Abstract Continuous administration of a diet consisting of raw soya flour produces pancreatic cancer in rats and sensitises the rat pancreas to the action of genotoxic carcinogens. We have therefore studied the effects of continuous feeding of diets containing lesser amounts of raw soya flour (5%, 25% and 50%) and feeding raw soya flour intermittently (2 days each week). The study has shown that a diet containing as little as 5% raw soya flour stimulates focal proliferation of the pancreatic acinar cells and sensitises to the action of azaserine. Similarly, intermittent feeding of raw soya flour induced focal proliferation of the acinar pancreas and, when 100% raw soya flour diet was fed for 2 days each week, resulted in the development of pancreatic cancer in some of the rats. We conclude that raw soya flour must be excluded from the diets of rats used in toxicological and carcinogenicity studies.