The slow, steady, thought-altering drip of propaganda

A tip sheet to help fight back when you encounter the glutes’ ‘mishmash’ of altered facts

Effective propaganda doesn’t just hit once and disappear. It works best as a steady stream, most effectively coming at you from all directions. It puts a grain of sand in your oyster of belief, slowly eroding what you thought to be true.

One of the best propaganda campaigns currently out there is being hosted by Ajinomoto, the world’s largest manufacturer of monosodium glutamate. We’ve seen videos, blogs and “news” stories touting the safety of MSG. We’ve been told that avoiding this brain-damaging additive is somehow “racist.” We’ve been informed that it all started with a 1968 letter sent to the New England Journal of Medicine, and that any idea that this toxic substance is dangerous has been debunked by decades of scientific testing. All this disinformation being orchestrated by those in the glutamate industry who don’t mind spending multi-millions to keep generating their ill-gotten billions.

The latest such effort recently appeared on a program called “Milk Street,” created and hosted by Christopher Kimball, the bowtie-and-suspender-wearing emcee who departed the PBS show he founded, America’s Test Kitchen, several years ago.

Kimball fits the profile of a delivery agent of glutamate propaganda perfectly. He’s well known and even considered influential in the cooking world, calm, deliberate and described by a food writer as offering “authority and reassurance.”

In order to be totally convincing, of course, deceit is best delivered by a twosome, which is where Yara Elmjouie, a video maker and quite likely one of Ajinomoto’s many agents in the field, comes in.

To listen to this podcast, in which Yara “discusses his video that investigates the history of MSG phobia in America,” one might think that his rattling off of all this information proves his expertise in the matter. But these “facts” are carefully contrived to leave the listener confidently confused.

As Yara says correctly, “the role of media and the role of language has such an important influence on how we perceive things.” And that’s why when it comes to matters such as MSG, it’s vital to recognize disinformation, such as what Milk Street has put out.

For that reason, we have prepared the following tip sheet for you. Since most of what is circulating is amazingly similar, you can use it for practically any glute hype that comes your way – and that includes articles in newspapers and magazines, Youtube videos and most especially talks on MSG by celebrity chefs and famous foodies like Kimball.

Tip sheet to cut through the toxic fog of glutamate fiction (inspired by Yara Elmjouie and Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street):

Fiction: MSG is made from corn, wheat, and beets

Truth: Since 1957 monosodium glutamate has been manufactured by using genetically modified bacteria to synthesize glutamic acid outside of their cell membranes and excrete it into a medium to accumulate. This “reinvention” has allowed for huge amounts of the additive to be made and used in previously unheard-of amounts in processed foods of all kinds.

Fiction: Avoiding MSG is somehow racist because of the term “Chinese Restaurant Syndrome”

Truth: As you likely know, Chinese Restaurant Syndrome was the title given to a letter written by a physician and sent to the New England Journal of Medicine seeking information about reactions suffered after eating in a Chinese restaurant in the U.S. Why would avoiding this additive – generally done because of personal experiences such as migraines, asthma, depression, heart-rhythm abnormalities, pain, and even seizures – smack of racism?

New from Yara on his Milk Street interview is that “fear of immigrants” is why people believe they’ve become sick after consuming foods with MSG and that all this is somehow connected to the publication of Silent Spring in the 1960s.

Fiction: MSG is known to be perfectly safe – “nobody has come up with any science that says there is a problem with it.”

Truth: The studies cited by the Glutes as evidence of MSG safety are ones in which MSG was fed to volunteers who were given test material containing MSG at one time, and at another time given a placebo that contained (without disclosure) an excitotoxic amino acid — one that would trigger the exact same reactions as those caused by MSG. When subjects reacted to both test material and placebo, researchers claimed to have again failed to demonstrate MSG toxicity. More on this subject can be found here.

Ever vigilant in promoting its views, the glutamate industry has declared that both the FDA and regulators around the world have found monosodium glutamate to be safe. In fact, however, neither independent scientists nor independent regulators have found monosodium glutamate to be safe. FDA studies, which were actually reviews, always have been staffed by persons with ties to the glutamate industry. The regulators and/or authoritative bodies referred to by the glutamate industry did no research of their own. And studies to be reviewed were delivered by industry agents. Studies of MSG-induced brain damage were never shown to these authoritative bodies. It’s known that MSG when fed to very young laboratory animals kills brain cells in the area of the hypothalamus, and, through that damage, causes a number of endocrine disorders. One of those disorders is gross obesity. Another is infertility.

