The humble soybean has had a meteoric rise to fame and fortune in Western countries during the last decade. Like any high profile rock star or movie idol, lots of media hype as well as several multi-million dollar marketing efforts have been essential to making this bean a household name. Making the soybean into a legitimate infant formula product has been a well-planned and expensive process. It certainly appears to have paid off since it is estimated that soy-based formulas account for $750 million of the $3 billion baby formulas market. And soy is still a bright star on the rise since sales have more than doubled in the last ten years.
According to Naomi Baumslag, clinical professor of pediatrics at Georgetown University Medical College, "Only 50 percent of newborns today suckle at the mother's breast even once. After six months, the number has reduced to only one mother in five. Often mothers for the sake of convenience plunk soy bottles into the infant's mouth." In fact, nearly 2Q| percent of infants worldwide are fed soy formula, with 750,000 US infants receiving soy formula every year.