 2015 agreed upon earlier in budget negotiations. The tax raise had been re-evaluated after the frame decision and the autumn budget negotiations. The Government also said that the preconditions for the possible implementation of a sugar tax would be re-evaluated. In 2013, a Government-appointed working group found that there were no grounds for the adoption of a
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ENSA Response: SACN draft carbohydrates and health report – scientific consultation

Response from ENSA on the draft carbohydrates and health report, which was open for consultation until the September 1st 2014. ENSA would like to highlight its concerns regarding the exclusion for lactose from milk and milk products in the setting of intake recommendations of sugars. Such an exemption may directly and indirectly lead to misinformation and discrimination for food products which are nutritionally equivalent to milk and milk products, such as soy drinks and other soyfoods. ENSA response – SACN draft
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ENSA statement on the opinion issued by Anses in France on drinks of babies

The French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health Safety (Anses) has issued an opinion on the risk related to the use of drinks other than mother’s milk and the substitutes to mother’s milk in the feeding of babies from birth until 1 year. The Anses study clearly states that none of the 211 drinks identified utilizes the name “infant formula” or “follow-on formula”. Anses only states that “some of these products are labelled suggesting a possible use in young
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ENSA position paper on GMO and GMO-free labelling

  European consumers have shown and still show a clear preference for non-GMO products. In addition to the concerns about the consequences of GMOs on human health, the impact of GMOs on the environment is a concern, in particular their effect on biodiversity and existing species. ENSA members have made a clear choice to use non-genetically modified crops of soy beans and are committed to providing healthy soy food made from GMO-free soy beans. It is therefore essential that consumers
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ENSA Insights – Soya and Bones

Healthy Bones Bone tissue is a very dynamic tissue, continuously remodelling itself through bone formation (by osteoblastic cells) and bone resorption (osteoclasts). During growth, bone accretion is higher than bone resorption, allowing the bone mass to increase. Between the ages of twenty and twenty-fi ve, this process is completed and a person’s ‘peak bone mass’ is normally reached. Peak bone mass is the maximum bone mass achieved in life. After this, for a certain period of time (30 to 50 years) there is a
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SAC Position Papers

SAC Position Paper – Soyfoods, glycemic control and diabetes

Diet is thought to play a key role in preventing the onset of type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) and in helping to mitigate the risk of chronic diseases for which people with DM are at an increased risk. For example, a meta-analysis by Lee et al.1 that included 14 observational studies found that the pooled odds ratio (OR) for DM in vegetarians compared with non-vegetarians was 0.726 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.608, 0.867). Furthermore, subgroup analysis indicated that vegans had
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SAC Position Paper – Soyfoods and Diabetes

According to a recent meta-analysis of observational studies, a high intake of soy, compared to a low intake, was associated with a 13% lower risk of developing T2D.iii However there are inconsistent findings among these types of studies. Some studies show benefits, while others find no advantages. A few reasons for these discrepancies have been proposed such as differences in quantities of soy consumed among the different population groups (low intake in US cohorts versus Asian cohorts). At this point,
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SAC Position Paper – Soyfoods and their impact on prostate cancer

Prostate cancer is a disease that often remains undiagnosed in men because of the lack of symptoms. However for some, the cancer can grow quickly and spread to other parts of the body. It is not entirely clear why some men develop prostate cancer and others don’t; however, it is known that genetic and environmental factors play a role in the development of this disease. Although some of these risk factors can’t be changed, such as getting older and having
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SAC Position Paper – Soyfoods, A Source of High Quality Protein

Protein is an important nutrient needed for the growth and repair of all body cells including organs, muscles, tissues, skin and hair. It’s also required for hormones, enzymes and bodily fluids such as blood. All proteins are made up of chains of amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Our body requires 20 amino acids to function properly and of these 9 are considered ‘essential’, or ‘indispensable’, as they cannot be made by the body. These must
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SAC Position Paper – Fats, Soyfoods and Heart Health: Making Sense of the Evidence

For many years scientists have recognised the important role diet plays in maintaining a healthy heart. Much of the focus has been placed on reducing dietary saturated fat – also thought of as ‘unhealthy’ fats – and this still remains a key recommendation today. However new research has provided a much better understanding of the effects of different dietary fats on heart health and so the simple message of ‘reducing saturated fat’ may no longer be appropriate; replacing saturated fats
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SAC Position Paper – Soyfoods in East Asia – What’s really eaten?

Soyfoods have been an important part of many East Asian diets for centuries and continue to be enjoyed to this day. But how much and what types of soyfoods are actually eaten in these countries? Interestingly, different countries, and even regions within the same country, can have a markedly different intake of soyfoods. SAC Position Paper – Soyfood intake in East Asian countries – EN SAC Position Paper – Soyfood intake in East Asian countries – FR SAC Position Paper
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SAC Position Paper – Diet and Lifestyle Measures to Counterbalance Age-related Sarcopenia

Sarcopenia is part of the natural process of ageing. It happens to all of us. How soon it occurs, and to what extent, depends on a number of factors. The good news is a number of these factors are within our control. Age-related sarcopenia is the loss of lean muscle mass, strength and/or muscle function associated with advancing age. Between the ages of 40 and 80 years around 30 to 50% of muscle mass can be lost. After the age
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SAC Position Paper – Plant based diets for a healthy heart

Plant-based diets, which are mostly or completely made up of plant foods, are becoming more and more popular because of the benefits they bring to both our health and the health of the planet. While there are many advantages to plant-based eating, one particular benefit, where the evidence really stands out, is in keeping our hearts healthy. SAC Position Paper – Plant based diets for a healthy heart (PDF)

SAC Position Paper – Soyfoods and Cognitive Health

Everyday tasks we take for granted such as thinking, remembering, reacting, paying attention, recognising people and our environment are collectively known as cognitive functions. As we get older some of these processes maybe effected as our brain undergoes natural structural and functional changes. However the extent of these changes will vary from one individual to another. The term Dementia describes a group of cognitive symptoms that get worse over time including loss of memory, mood changes, and problems with communication and
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SAC Position Paper – Soyfoods and the Endocrine System

  The endocrine system is made up of a number of glands that produce and secrete hormones into the bloodstream. These hormones regulate various physiological functions including metabolism, growth, sexual function and development. Anything that can alter the function of the endocrine system may consequently have an impact on an individual’s health. The effect of soyfoods on the endocrine system has received a great deal of interest mainly because soybeans are a source of isoflavones. Isoflavones belong to a group of compounds called phytoestrogens
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Individual contributions from SAC members

Individual contributions from SAC members – No Difference Between the Effects of Supplementing With Soy Protein Versus Animal Protein on Gains in Muscle Mass and Strength in Response to Resistance Exercise

Much attention has been given to determining the influence of total protein intake and protein source on gains in lean body mass (LBM) and strength in response to resistance exercise training (RET). Acute studies indicate that whey protein, likely related to its higher leucine content, stimulates muscle protein synthesis to a greater extent than proteins such as soy and casein. Less clear is the extent to which the type of protein supplemented impacts strength and LBM in long-term studies (≥6 weeks). Therefore, a meta-analysis
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