1980s

1980: The American Soybean Association Market Development Foundation and the American Soybean Research Foundation were merged to become the American Soybean Development Foundation.

1984: ASA opened an office in Caracas to serve the South American market. This brought the number of ASA international offices to 11 including Brussels, Hamburg, Madrid, Mexico City, Peking, Seoul, Singapore, Taipei, Tokyo and Vienna.

1987: ASA launched a truth-in-labeling campaign to stop hidden use of highly saturated tropical fats in foods and increase market share for soybean oil. ASA asked the Food and Drug Administration to require food manufacturers to stop calling tropical fats “vegetable oils” and to put an end to “and/or” wording on food labels. The truth-in-labeling campaign was part of a new checkoff-funded initiative to expand domestic use of soybeans and soybean products.

1988: Exports to the Soviet Union increased from 2.5 million to 91 million bushels. Palm oil imports declined as U.S. consumers became more concerned about saturated fats in their diets, and soybean oil use increased. ASA promotions for soybean oil for dust control and for newspaper printing inks helped boost demand.

ASA launched major Targeted Export Assistance (TEA) promotions in Europe that greatly increased consumer awareness of soybean oil.

1989: Bold new actions by ASA farmer-leaders set the organization on a new course. After more than a year of study and discussion, Delegates approved a resolution to work toward a national soybean checkoff. Legislation to create the one-half of one percent checkoff for market promotion, research and industry education was introduced.

ASA introduced a new SoyMark developed with funding provided by CIBA-GEIGY Corporation. Earlier in the year, ASA introduced a SoySeal developed by Monsanto Agricultural Company to mark industrial products such as soy-based inks and agricultural chemical carriers made with soybean oil.