The National Toxicology Program (NTP) Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction (CERHR) convened an expert panel on December 16–18, 2009 in Alexandria, VA to evaluate available scientific data on soy infant formula, which often is used as a supplement or replacement for human or cow milk. The 14-member, independent, scientific panel considered existing scientific evidence that soy formula or its isoflavone components might cause adverse effects on human development.
In 2006, NTP evaluated soy formula and the isoflavone genistein, but did not complete the analysis or issue a final opinion on this topic. Since that time, a substantial number of new publications have been published regarding the matter.
At this latest meeting, the panel expressed “minimal concern” for adverse developmental effects in infants fed soy infant formula. The panel also identified gaps in available scientific data and suggested areas of additional research.
NTP will solicit public comment on the expert panel report and a draft brief is tentatively scheduled to be released for public comment in March, followed by a peer review by the NTP Board of Scientific Counselors in May. NTP will then finalize its conclusions on soy infant formula and release the NTP monograph containing the NTP brief, expert panel report and public comments.
Information about the CERHR evaluation of soy infant formula is available at: http://cerhr.niehs.nih.gov/chemicals/genistein-soy/SoyFormulaUpdt/SoyFormula-mtg.html.