A New Zealand gym chain has apologised for an article circulated to its members that claimed that drinking soy could turn straight men gay.

The medically discredited 2006 article by American fundamentalist Christian Jim Rutz was reprinted in Club Physical’s newsletter and claimed:

“Soy is feminizing, and commonly leads to a decrease in the size of the penis, sexual confusion and homosexuality. That’s why most of the medical (not socio-spiritual) blame for today’s rise in homosexuality must fall upon the rise in soy formula and other soy products.”

Some of the gym group’s clients have said that they will cancel their membership in protest.

The CEO of the chain apologised for publishing the piece and told that he placed the article in the newsletter on a tight deadline after finding it online.

“I’m afraid I didn’t put enough thought into it… I’ve been in business for 29 years and I’ve made lots of mistakes along the way, this is one more, but I do try to learn from my mistakes,” he said.

While there are claims that excessive consumption of soy products could increase the levels of female hormones in men, this is widely disputed by scientists and is not believed to have any effect on sexual orientation.

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