Fiction: The glutamate that naturally occurs in many foods and the glutamate in monosodium glutamate are exactly the same

Truth: The glutamate found in unprocessed, unadulterated and unfermented protein is L-glutamate only. The MSG used in cosmetics, drugs, vaccines, dietary supplements and processed food is manufactured, and always contains L-glutamate plus D-glutamate and pyroglutamate (unwanted byproducts of L-glutamate production) plus other unwanted by-products of production all called impurities. And since industry has not found a way to remove the unwanted impurities from processed free L-glutamate, the glutamate in MSG will always come with impurities.

Only manufactured glutamic acid causes brain damage and adverse reaction when ingested or otherwise used. Glutamate contained in unprocessed, unadulterated and unfermented protein, no matter in what quantities, will not cause reactions in MSG-sensitive people.

If you are one of the millions who suffer from adverse reactions from MSG or other forms of MfG (that stands for manufactured free glutamate), which is found in more than 40 ingredients added to processed foods from soup to nuts, and you’d like to write Christopher Kimball and tell him what you think about his role in producing this type of propaganda, here’s the address: Kimball’s Milk Street, 177 Milk Street, 1st floor, Boston, MA 02109. If you prefer to call, here’s the number for their editorial offices: 857-990-3625.

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.

Scientists have known MSG is toxic for decades. Why doesn’t ‘media spokesperson’ Toby Amidor?

Today I came across a 2018 article in the U.S.News & World Report health section titled “Scientists Have Known MSG Is Safe for Decades. Why Don’t Most Americans?” by Toby Amidor.

Toby Amidor, according to U.S News, has a string of credentials five lines long including Adjunct Professor at Teachers College, Columbia University and Hunter School of Urban Public Health, where she teaches food service management. The magazine advises us to follow her “cutting edge nutrition information” at various online outlets.

In her U.S. News article, Tony Amidor first tells the reader that MSG’s bad reputation isn’t deserved. She then proceeds to spew out the glutamate-industry propaganda we have seen over and over again in the last two years as part of Ajinomoto’s multi-million-dollar campaign trying to prove that MSG got a bad rap and is safe for everyone.

The best of Ajinomoto’s sound bites are all in this piece, such as MSG is “naturally present in many everyday foods like tomatoes…” (ignoring the fact that MSG is manufactured, not grown in foods such as tomatoes and mushrooms).

And she learned what she knows about MSG from THE experts at a conference sponsored by Ajinomoto. According to Toby Amidor, this negative impression of MSG started with a letter that appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1968 that the editors titled Chinese Restaurant Syndrome. I guess they didn’t mention at that conference that right around the same time studies had shown that MSG causes brain damage when fed to infant mice. And that there were U.S. Senate hearings calling for removal of MSG from baby food – which industry promised to do.

In her article, Toby Amidor didn’t skip a beat. There’s the line “…when they injected extremely high doses of MSG directly into newborn mice’s abdomens, the mice were likely to develop health issues including obesity, stunted physical development and disturbances in brain development.” (Toby Amidor referred to it as “brain development” instead of what it really was — brain damage. And she left out infertility.) Ignored were the many MSG feeding studies that produced brain damage, obesity, learning and behavior deficits along with reproductive disorders.

The article claims that in the 1990s American scientists started questioning the validity of Chinese restaurant syndrome. Note, however, that if you actually look up the articles, those scientists were all supported, directly or indirectly by Ajinomoto, or one of their agents, such as the International Food Information Council (IFIC).

And finally, there are the so-called “independent studies” done by glutamate industry researchers who used placebos that caused reactions identical to those caused by MSG. Placebos that contained the excitotoxic aspartic acid found in aspartame. And the not so surprising results? “…those who had been given MSG didn’t experience any more ‘Chinese restaurant syndromes’ than those who’d taken the placebo.”

