It is commonly stated that soybean oil doesn’t cause allergic reactions to people who are allergic to soy. I believe it was this study by the National Institute of Health in 1985 that is used as the basis to say that soybean oil doesn’t cause allergic reactions (urticaria, angioedema, wheezing, dyspnea, and/or vomiting) in people who are sensitive to soybeans. Oh, and that was 7 whole people they tested — the echelon of thoroughness.
If you visit the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), they say “Check with your doctor about whether you need to avoid soy lecithin and soy oil“.
Okay, so basically, soybean oil shouldn’t / most likely won’t / maybe could / but it all depends on you, cause an allergic reaction to somebody who is sensitive to soy, but why on earth has it become the standard for soybean oil to not even be considered soy? I ask you, what do they think soybean oil is made of?
If you review a food package, it will list at the bottom “CONTAINS: WHEAT, EGGS, DAIRY” or whatever potential allergen. But if that same product “merely” contains soybean oil, it doesn’t say that it “CONTAINS: SOY”. Just because it’s not supposed to cause an allergic reaction, SOYBEAN OIL is still to this day MADE OUT OF SOYBEANS.
If you review a restaurant’s allergen information, items are not marked as containing soy if they merely contain or are fried in soybean oil. Can’t we at least agree that SOYBEANS are one of the primary ingredients of SOYBEAN OIL.
Our son’s doctor told us to eliminate soybean oil in his diet. you cannot believe what kind of grief this has caused us in simply trying to figure out if foods contain soy. My first post-ICU adventure with a restaurant was buying KFC Chicken for my son because it was the only menu item in any restaurant near us that said it didn’t include soy. Imagine my total frustration to find out after he had eaten it that all KFC items are fried in soybean oil.
Regardless of what the expected reaction to soybean oil is, can’t the world be decent enough to admit that there’s SOY in SOYBEAN OIL?
******* Update since this was first written *******
I’ve posted an extremely non-scientific poll on this website (not that the original 7 person study could be called thorough, either). I’m seeing that a number of readers say they react to soybean oil. So I’ve discovered what the entire United States government was not able to figure out?
To answer a reader’s question as to “Why” they don’t list soybean oil, not to sound like a conspiritist (did I just make up a word?), I think it all boils down to the money. Soybean oil (from my research at the grocery store) is the cheapest oil out there. If that’s not the case, can somebody explain to me why “vegetable oil” is almost 100% of the time 100% soybean oil. Why not just sell it as soybean oil? Because it’s cheap, everybody wants to use it, and because of this bogus study in 1985, they use that as an excuse to not list soybean oil as an allergen, and therefore in their twisted logic, not even include it as an ingredient.
******* Update 11/26/2015 *******
Here’s the current results for the question “Do they react to soybean oil?”
I Don’t know: 82
(no response): 11
That really makes me doubt the National Institute of Health’s results.
I'm trying to track allergen information for every restaurant that we eat at. With my son's soy allergy, each time we eat at a restaurant, it can take up to 30 minutes to figure out what he can eat. Especially since most restaurants don't accurately represent their usage of soy.
We're tracking what soy free (including soybean oil free) foods our son can eat at all restaurants we go to. If you've got a soy allergy in your family and have any information you can share, please contact us.