The art of hiding MfG

Artists don’t just paint, sing, play an instrument or act. Some of the best artists out there utilize their talents to deceive you.

At the Truth in Labeling Campaign we’ve run into many great artists working in public relations firms. They understand human nature and can paint word pictures to sell you almost anything.

We’ve met men and women who have elevated lying to an art form. And rarely do their targets know that they’re being deceived. Then there are the marketing people who often employ a variety of specialized artists to push their products.

Some who hide manufactured free glutamate (MfG), the toxic ingredient in MSG, do it cleverly but not creatively. They use distraction to draw your focus away from the dangers of their product, talking about the benefits of low salt, muscle building, or the umami flavor. And they’ll very likely use ingredients that you’re not going to recognize as containing MfG.

Ingredients called “glutamic acid” and “disodium inosinate” are prime examples. You’ll find them in flavor enhancers like Braggs Aminos and soups and bouillon like Minor’s soup bases.

Not to be overlooked are those who sell products containing MfG to bakeries and restaurants claiming that their products are free of MSG, and the bakeries and restaurants that use those products as though they contained no MfG. Those businesses don’t routinely display the names of ingredients used in their products, and some are proud to make the misleading claim that they don’t use MSG (the name that most consumers give to all ingredients that contain MfG). That’s not even artful lying. It’s just a subterfuge.




If you have questions or comments, we’d love to hear from you. If you have hints for others on how to avoid exposure to MfG, send them along, too, and we’ll put them up on Facebook. Or you can reach us at questionsaboutmsg@gmail.com and follow us on Twitter @truthlabeling.

Why would a thinking person eat something that contains MSG – or one of its toxic substitutes?

Research has demonstrated:

Dose dependent toxicity of glutamic acid: A review. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10942912.2020.1733016
(Samuels A. International Journal of Food Properties. 2020;23:1, 412-419, DOI: 10.1080/10942912.2020.1733016)

“Increased glutamate transmission in the brain is associated with addictive-like behaviors.” https://www.phillyvoice.com/temple-health-cocaine-addiction-augmentin-study-fmri-clavulanic-acid-philadelphia/ (Temple University)

An early increase in glutamate is critical for the development of depression-like behavior in a chronic restraint stress (CRS) model. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32505508/ (Jing LiLongze Sha, Qi X. Brain Research Bulletin. 2020 June 4)

Ameliorative effect of α-tocopherol on monosodium glutamate-induced cardiac histological alterations and oxidative stress. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22549309/
(Paul S, Mohanan A, Varghese MV, Alex M, Nair H. J Sci Food Agric. 2012 Dec;92(15):3002-6)

Monosodium Glutamate-Induced Oxidative Kidney Damage and Possible Mechanisms: A Mini-Review. https://jbiomedsci.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12929-015-0192-5  (Sharma A. J Biomed Sci. 2015 Oct 22;22:93. )

Ginger and Propolis Exert Neuroprotective Effects against MonosodiumGlutamate-Induced Neurotoxicity in Rats. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6150236/
(Hussein UK, Hassan NEY, Elhalwagy MEA, Zaki AR, Abubakr HO, Nagulapalli Venkata KC, Jang KY, Bishayee A. Molecules. 2017 Nov 8;22(11):1928. )

Resistance exercise reduces memory impairment induced by monosodiumglutamate in male and female rats. https://physoc.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1113/EP086198
(Araujo PCO, Quines CB, Jardim NS, Leite MR, Nogueira CW. Exp Physiol. 2017 Jul 1;102(7):845-853.)

So why on earth would a thinking person eat something like MSG, hydrolyzed mung beans, yeast extract, autolyzed yeast or maltodextrin in things like Just Egg, Impossible Burger, Emerge Plant-Based Patties, Beyond Meat, Bragg’s Aminos, or Campbell’s Classic Cream of Chicken Soup?



If you have questions or comments, we’d love to hear from you. If you have hints for others on how to avoid exposure to MfG, send them along, too, and we’ll put them up on Facebook. Or you can reach us at questionsaboutmsg@gmail.com and follow us on Twitter @truthlabeling.

If MSG is ‘natural’ why have hundreds of patents been issued for methods of producing it?

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) found in an animal, vegetable, or mineral was manufactured and then ingested or added in some manner.

Below are just three examples of patents pertaining to the manufacture of MSG. There are literally hundreds more. MSG is man-made.

