What Does “Soy Free” Really Mean?

When I first found out that I was allergic to soy, I would simply ask, “Is your product soy free?” If the answer was yes, I thought that was all I needed. WRONG.

Companies will not always tell you the truth. Some companies will do everything they can to present their product in the best light, even if that means that they do not tell you everything you need to know about the soy content in their product. In fact, many manufacturers have so many distributors of their products that they do not even know if their ingredients are derived from soy.

Is it because they don’t care that you could have a life-threatening reaction? Probably not. It’s more likely because they have no idea how dangerous it is to avoid fully disclosing the ingredients in their product. It is also likely that they believe they are doing the right thing by following FDA guidelines, which require very little disclosure about the soy content in a product.

I had an issue with a company a few weeks ago that makes widely known and dermatologist- recommended lotions and creams. I had called them a few months ago and they confirmed that their product was soy free. Last week, I emailed them, and they once again confirmed that their product was soy free. Then, I heard from another soyvivor that the same company told her that they could not tell her if the glycerin in the product was derived from soy.

I once again contacted the company, and while they continued to assert that their product was soy free, they also asserted that they could not guarantee that there was no trace amounts of soy and they could not guarantee that their glycerin was not derived from soy.

Bottom line: The term “Soy Free” is not regulated and means nothing, especially when it comes to non-food products.

It reminds me a lot of “organic” food. There are many ways to state that a product is organic, but unless it is certified to be organic, you cannot believe the claim. Unfortunately there are no requirements for labeling a product as “soy free” unless you are considering FDA guidelines, which are in my opinion virtually useless for those allergic to soy.

It is very important to always ask about specific ingredients when you call companies. For more information on calling manufacturers, read this post.

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