Solae said that the FDA has asked for a 90-day extension in the review process for a qualified health claim linking soy protein-containing foods with a reduced risk of certain types of cancers.
The agency said the extension was necessary to allow the agency enough time to review newly submitted scientific studies substantiating the claim that were voluntarily submitted to the FDA by the Solae Company.
The FDA initially announced in April it was reviewing a petition for a health claim suggesting that the consumption of soy protein-based foods may reduce the risk of certain types of cancer including breast, prostate and colon cancer.
The petition followed the health claim cleared by the FDA in 1999 that suggested a diet rich in soy protein 'may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.'
"We have worked diligently for the past three years to compile existing research and review emerging data regarding the role soy protein-based foods play in reducing the risk of certain types of cancer," said Dr. Lin Yan, director of cancer research for The Solae Company.
The company submitted a petition to the FDA focusing on 58 studies that supported the relationship between the consumption of soy protein-based foods and the reduced risk of developing these types of cancer.
According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 35 percent of cancer deaths in the US could be avoided through dietary modification.
In February a study suggested that soy protein could help reduce the number and size of colon cancer tumors. Soy protein has also been shown to have a protective effect on hormone-related cancers including breast cancer and prostate cancer.
Market analysts The Freedonia group predict that by 2007 US demand for soy products will rise by nearly five percent each year to $8.5 billion.