1. US3281247A – Process for producing monosodium glutamate

https://patents.google.com/patent/US3281247A/en

2. CN104211611A – New fermentation technology of sodium glutamate

https://patents.google.com/patent/CN104211611A/en

3. WO1996031459A1 – A process for the preparation of monosodium glutamate

https://patents.google.com/patent/WO1996031459A1/en

Below are general discussions pertaining to methods used in production of MSG (written by scientists, not by Ajinomoto’s hired hands).

1. Optimization of glutamic acid production by Corynebacterium glutamicum using response surface methodology

Naiyf S. Alharbia, Shine Kadaikunnana, Jamal M. Khaleda, Taghreed N. Almanaaa,Ganesh Moorthy Innasimuthub, Baskar Rajooc, Khalid F. Alanzia, Shyam Kumar Rajaram.

Journal of King Saud University – Science. Volume 32, Issue 2, March 2020, Pages 1403-1408.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1018364719318440

2. Tasty waste: industrial fermentation and the creative destruction of MSG

Sarah E. Tracy

Food, Culture & Society (2019). 22:5, 548-65,

https://doi.org/10.1080/15528014.2019.1638117

If you have questions or comments, we’d love to hear from you. If you have hints for others on how to avoid exposure to MfG, send them along, too, and we’ll put them up on Facebook. Or you can reach us at questionsaboutmsg@gmail.com and follow us on Twitter @truthlabeling.

Concerned about infertility?

In this study rats were given doses of MSG to lower testosterone levels and cause “toxicity in testicular tissue.” The group treated with zinc oxide nanoparticles/green tea were “significantly” protected against MSG damage to the testis.

Good to know, but wouldn’t it be better to avoid MSG ingestion in the first place than to search out an antidote?

If you have questions or comments, we’d love to hear from you. If you have hints for others on how to avoid exposure to MfG, send them along, too, and we’ll put them up on Facebook. Or you can reach us at questionsaboutmsg@gmail.com and follow us on Twitter @truthlabeling.

Cries of hate added to claims of racism fuel Ajinomoto’s latest campaign to push sales of MSG

Fresh out of its victory lap in “convincing” the Merriam-Webster online dictionary folks to change its definition of Chinese Restaurant Syndrome, Ajinomoto, the world’s largest manufacturer of monosodium glutamate, has added a new dimension to their “swallow the MSG campaign,” hoping that people will swallow their propaganda and think nothing of consuming processed foods that contain MSG. This one is attempting to convince consumers that any choice to avoid Chinese restaurants is based on hate and racism – when it is more likely based on the good sense of decreasing exposure to toxic substances like MSG during a pandemic.

Led by one of its PR firms, Edelman Communications, the campaign dubbed #TakeOutHate, is flooding social media with a group of “influencers” telling consumers to order huge amounts of Chinese take-out and share a photo online. “Don’t let that hate get between you and these shrimp dumps,” we’re told.

Ajinomoto, it seems, has decided to play victim amid growing consumer awareness about the dangers of consuming MSG. In telling about its new #TakeoutHate blitz, Ajinomoto says on its website that “as the company that was founded on the discovery of MSG, we are no stranger to the impact of unfair stigma.”

But the stigma attached to a company that pumps excitotoxic (brain damaging) amino acids into processed foods is hardly unfair. What’s really unfair is how Ajinomoto can harness the power of the media with big bucks and a PR firm that has all the right contacts to lie to the public about the product it produces. Reporters of all stripes from media outlets of all sizes are more than happy to parrot numerous bold-faced falsehoods time and time again without giving it a second thought.

Truth be told, monosodium glutamate has been researched extensively by Ajinomoto-funded researchers who rigged their studies with things like excitotoxic ingredients in placebos and concluded that MSG is harmless. MSG is a manufactured additive, and the product called MSG can’t be produced without unwanted byproducts of production called impurities. The glutamate in the human body has none of those impurities. And since 1957, the glutamate in MSG has been manufactured using carefully selected genetically modified bacteria that excrete glutamate through their cell walls – hardly the way that yogurt and wine are made.

But as more and more people, some through personal experience and others through research, learn about the toxic nature of MSG and the other 40+ ingredients that contain its toxic Manufactured free Glutamate, or MfG as we abbreviate it, they are choosing to avoid it wherever and however they can.

You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool the people who know they get sick from eating MSG.

And that’s not “hate,” and it’s certainly not racism.

If you have questions or comments, we’d love to hear from you. If you have hints for others on how to avoid exposure to MfG, send them along, too, and we’ll put them up on Facebook. Or you can reach us at questionsaboutmsg@gmail.com and follow us on Twitter @truthlabeling.