Maybe more a-fib, nausea and vomiting, asthma, or seizures, but those aren’t included in Chinese restaurant syndrome, And, guess what? Toby Amidor didn’t bother to mention those reactions either.

But this is all business as usual for Toby Amidor. Her list of published articles spreading the glutes’ catchphrases is quite lengthy, as is the list of her clients and corporate sponsors. She even advertises services such as “corporate and social media messaging,” saying that she “teams up with food companies and organizations as their media spokesperson.” One client listed is Ketchum Public Relations, a huge PR firm headquartered in NYC. And on a Ketchum client list you’ll find mega-MSG producer Ajinomoto.

And that is certainly no surprise. Especially when one can rattle off the glutamate party line as glibly as Toby Amidor can.

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.

Act II: If you rig your study carefully, you won’t have to think about lying with statistics

Following are details of methodology used by industry in studies designed to demonstrate that MSG is a harmless food additive. Not every method is used in every study.

Method 1: Select subjects who claim to be sensitive to the product being tested but might not be sensitive, and might not react to the product when ingested. The claim of investigators will be that subjects are people who claim to be sensitive to the product being tested, and the conclusion will be that people who claim to be sensitive are not really sensitive to the product. Keys to use of this method lie with enticing subjects who are not sensitive to say that they are sensitive (see A below), while disqualifying potential subjects who might be sensitive to the product (see B and C), and frightening subjects who might qualify, but fear that they might suffer adverse reactions if they participated (see D).

A) Offer several hundred dollars to persons who agree to participate in the study and claim to be sensitive to the product without checking the validity of their claims.

B) Require that subjects qualify as “well subjects:” people who claim to have no pre-existing medical conditions such as asthma, allergies, seizures, or headaches, for example, and therefore have no history of adverse reactions.

C) Require that people who would participate in a study first demonstrate that they will not react to “screening placebos” that will contain toxic or allergenic material similar to the test material. Only people who were not sensitive to the test material would then be serving as subjects in these studies.

D) Meet the requirements for obtaining informed consent. Requiring informed consent biases these studies (2,3).

Method 2: Minimize the likelihood that a subject will react to the test material.

A) Use rather small amounts of the product being tested.

B) Provide test material in a form that will minimize any adverse effect. Encapsulating the product, for example, will guarantee slow release, and possibly cause less effect.

C) Give subjects something to eat with the test material or prior to being tested that will slow the product’s uptake.

D) Do not exclude subjects who are currently taking medications that might block adverse effects of the product.

E) Limit the time span during which adverse reactions will be recorded so some reactions to test material will occur after recording time has lapsed, and will not be counted as reactions.

F) Time administration of product and placebo so the reactions are likely to overlap, and reactions to the product will be counted as reactions to the placebo.

G) Exclude some of the known or alleged adverse reactions to the test material from consideration.

Method 3: Maximize the probability that subjects will react to the placebo.

A) Lace the material called “placebo” with material that will cause reactions similar to, or identical to, the adverse reactions allegedly caused by the product.

B) Provide meals or snacks for all subjects prior to testing or during the test period, being certain that they contain ingredients to which subjects might be allergic or sensitive — thereby possibly increasing the toxic loads of placebos to exceed subjects’ tolerance levels, and precipitate adverse reactions to placebos.

C) Make no attempt during the course of the study to prevent subjects from ingesting food, drink, or dietary supplements, or chewing gum, to which they might be allergic or sensitive.

D) Schedule test and placebo treatments so a reaction to test material might occur after the placebo is given and be counted as an adverse reaction to the placebo.

Method 4: Focus on non-relevant measures.

A) Focus on an adverse reaction, change in blood pressure for example, that will not change, or will change only marginally when a subject ingests the test material. Use those data as basis for the claim that the test material does not cause adverse reactions.

B) Exclude some of the known relevant effects or adverse reactions from consideration.

Method 5: Subject data to sophisticated sounding inappropriate statistical analyses.

A) Use inferential statistics on data collected from volunteer subjects not randomly drawn from any population, thereby violating one of the tests’ underlying assumptions.

B) Apply statistical tests to data from research designs that fail to meet one or more of the tests’ underlying assumptions.

