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Farmers' Trans Fat Solution Efforts Preserve $700 Million Market
Date:2/17/2009

U.S. Soybean Growers' Foresight Credited with Industry's Strong Business Performance in Tough Economic Times

ST. LOUIS, Feb. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- With the U.S. economy in crisis, it's clear that strong domestic industries are essential, including food and agriculture. When the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mandated trans fat appear on products' Nutrition Facts label, companies rushed to reformulate products to reduce or eliminate trans fat content. The blow could have been harsh for American jobs in the agriculture sector of the economy. However, the nation's soybean farmers are reaping the rewards of a long-term strategy, launched more than a decade ago by the United Soybean Board (USB), to develop new soybeans for healthier oils.

"The soybean industry created a soy-based trans fat solution (called low-linolenic soybean oil) that changed the face of the market, and protected American livelihoods while delivering a healthier future from farm to table," notes Chuck Myers, chairman of USB and a farmer in Lyons, Nebraska.

Myers explains, "Without it, our economic analysis shows that food companies would have reduced their need for soybean oil by 894 million pounds, soybean production would have dropped by 25 million bushels, and farmers would have earned 10.8 cents less per bushel. The analysis shows we prevented a cumulative lost income for U.S. soybean producers of $703.2 million."

The loss would have affected farmers, but also the seed sector, grain elevators, edible oil processors and refiners, food manufacturers and many other aspects of the food industry. Food companies needed to take the trans out, and thanks in part to USB's leadership and the foresight of the industry, most products today are labeled with zero grams of trans fat.

Richard Cristol, president of the National Association of Margarine Manufacturers adds, "Soybean oil is a nat
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SOURCE United Soybean Board
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