Here’s how YOU can make change happen!

How old do you think I am? I used to be five foot tall, but I’m not anymore. I’ve been collecting social security for longer than some of you have been alive. I’ve been actively battling the lie that monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a harmless flavor enhancer since 1968. And in January I stepped up to the plate and filed a Citizen Petition requesting that the FDA strip MSG of its GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status.

Given the history of FDA’s close cooperation with the makers of MSG, it would seem only remotely possible that the FDA would act to provide consumers with accurate information about the toxic potential of MSG. But this is a new day in a new year and a new administration sits in the White House — and all things are possible. So, I’m looking to optimize the possibility that change will happen by contacting newspapers, contacting legislators, and asking you to take 5-10 minutes to post a comment on the Citizen Petition FDA-2021-P-0035 telling of your experience with MSG. We can make change happen. You can make change happen.

To comment, simply go to https://www.regulations.gov/document/FDA-2021-P-0035-0001 and click on the “comment” button at the top left.

Names aren’t required. Want to stay anonymous? You can. Just leave the name field empty. Maybe when you post your comment, mention that you’re a registered voter (if you are a registered voter.)

And please, ask your friends to do the same.

P.S. When the first thousand comments have been posted, I’ll post the secret of my age on the Truth in Labeling Campaign Facebook page.

Adrienne

Don’t forget: https://www.regulations.gov/document/FDA-2021-P-0035-0001 and click on the “comment” button at the top left.


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.

Smile: MSG is being outed from within

They tell consumers they’re “natural,” but when “industry experts” are talking to each other, the story changes.

Take what we learned from this outline of a research report on the “savory ingredient industry.”

First off, it’s a big money-maker, valued at 7.2 billion USD this year, and going up and up (savory ingredients include hydrolyzed proteins, yeast extracts and MSG). And industry refers to them as “synthetic flavor enhancers.”

These “synthetic” compounds produced through “chemical processes” (with monosodium glutamate being the “most widely synthesized” one), are said to be cheap and easy to manufacture.

So there you have it. They know that MSG is synthetic, manufactured through a chemical process, but we’re told it’s “natural” or “naturally occurring.” And as you can see that’s nothing more than pure, 100 percent propaganda.


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.

Who are the ‘Glutes’?

For years, the Truth in Labeling Campaign has been calling them the “Glutes,” a name that many now recognize as being those who make money selling their poisons hidden in food. We gave them a name because we want you to know them and start talking about them, and it’s hard to talk about someone or something if it doesn’t have a name.

The founder and chief operating officer of this loosely knit operation is Ajinomoto, the world’s largest producer of monosodium glutamate. Ajinomoto designs and bankrolls its research, bragging of the millions it’s spending on public relations to “clear MSG’s bad name.” Their goal is to counter the fact that every day more and more people are suffering reactions to MSG and other flavor enhancers that contain MSG’s toxic manufactured free glutamate (MfG) by plastering the world with propaganda that MSG has gotten a bad rap.

Without the researchers who execute their double-blind studies using excitotoxic, brain damaging placebos, without the food technologists who incorporate MfG into thousands of processed foods, without the manufacturers that use MSG in their products so they can skimp on quality — aided by the grocery outlets that sell their products — and without the “public servants” at the FDA who for 50 years have turned their backs on research that clearly demonstrates MSG has toxic potential while endorsing the out and out lie that MSG is safe for use in food, MSG would have long ago been banned. And it can be done. As recently as 2018 the FDA acted to no longer allow the use of seven flavoring substances and flavor enhancers deemed dangerous.

Those are the Glutes: the people who work to keep MSG flowing without mentioning that they work for the producer of MSG when signing off on their work.


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.

Enough to get her fired?

In January Food Navigator-USA ran the story “Ajinomoto defends MSG as nonprofit petitions FDA to rescind its GRAS status.” And Ajinomoto’s Tia Rains fired back with a classic piece of glutamate-industry propaganda.

It’s not what she said in the piece that’s so interesting, because it’s classic industry talk. What is interesting is the fact that Ajinomoto responded at all.

