SOURCE: United Soybean Board

United Soybean Board

March 24, 2010 15:30 ET

New Biotech Advance to Add Heart Healthy Omega-3s to U.S. Diet

U.S. Soybean Farmers Are Applying the Technology to Benefit Human Health and the Environment

ST. LOUIS, MO--(Marketwire - Mar 24, 2010) - A new heart-healthy, essential omega-3 fatty acid is about to improve an American pantry staple: soybean oil. The new scientific advance will move biotechnology onto the average consumer's daily radar. U.S. soybean farmers are also using biotechnology to deliver positive environmental impacts.

Increased Omega-3 Crops on Horizon
Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a notice confirming that increased omega-3 soybean oil can be used in foods and beverages. Pending similar clearance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, farmers can plant these new soybeans. The oil will lend itself well to a wide range of food products such as yogurts, salad dressings, breakfast cereals, baked goods, nut products and soups.

Omega-3s are known to protect the heart, and may also play a role in cancer prevention and brain health. While fish oil is the preferred current source of omega-3s, many Americans do not consume the recommended levels. Lead author of an American Heart Association human clinical study presented in 2009, Dr. William Harris, chief of cardiovascular health research and professor of medicine at Sanford School of Medicine, University of South Dakota, states that the increased omega-3 "soybean oil could be an effective alternative to fish oil as a source of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids."

Also forthcoming are new soybeans that may help deliver more of soy's health benefits (from heart and bone health to some types of cancer prevention to easing symptoms of menopause) without having to dramatically eat more soy. Another soybean may help women and children with iron deficiency anemia absorb nutrients.

Soybeans with Significantly Less Pesticides
Soybean farmers have made major advances in production systems. Today, 92 percent of U.S. soybeans are derived from biotechnology. Farmers like Laura Foell, a USB director from Iowa, says, "As a parent and a farmer, I chose biotechnology because I wanted my kids eating safe, nutritious foods. After all, our vegetable garden for the family's meals is right next to our soybean fields, so it was important to reduce my farm's pesticide use. Biotechnology cut it by half."

About the United Soybean Board
The United Soybean Board (USB) is comprised of 68 farmer-directors who oversee the investments of the soybean checkoff on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers. To learn more about the science supporting biotechnology's safety and benefits for human health, the environment and farm communities around the world, USB publishes a brochure in 13 languages, available here: http://www.soyconnection.com/soybean_oil/benefits_of_biotechnology.php.

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