If you’re wondering what the umami flavor is, be confused no more

Umami is often described as that marvelous flavor experience you get when foods are at their peak, or served with a little something that gives the taste buds a boost to enhance that already delicious flavor.

Kikunae Ikeda discovered that little something early in the 20th century when he realized that pairing foods with a touch of seaweed could create a desirable taste sensation. It has also been observed by foodies that there is something about mushrooms and tomatoes that accomplishes the same thing. Start with good fresh food, pair it with seaweed, mushrooms, or tomatoes, and with those flavor-enhancers you can get heaven on a plate.

There are other ways to make food tasty. Garlic and onions have been recognized for centuries along with a multitude of other spices and seasonings. But they aren’t flavor enhancers. They don’t improve the flavor of foods, they simply add to it.

Ikeda, who was a chemist, did more than just notice the flavor-enhancing capacity of seaweed. That something else he found was chemically analyzed, put into a bottle, patented, and is now known as monosodium glutamate or MSG. Ikeda had discovered that it was glutamate, an amino acid found in considerable quantity in seaweed, that gave taste buds a boost, enhancing the flavor of foods seaweed was paired with.

The story of how that works differs depending on the source. Is it being told by those who profit from the sale of MSG, or by independent scientists? Ajinomoto has developed a PR narrative built around changing MSG’s identify from a pre-1969 flavor-enhancer to a post-2000 fifth taste. According to Ajinomoto, MSG has a taste of its own. According to Ajinomoto, there are MSG receptors just as there are receptors for sweet, sour, bitter, and salty.

Independent scientists are more likely to point out that what Ajinomoto’s people refer to as MSG-receptors, are actually glutamate receptors. Glutamate, which is a neurotransmitter, stimulates glutamate receptors in the mouth and on the tongue causing the cells on which those receptors are located to swell, so to speak. And these larger, swollen surfaces triggered by MSG stimulation cause food consumed with MSG to be perceived as having a “bigger” taste than it would otherwise.

In 1969, John W. Olney, M.D., published the first of several papers that detailed the facts of MSG-induced toxicity. A year earlier, the New England Journal of Medicine had published a letter titled “Chinese-restaurant Syndrome.” Since that time Ajinomoto has worked vigorously to refute the findings of Olney and others or simply make sure they don’t have public exposure, downplay the reactions reported by individuals who are poisoned by MSG, or do whatever else is necessary to convince consumers that MSG is a harmless product. (That subject is dealt with in detail elsewhere.)

Possibly Ajinomoto’s most successful marketing tool has been to pair the acronym “MSG” with the word “umami.” Just as Pavlov’s dogs learned to anticipate food when a bell was sounded, so are humans being conditioned to associate the feel-good word “umami” with the food additive MSG.

Responding to the growing awareness that the ingredient called monosodium glutamate causes obesity and infertility, along with adverse reactions like tachycardia, migraine headache, asthma, and seizures, Ajinomoto has been striving to fool consumers by giving that ingredient a new name. Don’t reduce its toxicity (if indeed that could be done). Just covertly rebrand MSG.

The rebranding process has evolved slowly, and because Ajinomoto’s narrative changes from time to time depending on the PR firm employed and the marketing plan being executed, the details are not necessarily crystal clear. In hindsight it appears that the first step was to get people to believe that monosodium glutamate was more than the flavor enhancer previously described by Ajinomoto in food encyclopedias. That was before the game plan was changed to get people to believe that monosodium glutamate was a basic taste, and that there were specific taste receptors for MSG in the human body.

To facilitate that change, researchers were encouraged to conduct studies underwritten (directly or indirectly) by Ajinomoto for the purpose of finding something from which they could conclude the MSG had a taste of its own. Discussion of that research is beyond the scope of this paper, but it consists in large part of doing multiple studies, publishing only the one in a hundred that comes out as desired by industry and reporting none of the others. There are indeed numbers of published studies that Ajinomoto will point to as evidence that MSG is a fifth taste. (There are also published studies that Ajinomoto will point to as evidence that MSG is a harmless food additive – studies that included use of placebos containing excitotoxic aspartic acid which causes brain damage and adverse reactions identical to that caused by the excitotoxic glutamic acid component of MSG.) And there are no studies that would dispute the industry-sponsored ones because, at least in part, there would be no funding for such research.

With studies alleging that MSG has a taste of its own, different from salty, sweet, bitter, and sour, wordsmiths began spinning industry’s tale. Slowly, in story after story, MSG would be referred to as an ingredient – like sugar and salt are ingredients. Not a flavor enhancer. An ingredient with a taste of its own.