Method 6: Without considering whether or not proposed statistical tests are appropriate, minimize the probability that statistically significant relationships and/or statistically significant differences between groups being compared will be found.

A) Minimize the number of subjects used. Start with a limited number of subjects and/or design a two-phase study wherein a number of subjects are eliminated following Phase One.

B) Where analyses of raw data do not produce the desired results, create ratios, relative frequencies, or other indices that will reduce differences in response rate between subjects responding to test material and subjects responding to placebos.

Method 7: Draw unjustified conclusions from inappropriately interpreted statistical analyses.

The statistical model on which inferential statistics are based allows the investigator to conclude that it is highly likely (95 or 99 percent probability) that differences found were not due to chance. The statistical model does not, however, allow the investigator to conclude that there is no difference between the two groups when a statistically significant difference is not found.

Drawing conclusions based on failure to find a difference (i.e., on failure to reject the null hypothesis) is grossly inappropriate (4-6). Failure to find a statistically significant difference between groups may provide useful information for planning one’s next experiment, but it proves nothing.

Method 8: Ignore relevant data; transform relevant data so that its value declines; and/or be selective about which data will be reported.
Beyond research design…
In addition to issues of research design and methodology, investigators have been known to:

A) Draw conclusions that do not follow from the results of the study;

B) Minimize discussion of embarrassing data;

C) Direct readers’ attention to things deemed to be of value to industry; not necessarily reporting all data or results of statistical tests;

D) Include discussion of ideas that have little or nothing to do with the results of the study;

E) In discussion, include material that industry wants presented to the public, whether or not it is relevant to the stated intent of the research;

F) Fail to publish, or even talk about, the results of studies that don’t come out as planned.

The issue of placebo integrity…
The test material used in these studies was the flavor enhancer monosodium glutamate, supplied directly or indirectly by Ajinomoto, Co., Inc.

Processed free glutamic acid is, by definition, an inevitable component of monosodium glutamate. Processed free glutamic acid is a known neurotoxin and endocrine disruptor (7) alleged to cause adverse reactions ranging from mild and transitory to debilitating and life threatening (8,9). Processed free glutamic acid will be found in ingredients other than monosodium glutamate — in an escalating number of ingredients used in a wide range of processed foods.

Processed free glutamic acid made by any method will cause the same brain lesions, neuroendocrine disorders, retinal degeneration, and adverse reactions as the processed free glutamic acid found in monosodium glutamate (10,11). In the United States, consumers who understand that they react adversely to processed free glutamic acid, no matter how it is manufactured, and regardless of the ingredient in which it is found, often refer to all processed free glutamic acid as “MSG.” Those who manufacture, sell, and promote the use of monosodium glutamate routinely restrict their use of the acronym “MSG” to refer to monosodium glutamate; and “MSG” is often used as shorthand for monosodium glutamate in the scientific literature. When researchers report that no subject had been given access to MSG, it does not preclude the possibility that there may have been access to processed free glutamic acid delivered in a form other than monosodium glutamate.

Ingredients that contain processed free glutamic acid include, but are not limited to, monosodium glutamate, monopotassium glutamate, L-glutamic acid, L-glutamate, all hydrolyzed protein products, autolyzed yeast, yeast extract, calcium caseinate, sodium caseinate, gelatin, pectin, citric acid made from corn, maltodextrin, textured vegetable protein, most natural flavors and natural flavoring, soy protein isolate, and whey protein concentrate. Reactions to processed free glutamic acid will occur regardless of the names of the ingredients in which it is hidden (11).

Aspartame is known to cause the same brain damage and endocrine disorders as are caused by processed free glutamic acid (7).

Aspartame contains aspartic acid, a neurotoxic endocrine disruptor that causes virtually identical brain lesions and neuroendocrine disorders as those caused by the glutamic acid component of monosodium glutamate and the other ingredients that contain processed free glutamic acid (7,12); and those two neurotoxic amino acids are known to work in an additive fashion (7). Aspartame also contains phenylalanine and a methyl ester. According to records no longer kept by the Adverse Reactions Monitoring System of the FDA, ingestion of aspartame produces, with rare exception, the same adverse reactions as those produced by ingestion of monosodium glutamate; and monosodium glutamate and aspartame reactions occur with the same relative frequency (8,13).