For 50+ years, the Glutes have pretty much ignored criticism from those who have maintained that MSG is toxic. It would appear that they’ve used this strategy to keep questions of glutamate sensitivity out of the media – just letting any question of harm done by MSG die a slow, quiet death. And this strategy, along with rigging the research they’ve presented to the FDA as evidence of MSG’s safety, has been incredibly effective, for this excitotoxic, brain damaging food additive is still being advertised as generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the FDA.

So why the change in strategy? Or did Tia Rains make a terrible mistake. Terrible enough to get her fired.


Reminder: Please take a moment to comment on this petition at the link below.

Go to www.Regulations.gov, and put this docket number FDA-2021-P-0035 in the search box, click “search.” There you’ll see a link to the petition and a button that says “comment.”

NOTE: If you’re commenting on Tuesday or Thursday an extra step is needed as the FDA site is being updated twice a week. On those days:

Go to www.regulations.gov and put this docket number FDA-2021-P-0035 in the search box, click “search.”

On the left side, it will say “Document Type,” check the “other” box and then click on the second document titled “Citizen petition from Adrienne Samuels” and you’ll see a “Comment” button at the top.


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.

High anxiety and 60 Minutes

October 1991 will always be a month to remember. We had learned that 60 Minutes was considering doing a piece on MSG, and Jack had volunteered to provide them with accurate information about this toxic food additive that would cause him to go into anaphylactic shock.

In early 1990, we had become aware that a segment on MSG was in the works, and over the course of its development, Jack had provided information to Grace Dickhaus and Roz Karson, producers of the 60 Minutes segment.

In March 1991, a producer for the CBS news show called Ajinomoto announcing that they were thinking of doing a segment on Ajinomoto’s product. According to the Wall Street Journal, a group of trade associations launched one of the largest pre-emptive campaigns in public relations history. Specifically, “A crisis-management team specializing in 60 Minutes damage control has been hired to help the industry execute an elaborate game plan to forestall a repeat of the 1989 Alar-on-apples scare.” It was a copy of that crisis-management team’s “July-December 1991 Communications Plan” designed (or possibly simply distributed) by the International Food Information Council (IFIC) that Jack sent to the Wall Street Journal. We had received the “war plan” for IFIC’s assault on 60 Minutes from an anonymous donor on September 4, 1991.

From 1990 till the story aired in 1991, Jack provided information on the toxicity of monosodium glutamate to the 60 Minutes team and later to Bruce Ingersol of the Wall Street Journal – information that they were delighted to confirm. Following are excerpts from Bruce Ingersol’s October 31, 1991 article, “A Case of TV Jitters.”

Adrienne Samuels

Excerpts from A CASE OF TV JITTERS, by Bruce Ingersoll, Wall Street Journal

It has become a business executive’s worst nightmare. The phone rings. A woman on the other end identifies herself as a producer for the CBS News show 60 Minutes. “We are thinking,” she says, “of doing a segment on your product.”

For the food industry, that nightmare began last March. The call went to the Glutamate Association, which represents manufacturers and users of monosodium glutamate. But the shock waves spread quickly. Monosodium glutamate, a flavor enhancer better known as MSG, is used in everything from chicken chow mein to corn chips. A 60 Minutes attack on MSG would be felt throughout the $280 billion-a-year food industry.

No one outside CBS knows when, or even whether, the show will go on the air. No one knows for sure what position it will take or what will be said.

That hasn’t stopped a group of trade associations from launching one of the largest pre-emptive campaigns in public-relations history. They are assuming the worst: A Fearing show’s segment will assail monosodium glutamate, the industry launched a public relations defense.

A crisis-management team specializing in 60 Minutes damage control has been hired to help the industry execute an elaborate game plan. Industry officials have been peppering 60 Minutes producers with letters to try to ensure that their views aren’t ignored. At a minimum, they say, the show should note that the Food and Drug Administration, World Health Organization and European Community all regard MSG as safe. And platoons of public-relations specialists are trying to generate favorable publicity before the show airs.