And then that ingredient, which had, and still has a bad name, would be rebranded. The new name would be “umami,” a word that has been in the Japanese vocabulary for over a century meaning “delicious taste.”

Today, the word “umami” means different things to different people. A chef concerned with use of wholesome ingredients may brag that his creations are flavorful — are the essence of umami.

But to those who manufacture and sell MSG, “umami” is a marketing tool used to sell their product. Clearly lots of people have bought into Ajinomoto’s story (or maybe it’s more correct to say that Ajinomoto has bought lots of people). But if you delve deeply into market reports, or have friends in the industry, you will find that their propaganda isn’t working the way they had anticipated, and Ajinomoto is losing money.

The rigged research, the deceptive and misleading statements, and the bold-faced lies haven’t stemmed the tide of reports of MSG-induced reactions. Not even Edelman’s multimillion-dollar campaign to clear MSG’s bad name seems to have made a difference. It will be interesting to see how quickly chefs and other celebrities who now talk about “umami” realize that they are being used by Ajinomoto to promote a toxic product.

If you have questions or comments, we’d love to hear from you. If you have hints for others on how to avoid exposure to MfG, send them along, too, and we’ll put them up on Facebook. Or you can reach us at questionsaboutmsg@gmail.com and follow us on Twitter @truthlabeling.

MSG doesn’t occur ‘naturally’ in anything

Whenever you see the words “MSG is a naturally occurring substance…” you can be sure that the Glutes have written what you’re reading.

MSG is a product. MSG is manufactured in Ajinomoto’s plant in Eddyville, Iowa. MSG doesn’t occur “naturally” in anything.

If you have questions or comments, we’d love to hear from you. If you have hints for others on how to avoid exposure to MfG, send them along, too, and we’ll put them up on Facebook. Or you can reach us at questionsaboutmsg@gmail.com and follow us on Twitter @truthlabeling.

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Mainlining delivers toxins better

The Glutes make a big deal out of the fact that some of the studies of MSG-toxicity were done with MSG administered by injection to newborns animals  (conveniently forgetting the fact that other results of MSG-induced toxicity were based on feeding studies).

They suggested that injection of MSG is more lethal than ingestion of MSG, and in humans, they said, MSG isn’t injected.  But that’s not entirely true.  The MSG used in vaccines is injected. Drawing on drug-culture vernacular, one could say that the MSG in vaccines is mainlined.

The CDC list of vaccines and their excipients/additives follows.  Highlighted are ingredients that contain the excitotoxic free glutamate found in MSG.

Pink Book-Appendix B-Vaccines-Excipient & Media Summary
Pink Book-Appendix B-Vaccines-Excipient & Media Summary
Pink Book-Appendix B-Vaccines-Excipient & Media Summary
Pink Book-Appendix B-Vaccines-Excipient & Media Summary

If you have questions or comments, we’d love to hear from you. If you have hints for others on how to avoid exposure to MfG, send them along, too, and we’ll put them up on Facebook. Or you can reach us at questionsaboutmsg@gmail.com and follow us on Twitter @truthlabeling.

Bless you Dr. Tetyana Obukhanych for speaking out

Animal studies tell us that the glutamic acid in MSG, autolyzed yeast, maltodextrin, glutamic acid and the 40+ other ingredients that contain manufactured free glutamic acid causes brain damage – kills brain cells. Those who manufacture and sell the products that contain excitotoxic glutamic acid tell us that those were just animal studies and they don’t matter.

Ajinomoto, world’s largest producer of MSG tells physicians, the FDA, the World Health Organization, the media and everyone else that there are hundreds of studies showing that MSG is harmless. I’ve read all of them and can tell you that their animal studies were rigged to look for the wrong thing in the wrong place, at the wrong time, making their report of “no brain damage” meaningless.

The ways in which human studies were rigged are too numerous to discuss here, but basic to most has been use of excitotoxic aspartic acid as a placebo in double-blind studies of excitotoxic glutamic acid. In those studies, both the excitotoxic monosodium glutamate test material and the placebo which contained excitotoxic aspartic acid, triggered the same reactions (as they always do). In other words, not only did subjects react to MSG, they reacted to a “placebo” that contained an excitotoxin known to cause the same reactions as those caused by MSG. It is on these studies (which actually describe reactions caused by MSG), that the Glutes base much of their claim that MSG does not trigger reactions.