Beginning in 1978, before aspartame was approved by the FDA for use in food, glutamate-industry researchers used aspartame in placebos (14). Over and above the fact that use of aspartame in placebos is grossly inappropriate, the fact that aspartame-containing products are supposed to carry a warning on their labels did not deter industry from using the substance, or the FDA from allowing its use.

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.

REFERENCES

  1. Samuels A. The toxicity/safety of processed free glutamic acid (MSG): a study in suppression of information. Account Res. 1999;6:259-310.
  2. Mitchell AM, Kline JA. Systematic bias introduced by the informed consent process in a diagnostic research study. Acad Emerg. Med 2008;15:225-30.
  3. Bjarnason NH, Kampmann JP. Selection bias introduced by the informed consent process. Lancet. 2003;361:1990.
  4. Ferguson GA. Statistical Analysis in Psychology and Education. New York: McGraw-Hill; 1959.
  5. Weinberg GH, Schumaker JA. Statistics: An Intuitive Approach. Belmont: Wadsworth; 1962.
  6. McNemar Q. Psychological Statistics. New York: Wiley; 1949.
  7. Olney JW, Ho O. Brain damage in infant mice following oral intake of glutamate, aspartate or cysteine. Nature. 1970;227:609-10.
  8. FDA Technical Information Specialist (HFS-728). Memorandum to Health Hazard Evaluation Board. Re: Summary of Adverse Reactions Attributed to MSG. June 26, 1997.
  9. Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB). Analysis of adverse reactions to monosodium glutamate (MSG). Raiten DJ, Talbot, JM, Fisher, KD, eds. Bethesda, MD: Life Sciences Research Office, FASEB; 1995:77-79.
  10. Olney JW, Ho OL, Rhee V. Brain-damaging potential of protein hydrolysates. N Engl J Med. 1973; 289:391-93.
  11. FDA Bureau of Foods. Letter to a consumer from S.I. Delgado. March 3, 1981. “…if you wish to avoid the so-called ‘Chinese restaurant syndrome,’ you should also avoid foods which contain hydrolized vegetable protein.”
  12. Price MT, Olney JW, Lowry OH, Buchsbaum S. Uptake of exogenous glutamate and aspartate by circumventricular organs but not other regions of brain. Neurochem. 1981;36:1774-80.
  13. FDA Technical Information Specialist (HFS-728). Memorandum to Health Hazard Evaluation Board. Re: Summary of Adverse Reactions Attributed to Aspartame. June 26, 1997.
  14. Ebert AG. Letter to Sue Ann Anderson, R.D., Ph.D., Senior Staff Scientist, FASEB. March 22, 1991.

If you rig your study carefully, you won’t have to think about lying with statistics

Act l:

Studies of the safety of monosodium glutamate have a certain sameness worth considering. To begin with, they are just that: studies of the safety of monosodium glutamate wherein the option of toxicity is really not considered.

The body of evidence that demonstrates that monosodium glutamate causes brain damage and endocrine disorders is dismissed with the statement that studies of animals do not represent the human condition and the FDA doesn’t disagree. Moreover, since one can’t see brain damage with the naked eye, there would be no reason for the man on the street to suspect that the brain damage that he cannot see would be caused by monosodium glutamate. And there are no physicians or alternative medicine practitioners suggesting that diagnosed endocrine disorders might have been caused by monosodium glutamate.

Only remaining for the glutamate industry to overcome are the concerns of consumers who find that ingestion of monosodium glutamate and other glutamate-containing food additives cause adverse reactions such as migraine headache, heart irregularities, and depression, and the growing number of physicians and neuroscientists who, based on clinical practice and/or experience in the laboratory, warn that ingestion of monosodium glutamate places humans at risk. Industry’s vehicle for dealing with this has been the double-blind study, rigged to encourage industry-sponsored researchers to conclude that once again there has been a study done that has failed to find that monosodium glutamate is in any way harmful.

