A team of researchers in Japan has succeeded in using a compound found in soybeans similar in effect to female hormones to turn male catfish into females.
“The team, from Kindai University’s Aquaculture Research Institute and based at the institute’s Shingu Station in Shingu, Wakayama Prefecture, used isoflavone — a compound found in soybeans similar in effect to female hormones — to create the all-female groups of catfish. The feat is a Japan first, according to the university,” reports The Mainichi.
The technique is being applied in order to boost production efficiency because females grow quicker to a required shipping weight of around 600 grams.
“Though it has been known that administering female hormone turns male catfish into females, this method is banned for fish for human consumption,” states the report. “So Ineno came up with the idea of using soybean isoflavone, which is sold commercially as a dietary supplement.”
The report will prompt further questions as to the impact that soy consumption and its potential feminizing effects is having on western populations that are consuming it in larger numbers.
As Conrad Scott notes, soybean oil has also been found to cause serious weight gain and neurological problems in mice.