Read what immunologist Dr. Tetyana Obukhanych tells us about vaccines. It appears those who profit from the sales of vaccines have the same teachers and/or use the same PR firms as those in the glutamate industry, Big Tobacco, the purveyors of toxic pesticides and fertilizers and the corporations that spew cancer-causing pollutants into the air. Individual welfare can’t hold a candle to the economic welfare of the rich and powerful.

Adrienne Samuels

If you have questions or comments, we’d love to hear from you. If you have hints for others on how to avoid exposure to MfG, send them along, too, and we’ll put them up on Facebook. Or you can reach us at questionsaboutmsg@gmail.com and follow us on Twitter @truthlabeling.

Dietary guidelines for Americans. An ongoing food industry joke.

It was thirty years ago, but it seems like just yesterday. Despite an allergy to petrochemicals that was so bad I couldn’t tolerate reading a newspaper, on that particular Thursday I picked up Jack’s Chicago Tribune, turned to an inside section and read the announcement that the FDA was holding hearings and asking for input on nutritional labeling that would soon be appearing on food labels.

Over the weekend I worked nonstop to convince Jack he had no choice but to attend. This was a once-in-a-lifetime chance. He had to give testimony to the fact that monosodium glutamate used in food causes adverse reactions. And on Monday he called the FDA Chicago office requesting permission to testify.

Dr. George Schwartz flew in from Santa Fe to take part in the hearings. We had read his book, In Bad Taste: the MSG Syndrome, but had not yet met him. We also met Barbara Mullarkey, who introduced us to the horrors of vaccines as well as various toxic foods. But it was Big Food that stole the show. They were there, all of them, representatives of major food companies each pretending to suggest labeling that would benefit consumers, while actually pushing ways to hide the salt, sugar, trans fats and any of the other undesirables that permeated their products.

I hadn’t thought about those days for years. Then a press release issued by the Nutrition Coalition titled “Member(s) of USDA committee blow whistle on serious flaws in dietary guidelines process,” arrived in my inbox. The first sentence summed it up, saying: “One or more Members of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Suggest Process Lacks Scientific Integrity and Rigor.” (The Dietary Guidelines are promoted by the Secretaries of Agriculture and Health and Human Services as “information that helps Americans make healthy choices for themselves and their families.”)

Could it be? Isn’t Big Food still in charge of safeguarding the many secrets of those harmful ingredients used in food, typically well hidden from consumers? Did someone object to the fact that while the Dietary Guidelines spoke of nutritional value and healthy eating patterns, they didn’t mention avoidance of toxic food additives?

The whistle-blowing letter was dated June 2, 2020, addressed to Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Alex Azar, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The critic(s) provided details of reviews that were unreliable and scientific evidence that was excluded. “Ensuring that all the best and most current science is properly reviewed for the purposes of establishing the 2020 DGA (Dietary Guidelines for Americans) is fundamental, and any action to rely upon unreliable reviews or exclude scientific evidence must be considered flawed. The thought that many dozens, if not hundreds of scientific studies are being excluded by the DGAC (Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee) is unconscionable.”

Who are these people, the 20 nationally recognized experts chosen to serve on the independent 2020 DGAC? Their charge is to review scientific evidence on topics and questions identified by the Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services and provide a report on their findings to the Secretaries.

The DGAC chairperson and one other are at the University of California, Davis, home of one of our finest programs for food technology, serving the interests of Big Food. One is at the Baylor College of Medicine, Baylor being on record as hosting research initiated by glutamate-industry interests. One is at the University of Iowa, seat of the original industry-sponsored deceptive and misleading studies of the safety of MSG and aspartame. Possibly all belong to the Institute for Food Technologists, professional designers of chemical-laced foods.

Why would some of these people provide reviews that are unreliable and/or omit relevant studies from consideration? Do some or all of these people serve the interests of Big Food just as Andrew G. Ebert, Ph.D., toxicologist, respected member of the Institute for Food Technologists, and unacknowledged chairman of Ajinomoto’s International Glutamate Technical Committee served the glutamate industry until he was exposed for supplying placebo material containing excitotoxic aspartic acid to researchers doing industry’s double-blind studies of the safety of MSG?

The question remains unanswered. Did someone object to the fact that while the Dietary Guidelines spoke of nutritional value and healthy eating patterns, they didn’t mention avoidance of toxic food additives?

Adrienne Samuels

If you have questions or comments, we’d love to hear from you. If you have hints for others on how to avoid exposure to MfG, send them along, too, and we’ll put them up on Facebook. Or you can reach us at questionsaboutmsg@gmail.com and follow us on Twitter @truthlabeling.