Ajinomoto’s organization: its structure…

In response to the first reports of brain damage and adverse reactions following ingestion of monosodium glutamate, Ajinomoto Co., Inc., possibly the world’s largest producer of free glutamic acid and monosodium glutamate (and producer of many other individual amino acids), established a nonprofit corporation to represent its interests. The International Glutamate Technical Committee (IGTC) was organized in 1969 as an association of member companies engaged in manufacture, sale, and commercial use of glutamates. They sponsor, gather, and disseminate research on the use and safety of monosodium glutamate; design and implement research protocols and provide financial assistance to researchers; promote acceptance of monosodium glutamate as a food ingredient; and represent members’ collective interests. Those collective interests are to sell monosodium glutamate. The IGTC is an association of individuals, companies, and staff, composed of physicians and/or scientists employed by producers or users of glutamic acid and its salts or doing research on it in university laboratories (1).

Ajinomoto’s research strategies…

The premise that monosodium glutamate is safe for human consumption is based on human research essentially underwritten, designed, and implemented by the IGTC. Researchers have:

1) Selected subjects who might not be sensitive to the product;

2) Reduced the likelihood that subjects would react to monosodium glutamate test material;

3) Used toxic or allergenic material in placebos;

4) Used too few subjects, so there would be inadequate statistical power to produce a significant difference between adverse reactions of test subjects and placebo subjects, or to find a significant relationship between the experimental variable and the measured outcome;

5) Applied statistical tests to research designs that do not meet the tests’ underlying assumptions;

6) Focused on non-relevant variables;

7) Ignored relevant data.

Reviewed individually, inappropriate handling of subjects, methodology, and/or statistical analysis in any one study might be attributed to shoddy science or sloppy scholarship. However, there is sameness in these studies which lies in the fact that methodology virtually guarantees that no statistically significant difference between subjects treated with monosodium glutamate and subjects treated another way will be found; and/or no significant relationship will be found between two or more variables being investigated. Researchers, then, can “legitimately” conclude that subjects who were given monosodium glutamate did not have more reactions than subjects given a placebo, or subjects consuming greater quantities of monosodium glutamate did not become taller, shorter, fatter, or thinner, and did not have more adverse reactions or higher blood pressure than others. It is these studies that industry points to when claiming that monosodium glutamate is safe, or when claiming that the safety (never toxicity) of monosodium glutamate is controversial. We submit, however, that since industry bases its claim for the safety of monosodium glutamate on these studies, industry itself has demonstrated that ingestion of monosodium glutamate places consumers at risk. There really is no controversy.

Reference

  1. Samuels A. The toxicity/safety of processed free glutamic acid (MSG): a study in suppression of information. Account Res. 1999;6:259-310.

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.

Alzheimer’s triggered by MSG? Author and MSG-survivor Adrienne Samuels, Ph.D. traces the link

Is there a connection between MSG and Alzheimer’s? Author and MSG survivor Adrienne Samuels, Ph.D. traces the link in the study “Dose dependent toxicity of glutamic acid: A review.”

While a little bit of MSG may not obviously hurt you, remember, you can’t see the brain damage caused by eating MSG or the 40+ other food ingredients that contain MSG’s brain-damaging manufactured free glutamic acid (MfG). You won’t read about this in the New York Times or hear it from the FDA because the glutamate industry wouldn’t allow that, but you can read the open access study published online by the International Journal of Food Properties . (Clicking on the green PDF button at the journal page will make it easier to read.) And if the glutamate industry manages to have it taken down, we’ll put it back up.

It’s a simple story. L-glutamate in food, which is essential to normal body function and is the major neurotransmitter in humans, becomes excitotoxic – brain damaging — when present outside of whole protein, in excess of what a healthy human can accommodate. Put another way, if a protein is broken into individual amino acids before it is ingested, those free amino acids take on a toxic potential that they wouldn’t have if consumed in unprocessed, unadulterated protein.

As far as the excess of these free amino acids goes, there is quite enough MfG readily available in processed and ultra-processed foods, snacks and drinks to prove excitotoxic.

The fact of MSG-induced toxicity has been revisited in “Dose dependent toxicity of glutamic acid: A review.” This study also confirms the fact that excitotoxins such as MSG ingested by a mother will pass to the fetus across the placenta and be passed to the newborn through mothers’ milk.

