The Bonsoy Class Action – Thanks

I’ve received a few emails thanking me for the website and to help get the action going, or at least get it in people’s minds.

Firstly, thanks to those people for emailing me.

Secondly, thanks to everyone who shared the personal – sometimes heart-wrenching – personal stories in post/page comments, or by emailing me (some were understandably too raw to post for everyone to read).

Thanks to a particular person who wishes to remain anonymous for sending me a LOT of information about soy, and in particular the 2004-2005 NZ Vitasoy case. This to me was very important in showing a clear failure of accountability in the industry.

Thanks to Maurice Blackburn for taking this on. I’m especially thankful toward Irina, who saw the injustice in this from the start, and spent a lot of time putting information together to build a case.
I’m no bleeding heart – I understand MB is a business. But at the same time, this isn’t a big money asbestos case or something. I think Maurice Blackburn should be commended for taking this on as a social justice case.

And a thank you to Erin, the lead plaintiff. She obviously has been through a lot, so I think it shows a fair bit of courage to go through legal action on behalf of everyone else.

It will be interesting to wait and see how it all pans out, but I’m sure for many of you, it’s a huge relief to see this issue pushed into the public consciousness, and to know that someone is batting for you, and that all your tears and hard times won’t go unacknowledged.

Very lastly, I sincerely hope all of you who’ve been affected can get better, or are getting better, and can get your lives back on track.

I’ll be posting more information here as developments unfold.

Below are a few news items on this issue. I was away in NZ for a wedding when this hit last week, so was unable to curate a list for you all. I missed the media conference and a few press contacts which is disappointing. However, I’m sure we’ll see this all over the press as the case develops.



20 thoughts on “The Bonsoy Class Action – Thanks”

  1. Lots of negative hype here directed as Spiral Foods. Sounds like a witch hunt!!
    Who is the administrator of this blog? Its easy to sit back and compile a ton of media hype and other peoples negative opinions under an umbrella of complete anonymity.


  2. This blog reads like a witch hunt!! It’s very easy to compile a screed of negative press and personal attacks under a blanket of complete anonymity.
    Who is the administrator of this blog? You are quick to name names and highlight media hype but it is all very one sided!! I am just an idependant reader but as a mature adult, I like to get the facts from both sides.


    1. Michael.
      No disrespect, but you obviously have no idea what you’re talking about.

      I make no secret of who I am.

      I make no personal attacks – last time I checked, Spiral Foods is a company.

      If you want some facts, maybe have a look around the net for some info on what this issue is about.



  3. What a silly comment to make Michael, especially now. It is obviously not a witch hunt. Tim, and this website, helped so much for people like me, who suffered from the toxic levels of iodine in bonsoy. Something you may not understand unless experienced first hand or saw a loved one suffer.
    I think you should gets your facts straight before attacking somebody who is sacrificing time and energy to help others with information and to get justice. Just to see such an issue acknowledged in the media is such a relief.
    Thank you Tim for all your hard work. It would have not been possible without you.


  4. Hi Tim

    In case you and your readers don’t know, there is an article in this month’s Medical Journal of Austraila about the Bonsoy case. It is titled:

    Iodine toxicity from soy milk and seaweed ingestion is associated with serious thyroid dysfunction


  5. Thanks Stephanie, I’d be interested in getting the article scanned and emailed to me if you have a copy?
    Even photocopy and post?


  6. I’ve navigated this website thoroughly (still don’t know who you are!!)
    Am I missing something?
    I’m not disputing the effects of too much iodine, or the fact that Bonsoy had such levels. This information is plastered all over the internet as is the iodine content in kombu. As i understand it, kombu was listed on the package of Bonsoy as an ingredient. No secret there!!
    What this website seems to be doing is re-itterating what we already know by reposting stuff that is already well documented. This, combined with your requests for other “This is what Bonsoy did to me” stories suggests to me, as an outsider looking in, a person hell bent on revenge.

    Having said that, I have no doubt that you and your followers will succeed in your class action. It is such a part of the litigious society we live in.

    Enjoy your witch hunt people!!


  7. Michael, I’ll be nice about this.

    Yes, you seem to be missing something: you don’t know what you’re talking about.

    If you have been unable to deduce the fact that this sites existence precedes the class action, and precedes much of the media coverage, then I’ve overestimated you.

    I started this site to find out how many people were affected, and to give people a platform to voice their story. If you are at all familiar with psychology, you’ll know what a relief it can be for sick people to find other people similarly affected.

    I am interested to know what your response to the people who were part of class actions against tobacco companies would have been. What about asbestos cases Michael? Same thing. I doubt you’d have been saying Bernie Banton was on a witch hunt, and had you done so, you’d have rightfully been denounced for being a moron.

    Lastly, I am under no obligation to post my name, and I’m not sure why you think I am. I’m a private citizen – one of many – whose life was affected by this product. If that isn’t enough to satisfy you, I’m not sure anything will.

