Leguminous plant Glycine max, native to E Asia, in particular Japan and China. Originally grown as a forage crop, it is increasingly used for human consumption in cooking oils and margarine, as a flour, soy milk, soy sauce, or processed into tofu, miso, or textured vegetable protein.
Soybeans are rich in the plant hormones phytestrogens that in the human body seem to act to dilute the impact of the body's own estrogens. As exposure to too much estrogen increases the chances of developing certain cancers, particularly that of the breast, high consumption of soy products could provide some protection, according to US nutritionists 1994.
The European Patent Office granted a patent to the US company Agrecetus 1994 to cover all forms of genetically engineered soybean plants and seeds. soy bean