Indeed, the pre-broadcast ruckus has been so great as to lead the FDA to reconsider its policy on MSG labeling sooner than it would have otherwise. The proposed policy change would blunt any allegation the FDA is letting food companies mask the presence of MSG in food.

Few news enterprises stir greater anxiety among business people than 60 Minutes, CBS’ longest-running, most successful prime-time program. Its impact is resounding, its audience huge. Hewitt and his big-name correspondents have won many Emmy Awards and other honors for distinguished reporting and public service. But they also have attracted plenty of criticism for sometimes taking too strong a stance and practicing ambush journalism.

The food industry has been trying to track every 60 Minutes move. In Los Alamos, N.M., Bradley interviewed an 11-year-old schoolboy who had been the archetypical problem child – hostile, disruptive, extremely hyperactive, according to his parents – before being put on an MSG-free diet. “It was a five-year battle looking for the little boy we once had, and he’s back,” the Los Alamos Monitor quoted his mother as saying, after the 60 Minutes interview. The newspaper said the boy, diagnosed as probably suffering from attention-deficit disorder, told Bradley how much his grades had improved after he stayed away from MSG.

The 60 Minutes team also interviewed Dolores Nick, a 55-year-old suburban Chicago woman, and her 30-year-old daughter, Sandy. Dolores Nick says exposure to MSG leaves her so groggy and “drugged-out” that she has to go to bed. Her daughter, she adds, suffers migraine headaches, sometimes so severe that she requires hospital treatment.

And in Santa Fe, N.M., Bradley interviewed George Schwartz, an anti-MSG physician who wrote a 1988 book called In Bad Taste: The MSG Syndrome. Schwartz, as much as anyone, has made MSG a consumer issue.

The show’s producers also began looking for food-company executives to go on camera. None would agree. That doesn’t surprise the industry’s crisis manager, Nick Nichols, president of Nichols Dezenhall Communications Management Group. The CBS show has “a nightmarish track record on stories involving science and technology,” he says. “The spectacle tends to overwhelm analysis.” What’s more, he adds, 60 Minutes has a history of “rewarding” the viewing public’s extraordinary trust in its reports “by scaring the hell out of them.”

The only scientist to step forward and say what the industry believes – that MSG is not a health threat – was a Washington, D.C., allergist named Fred Atkins, whose academic specialty is adverse reactions to foods. “People said, ‘Why would you do it?’ ” Atkins says. With 10-second sound bites, he concedes, “They can make me look foolish or they can make me look reasonable.”

But Atkins believed that a scientist had to provide an authoritative response. “There may be some individuals with transient mild reactions after ingesting MSG in food,” he says. The common symptoms, sometimes called the Chinese restaurant syndrome, are numbness, tingling or burning in the upper chest, neck and face. “But if the story is that MSG is causing everything from seizures to kids with serious learning disabilities to severe allergic reactions, then viewers are going to be misled,” Atkins asserts.

By early summer, the food industry was fully mobilized to counter the TV show. Its effort was led by the International Food Information Council, a veteran of several food-safety fights, including those over aspartame and food dyes.

At a strategy session at Washington’s Sheraton Carlton Hotel, industry scientists and public relations people viewed a videotape of Schwartz, just to take his measure. The scouting report on the bearded doctor’s TV presence: Very glib. Quite telegenic. Well-rehearsed. Holds up brand-name products.

Impression left on viewers: It’s buyer beware. Next to Schwartz, Atkins seemed like a television tyro.

The industry also prepared a seven-page “communications plan” for blunting the 60 Minutes story. Among other things, it called for gathering intelligence on the assertions of anti-MSG activists who have the ear of 60 Minutes; sounding out other PR tacticians who have taken on networks in similar food-safety controversies; and coordinating efforts to inform opinion leaders.

One objective, according to a copy of the plan obtained by this newspaper, was to create the “best possible climate” of public opinion before the show aired. The International Food Information Council published a reassuring brochure called “What You Should Know About MSG.” In press releases to 2,000 weeklies, the group also trumpeted the news that a European Community scientific panel in June had judged MSG to be safe, even for infants. And thousands of MSG information kits were distributed to food retailers, school-lunch officials and others.

