Defense Logistics Agency Update on Soy Products in Military Dining Instillations

The American Soybean Association (ASA) has learned of an undated notice from the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) that poses a grave threat to the use of nutritious soy products in military dining installations. The notice will become effective on Sept. 30, 2017,and would cause enormous and immediate disruption to the soyfoods market.

The DLA guidance indicates that the following ingredients, or products containing these ingredients, will not be permitted in any food served in a military dining facility: Monosodium Glutamate (MSG), Trans Fats, Hydrogenated Fats or Partially Hydrogenated Fats, Hemp Seeds and Meat Protein Extenders such as, but not limited to, Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP), Isolated Soybean Protein (ISP), Soy Protein Concentrate (SPC), Vegetable Protein Product (VPP), etc.

Food manufacturers and consumers embrace soy products because they are low in saturated fat, are cholesterol-free and contain high-quality protein, essential fatty acids, dietary fiber and numerous other nutrients. As part of a healthy diet, soyfoods can replace less healthy foods that are high in saturated fat and cholesterol, thus enhancing their impact in lowering cholesterol. Incorporating plant-based soyfoods into the diet may also improve blood pressure and other coronary heart disease risk factors. Food manufacturers use soy ingredients in a wide variety of products, including meat, sausages, baked goods, flour tortillas, cakes, beverages (dairy and non-dairy) soy drinks, soups and gravies.

ASA and other soybean industry stakeholders have begun working to have this new policy reversed. Working in coalition, ASA is contacting Members of Congress, the Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Defense. Clearly there is much work to be done in educating Department of Defense officials about both the nutritional value of soy and soy’s popularity in a wide range of food products.

As this issue develops, ASA will keep you informed.