Tuesday, August 05, 2008

New research finds 'Soy' may halve sperm count, what are the possible implications?

New research published finds that even modest regular Soy consumption may half male sperm count. However, empirical evidence has yet to show any link between soy consumption and fertility rates. Thus, there has yet to be shown any negative impact on population as a result of widespread soy consumption. Specifically, research needs to be done into whether Asian men who eat significantly more soy based products are affected with higher infertility rates and whether population levels are affected.

This could become pivotal scientific research: firstly, because with widepread media coverage, it may harm the soy industry; curbing demand for soy and soy based products(though soy only reduces sperm count and does't cause infertility).

Secondly and more significantly, imagine the possibilities and implications of such research: For example, policies impacting developing countries could be influenced by such lines of research. Stabilising world population through favouring the production and distribution of soy products (or food stuffs with similar properties) could be envisioned by such policy makers for underdeveloped or developing countries. Are there other foods which adversely affect sperm count? Could such foods ethically be justified and promoted in developing countries where population growth is a problem? In otherwords, here is a clear example of research with unforeseen and possibly unenvisaged consequences. Can policy makers with an agenda remain uninfluenced when such knowledge comes their way? We are it seems, living in an increasingly complex and contingent 21st century, where the expanding 'production' of knowledge 'claims' requires evermore vigilance and cautiousness.

For a detailed news article, see:

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