Leaving nothing to chance, the council also tested focus groups to determine the “most effective message points,” and it did a telephone survey to establish a baseline for consumer attitudes about MSG.

After the broadcast, the industry plan called for further focus-group testing and polling, and then striking back with a flurry of press releases to newspapers and video news releases to TV stations. Industry spokesmen would offer to appear on network morning shows.
On Aug. 30, with television’s new season only a fortnight away, the industry went on war footing and started firing shots across the bow. Trade associations sent CBS one letter after another impugning the credibility of Schwartz and other critics and reminding 60 Minutes producer Grace Diekhaus that the FDA puts MSG in the same “generally recognized as safe” category as sugar and salt.

Caught in the middle of this imbroglio was the Food and Drug Administration. The agency briefed Diekhaus on its scientific assessment of MSG and its labeling policies, but then told her that “nothing more would be gained through an on-camera interview.”

In September, 60 Minutes opened its 24th season, intensifying the pressure on the FDA. “Hewitt is pounding on me,” Don McLearn, the agency’s chief spokesman, said at the time. “The problem is, they won’t be fair.” McLearn also complained that the show’s producers wouldn’t sketch out their line of questioning. “That’s ambush journalism,” he said, adding that he wasn’t about to provide “a warm body” that “they can badger.”

Finally, Hewitt laid out the focus of the interview.

“He said the segment will raise three points: Is MSG a problem? Are we working on it? How is MSG labeled?” McLearn says.

Knowing that, FDA officials met late last month to figure out how to handle Ed Bradley’s questions. Commissioner David Kessler discussed his misgivings about the agency’s MSG labeling policy. Currently, food processors have to list MSG as an ingredient only if they add it to products. They don’t have to note its presence in hydrolyzed vegetable protein, a widely used flavor enhancer.

Senior FDA officials ultimately decided to have Deputy Commissioner Michael Taylor sit for an interview with CBS. While being taped, he would break news: The FDA had decided that consumers have a right to know the MSG content of their food, so food processors must declare on labels that hydrolyzed vegetable protein “contains glutamate.” Taylor would emphasize that the policy change wasn’t inspired by health concerns.

The long-awaited interview took place Oct. 1 in the FDA’s Washington office. “We had Mike Taylor pretty well coached,” says McLearn, who had played the role of Bradley in practice. Although the real Bradley “came on strong,” he says, “Mike didn’t get flustered.”
Two days later, 60 Minutes interviewed another food-industry nemesis: John Olney, a professor of psychiatry and neuropathology at Washington University medical school in St. Louis. His position on MSG: “It’s a potential poison, and it’s especially poisonous to the immature nervous system.” He argues that MSG levels in many soups and other foods aren’t safe for infants or children. FDA officials and industry scientists say he’s wrong.

While the industry’s anxiety builds, neither Diekhaus nor Bradley will comment on their roles in the MSG segment. Hewitt expresses great reluctance to discuss a segment before it airs. “I’m telling you a lot of pressure is being brought on us,” he says. “Chances are we will probably air it. If we don’t, it will have nothing to do with Accuracy in Media or the Glutamate Association.”

The Grocery Manufacturers’ Nedelman hopes to pick up a warning before the show airs. The group won’t “wait for them to drop the bomb,” he says. Before that, it intends to contact a dozen important editorial writers and reporters, such as Jane Brody of The New York Times and Daniel Puzo of the Los Angeles Times, and “let them know that 60 Minutes is going to yell fire in a crowded theater,” just as its critics say it did with Alar.

The International Food Information Council is gearing up for video tit for tat with 60 Minutes. If the segment is as alarming as feared, video news releases will be flashed to TV stations nationwide. Overnight letters will go out at once to the news media and others, followed by press releases the following Monday.

Says Nedelman: “It will be like the Democratic response to the president’s address to the nation: Here’s the other side of the story.”

*********************************************

Editorial note. As with all the other promises from the FDA when under pressure to tell the truth about MSG, declaration that manufacturers “…must declare on labels that hydrolyzed vegetable protein “contains glutamate” never happened.