The take-away is that food additives containing MfG, such as MSG, on one hand clearly cause human brain damage, and on the other may very well contribute to the myriad of abnormalities now recognized as being associated with glutamate, including: Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, stroke, ALS, autism, schizophrenia, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), epilepsy, ischemic stroke, seizures, Huntington’s disease, addiction, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), frontotemporal dementia, headaches, asthma, diabetes, muscle pain, atrial fibrillation, ischemia, trauma and autism.

MSG does more than cause migraine headache and Chinese Restaurant Syndrome. MSG destroys brain cells.

Click here to read this eye-opening study.

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, the secret ingredient that makes a pet food a ‘success’

For most pet owners, the proof of quality, flavorful pet food products is in watching our furry friends enjoy their food. When a new diet is introduced to a pet and it stimulates active consumption, it’s considered palatable, and therefore a success. — Kemin Industries

Your idea of a successful food for your pet is probably one that will nourish your pup or kitty and help them live a long, healthy life. But for pet food companies, success is measured by how quickly a dog or cat eagerly eats up every last bite of the same food every single day.

Palatability is a key phrase in the industry. And to ensure that the food is palatable, or tasty and appetizing to the pet, a “secret” ingredient is added — one called a “palatant.”

Palatants are big business. These additives coerce an animal into consuming what’s placed in front of it (even if it’s an unappetizing-looking bowl of hard, brown pellets) using exactly the same method that makes Cheetos irresistible or gets Doritos to taste like the most delicious thing you’ve ever put in your mouth. You know the secret ingredient as monosodium glutamate (MSG), but it’s really the manufactured free glutamate (MfG) in the MSG that triggers our taste buds and our animals’ taste buds, making them beg for more. MfG can be found in 40+ food ingredients.

Palatants, which are also called “digests,” are primarily made from either hydrolyzed animal or vegetable proteins, which invariably contain MfG. When a protein is hydrolyzed it will always create excitotoxic – brain damaging — amino acids. It doesn’t matter if that hydrolyzed protein is put in dog food or a can of tuna you eat for lunch, it will contain MfG, the brain-damaging ingredient found in MSG.

Now, if you plan is to carefully examine the labels of pet foods for this noxious ingredient, you won’t come away with much information. Palatants can be listed on the label as “natural flavoring,” “digest,” or simply incorporated into some other benign-sounding component of the food – both in bargain brands and pricy boutique ones.

There are, however, some pet foods that will tell you right on the package that they’re using MfG-containing hydrolyzed proteins.

The pea-protein gravy train

Currently, the biggest darling of the food industry is widespread, multi-purpose pea protein. It’s a cheap ingredient used to bump up protein content in scores of bars, drinks, powders for smoothies and fake foods. Read more about it here.

When used in pet food, it’s advertised as an easily digestible source of protein, and is typically found in allergy, grain-free and limited protein diets.

Purina is one of many major pet food manufacturers that uses pea protein in its dog food formulas. While consumers are starting to realize that pea protein in human foods contains excitotoxic, brain-damaging MfG, it appears that same level of concern doesn’t apply to what we feed our pets. That is, until we learn that something has gone terribly wrong.

The mysterious heart ailment associated with grain-free pet foods

In 2018 the FDA issued an alert about grain-free pet food being implicated in untold numbers of otherwise healthy dogs and cats developing dilated cardiomyopathy, a disease of the heart muscle that can come on slowly and ultimately be fatal.

In typical FDA slow-motion style, the agency first received reports of the potential connection back in 2014, yet waited four years to warn pet owners. Now we know that all breeds, ages and sizes of dogs have been involved in the 560 accounts the FDA received (which most certainly are only a fraction of the actual number of cases).

Interestingly, no heavy metal compounds were found in the foods tested, but over 90 percent of the food consisted of grain-free formulas containing pea and/or lentil protein, i.e., MfG.

Could the excitotoxic amino acids in those ingredients have triggered this deadly heart condition? It’s pretty much a given that we will never learn more from the FDA. To even consider these highly processed, toxic vegetable proteins as a potential cause of this tragedy is something that agency will never, ever do.

