P. 64-68 /

Assessment of soy isoflavones by official bodies
Current status and opportunities

1. Isoflavon-Forschungs-Initiative e.V., Mattsies, D-86874, Germany.
2. FratiniVergano – European Lawyers, Rue de Haerne 42, Brussels, B-1040, Belgium


The benefits and safety aspects of soy products containing isoflavones are currently discussed on the level of theEFSA. Despite good clinical data demonstrating the hormonal safety and clinical effects of isoflavones a negative opinionmay be anticipated. The opinions of the EFSA and the composition of the working group can hardly be challenged at theEuropean Court of Justice, as EFSA is officially not taking decisions, although the negative opinions do have an immediateeconomic impact in the form of de facto trade bans. Challenging the decision of the EU Commission is possible, but ratherlengthy and with questionable chances of success. In cases where international trading is compromised by a negative EFSAopinion the WTO dispute settlement system may provide a more promising way forward within a reasonable period of time.