Now, thirty years after the 1991 MSG program was aired, we know things that we didn’t realize before:

  1. It is only manufactured free glutamate as opposed to glutamate found in whole protein that, when eaten, causes brain damage and a host of reactions ranging from skin rash and fibromyalgia to heart irregularities and seizures.

  2. Manufactured free glutamate is always accompanied by unwanted by-products of manufacture, called impurities by industry and medical practitioners.

  3. Glutamate is an excitotoxic amino acid. Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a man-made product composed of L-glutamic acid (L-glutamate), sodium, moisture, D-glutamic acid (D-glutamate), pyroglutamic acid, and other impurities (unwanted and unavoidable by-products of the manufacture of L-glutamate). MSG is manufactured in plants throughout the world. In the United States, MSG is produced in Ajinomoto’s factory in Eddyville, Iowa. Its principal ingredient is its excitotoxic, brain damaging, L-glutamate.

    L-glutamate is the L enantiomer of glutamic acid (glutamate), an acidic amino acid which when present in protein or released from protein in a regulated fashion (through routine digestion) is vital for normal body function. It is the principal neurotransmitter in humans, carrying nerve impulses from glutamate stimuli to glutamate receptors throughout the body. Yet, when present outside of protein in amounts that exceed what the healthy human body was designed to accommodate (which can vary widely from person to person), glutamate becomes an excitotoxic neurotransmitter, firing repeatedly, damaging targeted glutamate-receptors and/or causing neuronal and non-neuronal death by over exciting those glutamate receptors until their host cells die.

  4. The research referred to by glutamate industry agents as demonstrating MSG’s safety is flawed to the point of being fraudulent. The most easily understood of their devious experimental methods has been the use of excitotoxic amino acids deceitfully called “placebos” used in double-blind studies.

  5. Prior to 1957 MSG was produced by extracting glutamate from a protein source. This was a slow and costly method. In 1957, Ajinomoto began producing MSG using bacterial fermentation, whereby carefully chosen genetically modified bacteria fed on a nourishing medium, excreted glutamate through their cell walls. With that change, production of MSG skyrocketed, making it possible for a consumer to ingest sufficient (excessive) amounts of this manufactured glutamate during the course of a day to cause the glutamate to become excitotoxic.

It was shortly after this change in production that the first published reports of reactions to MSG appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine, the first report of MSG-induced brain damage appeared in the journal Science, obesity rose to epidemic proportions, and the incidence of infertility escalated. MSG-induced brain damage leads to both obesity and infertility.

  1. The so-called scientific bodies that have attested to the safety of MSG have done no research of their own. only reviewing the research of others. Neither did any of them search the literature for relevant research. The studies that they reviewed were given to them by the FDA (whose work suffered from serious conflicts of interest) and/or by agents of the glutamate industry.


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.

An open letter to CBS: Please play it again. It’s already in the can. Ed Bradley did it in November 1991.

It was gone over with a fine-tooth comb by your legal department in 1990 and 1991, and Ajinomoto didn’t sue 60 Minutes after the program aired. Actually, Ajinomoto won’t sue anyone who suggests that monosodium glutamate might be toxic. They keep an extremely low profile and don’t want a lawsuit to shine the light of day on their product. Watch Ed Bradley’s program. You’ll notice there was no one from Ajinomoto speaking about the safety of monosodium glutamate. They did, however, have their man at the FDA, Michael R. Taylor formerly of King and Spaulding and Monsanto represent them wearing his FDA credentials.

Although rated by TV guide as one of the two most watched segments of the 1991 year, 60 Minutes hasn’t replayed it or touched a story that might remotely criticize MSG. It would appear that Don Hewitt caved to industry pressure – could it be explained in any other way? And for neither love nor money can you buy a tape of the program from CBS.

But Don Hewitt is gone. The lie that cigarettes are harmless has been exposed. The toxic chemicals used in production of genetically modified products (GMO’s) are literally on trial. In February, 60 Minutes aired “Did the FDA Ignite the Opioid Epidemic?” The time is right for the toxic effects of monosodium glutamate and the other ingredients that contain Manufactured free Glutamic acid (MfG) to be exposed – and for the conversation to begin anew.