The U.S. pet food industry is predicted to reach $30 billion in the next two years, with more and more expensive, highly advertised and “gourmet” brands on the market. Despite all the glowing package claims and pictures of fish, meat and poultry, the contents generally consist of low-quality, toxic ingredients.

And sadly, our dogs and cats are becoming overweight, morbidly obese, diabetic and sick at an ever-increasing rate – just as are their human companions.

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.

Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, ALS, MS, epilepsy and 10+ other diseases all have this in common

It looks like Ajinomoto is fighting tooth and nail, pulling out all the stops to convince the public that their brain damaging (excitotoxic) monosodium glutamate (MSG) is harmless. They’re pouring millions of dollars into buying advertising space in newspapers throughout the world, issuing press releases, covertly publishing YouTube commercials dressed up as news, buying testimonials from celebrity chef, sports personalities, and good-looking young women who call themselves “sci moms.” They’ve mastered brainwashing on social media. Yet people keep getting sick after eating MSG. Not everyone, of course, just lots of people. And Ajinomoto’s MSG sales have been slipping.

There’s something else, too. Scientists are beginning to realize that somehow glutamate has something to do with increases in Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, stroke, ALS, autism, schizophrenia, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), epilepsy, ischemic stroke, seizures, Huntington’s disease, addiction, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), frontotemporal dementia, and autism. No one has yet identified a cause and effect relationship, but the scientific community now recognizes that glutamate is associated with each of them. Data? A January 18, 2020 Medine search (www.pubmed.gov) for “glutamate-induced,” returned 3742 references.

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 is great for masking rancid flavors in forgotten food

If you’re not opposed to a little brain damage caused by excitotoxins like MSG, hydrolyzed protein products and autolyzed yeast extract, and you don’t suffer any of the side effects of manufactured free glutamate (MfG) like migraine headache, irritable bowel, atrial fibrillation, and seizures, you might be tempted to use MSG or one of its analogs to mask the rancid flavors of food you’ve left in the fridge too long.

While historically the Chinese have sprinkled a little MSG on their fresh-picked grains and vegetables to give them an exaggerated taste, today MSG is being used in the United States primarily to give flavor to food of inferior quality and poor nutritive value, and to provide flavor to the chemicals that are used liberally in ultra-processed foods.  MSG is also used to mask rancidity.

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.

Plant-based meat replacers promote obesity, infertility and migraine headache

Until fairly recently, the thing called “food” used to be food, not manufactured amino acids and other chemicals.

Then, someone discovered that a huge, virtually untapped goldmine was out there for things that could be advertised as protein-containing meat-like “foods” that weren’t made from animals. That market is now reported to be hitting $4.5 billion in yearly sales and expected to grow substantially every year.

These protein substitutes have now become so popular that the Impossible Burger from Impossible Foods and the Beyond Burger from Beyond Meat have made the jump not just into supermarket meat aisles, but to fast-food places like Burger King and Dunkin’ Donuts.

But there’s a problem. This mock meat contains excitotoxic (brain damaging) manufactured free glutamic acid (MfG) — the same toxic ingredient found in monosodium glutamate.

Don’t expect to find that information on the label. And especially don’t expect the fake-food industry to tell you that glutamic acid is associated with Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, stroke, ALS, autism, schizophrenia, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), epilepsy, ischemic stroke, seizures, Huntington’s disease, addiction, frontotemporal dementia, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and autism.

There’s protein in meat, fish and poultry. But what’s made in food-processing plants and marketed as a replacement for meat isn’t protein. Although those products contain amino acids with names like the ones that are found in meat, fish, and poultry, don’t be fooled. The amino acids in these imposters have been manufactured in food- processing and/or chemical plants, and all come loaded with unwanted by-products of production (a.k.a. impurities) such as D-glutamic acid and pyroglutamic acid, three of those amino acids being excitotoxins – meaning they kill brain cells.

The names of some of the ingredients that contain excitotoxic amino acids may be familiar to you. They include monosodium glutamate (MSG), maltodextrin, hydrolyzed mung beans and other hydrolyzed protein products, pea protein isolate and other protein isolates and concentrates, all of which contain excitotoxic MfG. (More are listed here.)

You can find additional information on the webpage and blogs of The Truth in Labeling Campaign.

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.