The sustainable and organic agriculture activist group Cornucopia Institute released a report revealing that many soy products like tofu and veggie burgers are processed with hexane, which is used to extract oils from the soybeans and can be toxic in high doses.
The bloggers at Mother Jones asked the Cornucopia report s author about a different study showing that chickens only experienced adverse effects from hexane at high doses. She responded, That study is about hens, and as far as we know, there haven t been any studies done on humans. The bigger picture here is that hexane is being released into the atmosphere -- since it s an air pollutant. It leads to smog, which is ground-level ozone, which leads to a whole bunch of health problems, like asthma in kids.
I guess I m causing asthma in kids by eating this veggie burger, says Stier, who has traded in his usual oatmeal and fruit for a soy patty this morning. Like the story out of California where the sustainable food community is fighting amongst themselves about the use of recycled biosolids, they are now attacking themselves on veggie burgers, which are everywhere in organic and whole foods markets. It looks like they re having trouble agreeing with each other these days.
Dr. Whelan can see why: Talk about a convoluted bunch of non-issues. This is complete nonsense. There s not enough hexane used in any of these products to cause adverse effects in humans, either directly or by creating smog.
UPDATE: So far, Jeff Stier is still alive and smog levels in ACSH headquarters seem normal.