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Who runs the MSG industry?

These are the people who run the fiction that MSG is "safe"

In the United States, the glutamate industry has two arms. Both work to keep MSG hidden in food. One is the International Hydrolyzed Protein Council, which counts as members those who profit from the sale of hydrolyzed protein products (which all contain MSG.). Members include, or at one time included, Ajinomoto USA, Inc.; Arancia Ingredients Especiales, S.A. De C.V.; Basic Food Flavors, Inc.; Campbell Soup Company; Champlain Industries, Inc.; CPC International, Inc.; Deltown Specialties; Fidco, Inc.; Establissements Bio-Springer; Gist-Brocades Food Ingredients, Inc.; Griffith Laboratories; Haco Ltd.; Integrated Ingredients; Francereco S.A.; Quest International; A.E. Staley Manufacturing Co.; Sugemesa; Takeda U.S.A., Inc.; Red Star Specialty Products; Provesta Corporation.

The second arm consists of the International Glutamate Technical Committee (IGTC) and it's American subsidiary, The Glutamate Association, whose members include (or used to include) Ajinomoto, Archer Daniels Midland, Campbell, Corn Products Corporation, McCormick & Company, Pet Foods, Pfizer Laboratories, and Takeda. Both organizations are (or were) accommodated under the umbrella of The Robert H. Kellen Company of Atlanta, Georgia and Washington, DC., a trade organization and association management firm.  In recent years the International Glutamate Information Service was added to their ranks.

In the United States, hiding MSG appears to be spearheaded by Ajinomoto, Co., Inc.  Their International Glutamate Committee (IGTC) designs and funds research throughout the world -- research that independent scientists would call "badly flawed."  Their Glutamate Association and its agents engage in unrelenting propaganda campaigns.  Their cadre of agents, many with research, scientific, and/or health care credentials, speak out on behalf of the "safety" of MSG.  Their rich and powerful friends, sitting on boards of directors of law firms, health related organizations, and major media, represent their interests. And the FDA, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and US Department of Agriculture (USDA) promote their products, paying lip service only to protecting the public from toxic substances.

On February 1, 2003, we found the following on the Web page of the The Glutamate Association

"The Glutamate Association, established in 1977, is an association of manufacturers, national marketers, and processed food users of glutamic acid and its salts, principally the flavor enhancer, monosodium glutamate (MSG). Among the Association's international members are many of the world's largest food companies involved in such diverse areas as the manufacturing and marketing of food ingredients, spice and flavor blends, and canned, frozen and other packaged prepared foods.

"The Glutamate Association seeks to provide an effective channel of communication among its members, the public, the media, the scientific community, food professionals and government officials about the use and safety of glutamates. The Association also seeks to assure that relevant research and information on the safety and efficacy of MSG are made available to all interested parties.

"Based upon the thorough review and endorsement of MSG's safety by international regulatory authorities and the scientific community, The Glutamate Association supports the use of MSG as a safe and extremely effective flavor enhancer, increasing the palatability of a wide variety of foods."

Studies designed, implemented, and/or supported by the glutamate industry are generally questionable. All data we have seen from The Glutamate Association, the IGTC, the International Food Information Council (IFIC), and their sponsors, come from studies that are badly flawed.  Reviews done by the Institute for Food Technologists, the FDA, and the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) have been reviews done by persons who were only given glutamate industry sponsored literature to evaluate, and/or reviews done by committees that included persons with severe conflicts of interest.

The glutamate industry has representatives throughout the world. On February 2, 2003, the Web page of the International Glutamate Information Service (IGIS) stated the following:

"The International Glutamate Information Service (IGIS) provides accurate information about glutamate. IGIS bases its information on the extensive body of scientific evidence which confirms the safety and the benefits of this widely used food ingredient."

IGIS is supported by the following organizations:

Australian Glutamate Information Service
Comité des Fabricants d'Acide Glutamique (Europe)
Institute for Glutamate Sciences in South America
Southeast Asian Association of Glutamate Sciences
The Glutamate Association (United States)
Taiwan MSG Manufacturers Association
Umami Manufacturers Association of Japan
Copies of IGTC letterhead received some years ago had also named the Korea Association of MSG Technology as an industry supporter.

A more detailed look at the glutamate industry will be found in a peer reviewed article published in 1999 in Accountability in Research.

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This page was last updated on July 11, 2004.