Some things have changed. It is now acknowledged that MfG — the toxic ingredient in monosodium glutamate — is an excitotoxin, killing brain cells and wiping out parts of the endocrine system when passed to the fetus and newborn through the diets of mothers who consume it in quantity in processed foods (which is easy enough to do), as well as through breast milk. There is more excitotoxic MfG in our food supply than there was in 1991, and each year more is added. In addition, the body of medical research on the toxic effects of glutamic acid is growing. A pubmed search done on April 12, 2019, produced 2984 studies of glutamate-related toxicity.

Many of the people interviewed in 1991 are gone. But if you chose to do so, you might still find some, especially the children.

John Olney died of cancer recently, a brilliant scientist and humanitarian, working in his laboratory up to the last. Jack Samuels is gone. He provided information on the toxicity of monosodium glutamate to Roz Karson and Grace Dickhaus of CBS, and to Bruce Ingersol of the Wall Street Journal, from 1990 until the story aired in 1991 – information which they were pleased to confirm. Jack died following a heart attack where medical treatment required that he be given pharmaceuticals that contained manufactured free glutamic acid – which caused him to fibrillate non-stop until he died.

Resources you might fine of interest:

So, play it again please. The timing couldn’t be better.

Respectfully requested,
Adrienne Samuels
Director, Truth in Labeling Campaign
truthlabeling@gmail.com
www.truthinlabeling.org


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.

The truth isn’t going away, MSG on 60 Minutes

If it seems like you never hear mention of the toxic nature of MSG on any nationally-aired show – cable or network – it’s true! It’s almost as if a gag-order had been issued. In fact, any talk about MSG in the media has been virtually nonexistent since the 1991 CBS 60 Minutes broadcast about the dangers of the flavor enhancer.

Sometime after the 60 Minutes program aired, Nancy Millman, writing for the Chicago Tribune, did an article focusing on the activities of Jack Samuels (co-founder of the Truth in Labeling Campaign) and his fight to have MSG labeled. According to Millman, prior to beginning her work, she had cleared the story with her editor, but the article was never published.

Similarly, the Baltimore Sun accepted and then refused to print an article on MSG by journalist Linda Bonvie, and an editor at the New York Times told Bonvie that she wouldn’t take a story that even mentioned MSG. According to Bonvie, the editor had said she was unwilling to face the pressure and intimidation that would result if she did. And in 1991, Don Hewett of 60 Minutes said, on air, that he had never had so much pressure applied to him by industry as he had prior to the airing of the MSG segment. Although rated by TV guide as one of the two most watched programs of the 1991 year, 60 Minutes has refused to run the piece again. Prior to the 60 Minutes show airing, Ajinomoto pulled out all the stops to kill it. In early 1990, we had become aware that the show was in the works, and over the course of its development had provided information to producers Grace Dickhaus and Roz Karson. In March of 1991, a producer for the CBS show called Ajinomoto with the announcement that they were thinking of doing a segment on their product.

According to the Wall Street Journal a group of trade associations launched one of the largest pre-emptive campaigns in public relations history. The WSJ said that “A crisis-management team specializing in 60 Minutes damage control has been hired to help the industry execute an elaborate game plan to forestall a repeat of the 1989 Alar-on-apples scare.”

We had received a copy of the “International Food Information Council MSG Committee/MSG Coalition COMMUNICATIONS PLAN” from an anonymous source, which detailed IFIC’s plans for scuttling the 60 Minutes segment on MSG, or, failing that, to provide for crisis management. We forwarded IFIC’s plan to the WSJ.

The IFIC, which represents itself as an “independent” organization, sends attractive brochures to dietitians, nutritionists, hospitals, schools, the media, and politicians, proclaiming the safety of monosodium glutamate. IFIC’s paid relationship to the glutamate industry is documented in the 31st edition of the Encyclopedia of Associations.

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.