    Michael, this is your first and final warning. Please cease your trolling, or I’ll ban you from the site. You accuse me on anonymous trouble-making, yet you continue to post inflammatory, ill-informed rubbish, which I have no choice but to view as deliberate goading.

    And before you say I have no right to ban you, or before you accuse me of censorship, keep in mind I have EVERY right to ban you.



  8. The result of untreated hyperthyroidism is heart arrhythmia, liver failure and of course death. For anyone that finds this amusing or a point to taunt and harrass there is little to be said. The people affected here are simply normal people who bought a soya milk product which was unsafe to use as a milk product, perhaps safe to use as a condiment but nothing else. There is no witch hunt here. My 3 children, my husband, my friends and the multiple organisations which have had me volunteering previously have had an invalid for much of the year. They are lucky to have me at all and I’m sure all others are greatful they have survived this episode of their lives. For all others who read this for their edification and are not symptomatic, please do so with compassion. This has been an extremely traumatic experience and egotistical nonsense being posted is frankly offensive.


  9. Michael you are an idiot, if you don’t like what’s going on here, then leave us alone. Many of us here have been through our own personal hell because of consuming ‘the very best soy milk’ and trusting that spending extra dollars on our food means we are getting the very best and it is safe for consumption. If you had experienced hyperthyroidism as a result of drinking bonsoy you wouldn’t dare speak the way you are. I have spent the last 7 months of my life on the couch and that is where I sit now because I can’t do anything else. I feel sorry that any of this has happened for all involved; but it has and we are dealing with it as best we can.


  10. The above comments comparing this case to the chronic/terminal effects of tobacco and asbestos are interesting… This is an extract from the Australian Medical Journal showing that once diagnosed the symptoms rapidly disappeared and the thyroid gland function normalised.

    “In November 2008, a 36-year-old woman (Patient 1, Box 1) presented with a mildly elevated serum thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) level detected during screening for in vitro fertilisation. As she tested negative for thyroid antibodies, her urinary iodine level was measured to exclude iodine deficiency; this level was markedly elevated at 4445 μg/L (reference range [RR], < 200 μg/L). The source of the excess iodine was unclear until the patient did an internet search and identified that the soy milk she had been drinking (Bonsoy) contained kombu1,2 — a type of seaweed. The patient ceased drinking the soy milk, which resulted in rapid normalisation of her TSH level. Three months later, a 38-year-old man (Patient 2, Box 1) presented with florid thyrotoxicosis. Minimal uptake of technetium on a thyroid scan and absence of TSH receptor antibodies essentially excluded Graves disease. The scan result, in combination with his elevated urinary iodine level (1278 μg/L), indicated that iodine toxicity was the most likely cause of the thyrotoxicosis. He drank brands of soy milk other than Bonsoy, but also drank Bonsoy in takeaway coffee. After he ceased drinking all soy milk, his symptoms rapidly abated and his serum TSH level normalised 3 months later."

    Comparing this to the adverse effects of tobacco and asbestos is an interesting twist.


    1. It’s not an interesting twist at all, Ron because I’m not comparing the outcomes of the symptoms.

      I’m comparing the actions in joining a class action.

      It’s pretty clear, but perhaps I didn’t make it clear enough.



  11. Is it right to be claiming against Spiral Foods and not Bonsoy (Muso Co. Ltd.) themselves? Can we expect a distributor to analyse every ingredient of a product in their range – is that financially viable? As a consumer of Spiral goods I hope this case does not cause its downfall. I think this case should be focused on Muso Co. Ltd. – the manufacturers, legal difficulties included.


    1. Thanks for the comment Luke. My understanding is the product is made by Muso for Spiral, according to Spiral’s formulation.

      I doubt a law firm would be bringing a class action against a firm if it had not identified the appropriate defendant.

      Lastly, companies usually have Public Indemnity or PI insurance specifically as insurance against this sort of occurrence.


  12. the study only shows that in the short term the levels return to normal (in some cases). there has never been any research into the long term affects of chronic consumption of toxic levels of iodine. My doctor said there may be a risk of the thyroid switching to hypothyroidism as it withdraws from the levels of iodine, and he also said there was a risk of a goiter developing and throat cancer.
    Also @ Ron, what about those people who had to have their thyroid removed as a result of hyperthyroidism & have to be on medication for the rest of their lives! that doesn’t sound short term to me.
    I also don’t think someone like you should be trying to downgrade the seriousness of this problem.


  13. “But at the same time, this isn’t a big money asbestos case or something. I think Maurice Blackburn should be commended for taking this on as a social justice case.”
    You can read more?


  14. Hi
    I just want to say thankyou for bringing light to my many strange symptoms and general ill health for the past 2 and a half years! I had no idea that the soy milk that I switched to was toxic and the reason for all of this. I have joined the class action and hope for a positive outcome.


    1. Hi Richard,
      I received some information the other day which I’ll be posting about soon.

      Apparently things are proceeding.



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