Call to Action: False claims made on government websites can be removed

There is power in positive thinking and Right Action. The Informed Consent Action Network (ICAN) just reported that because of actions taken, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can no longer claim on its website that vaccines do not cause autism.

What better incentive could we have to flood the FDA with testimony telling why we believe the FDA’s claim that MSG is harmless should be dropped from any and all of their materials.

Call to action: Comment on Citizen Petition FDA-2021-P-0035 to strip MSG of its GRAS (safe) designation.

To comment on this petition:

Go to https://www.regulations.gov and put this docket number FDA-2021-P-0035 in the search box. Click on “Search.”

Click on “Comment now.”

NOTE: If you’re commenting on Tuesday or Thursday an extra step is needed as the site is being updated twice a week. On those days:

Go to https://www.regulations.gov and put this docket number FDA-2021-P-0035 in the search box.

Click on the second link titled Citizen Petition from Adrienne Samuels and you’ll see a blue tab that says “comment now.”

This is a comment from L. “Considering what we know right now, there is no reason for the FDA to label MSG as a GRAS additive. It is a toxic, brain damaging, manmade substance. For the FDA to continue to present it as a benign, GRAS ingredient benefits industry, not consumers. It’s time for the FDA to stop being a PR firm for Big Food and serve the public. This petition is an excellent way to start that process. Please give it the focus and attention it deserves.”

This is an excerpt from a comment from F. “In my case, if I sat down in the evening and consumed a large quantity of barbecue potato chips, nacho chips (two favorite snacks) or other products containing significant amounts of MSG, I would wake up the next morning with very severe vertigo that lasted 7-10 days. I was unable to function or teach my food marketing classes until I discovered that the transderm-scop patch (worn on cruises by people subject to seasickness) provided some relief. The vertigo attacks occurred about once per month. After several visits to ENT physicians who could not explain the problem or find a solution, I decided that the condition may have been caused by a food additive. I used a careful process of elimination and, over the course of several months, determined that the culprit was MSG. I completely removed MSG from my diet, as much as possible, by reading all labels and never consuming any product that contains MSG. When eating away-from-home, I always confirm that the restaurant does not use MSG in foods I purchase. I am happy to report that, as a result, I have now been free from any vertigo attacks for more than nine years.

“I suspect that the incidence of MSG sensitivity is far higher than reported, and that most people suffering the symptoms never identify the cause of their symptoms. Given that MSG is nothing more than a “flavor enhancer” and provides no real functional benefits, I cannot see how any benefits of MSG could possibly outweigh the costs (medical expenses and lost productivity), given the clearly documented sensitivities to MSG. It would be far better for the American consumer to learn to appreciate the real flavors of foods. I am gratified that some enlightened food manufacturers and retailers have been removing MSG from their products.”


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

MSG on 60 Minutes got people riled up 30 years ago. Could it do the same thing today?

Thirty years ago this 60 Minutes program (video below) on MSG was the second most-watched show of the year. Despite that, the show’s creator Don Hewitt caved to glutamate-industry pressure and refused to air it a second time.

Since then the Glutes have kept a tight wrap on information about the toxic effects of MSG, filling the Internet, newspapers and TV with cleverly crafted propaganda that carries the falsehood MSG is a harmless ingredient. Advertising studies have been rigged to conclude that nothing was found to suggest that MSG is anything other than safe, diverting funding from research that might concluded that MSG is harmful, enlisting the support of celebrities and professionals who vouch for the safety of their excitotoxic – brain damaging – product and keeping any mention of possible MSG-toxicity out of FDA files.

But it’s a new day. And as much as we may disagree about our politics and even what truth is, no one will disagree with the notion that it’s wrong to poison people, most especially our children. And so, through a Citizen Petition addressed to FDA Commissioner Hahn, I have asked the people at the FDA (who have kept the myth of the safety of MSG alive no matter what) to weed out the lies that the FDA is telling at the behest of the glutamate industry and officially stop calling the excitotoxic manufactured glutamic acid and the MSG that contains it generally recognized as safe — GRAS.

To comment on and support that petition, simply go here and then click the blue “comment now” button at the top of the page.

And be sure to share this message with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn friends.


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