If the ‘dose makes the poison’ there’s more than enough MSG and MSG-aliases in processed food to cause brain damage as well as serious observable reactions

There’s more than enough excitotoxic glutamic acid (a.k.a. free glutamate) in processed foods to create the excesses needed to cause brain damage, obesity, reproductive dysfunction, migraine headache, heart irregularities, irritable bowel, nausea and vomiting, asthma, seizures and more. In fact, excitotoxic glutamate has been known to trigger all the reactions listed as side effects of prescription drugs.

It hasn’t always been that way.

Prior to 1957, free glutamate available to people in the U.S. came largely from use of a product called Accent, which is pure MSG marketed as a flavor enhancer. In 1957, however, Ajinomoto’s method of glutamate production changed from extraction from a protein source (a slow and costly method), to a technique of bacterial fermentation wherein carefully selected genetically modified bacteria secreted glutamate through their cell walls — which enabled virtually unlimited production of MSG, allowing Ajinomoto to market its product aggressively.

It wasn’t long before Big Food discovered that increased profits could be generated by liberally using flavor enhancers (which all contain free glutamate) in every processed food product imaginable. And over the next two decades, the marketplace became flooded with manufactured/processed free-glutamate added to processed foods in ingredients such as hydrolyzed proteins, yeast extracts, maltodextrin, soy protein isolate, and MSG.

Today, more free glutamate than ever before will be found in ingredients used in processed and ultra-processed foods, snacks, and protein-fortified foods, protein drinks and shakes, and protein bars. And hydrolyzed proteins such as pea protein powder and mung bean protein isolate contain all three excitotoxic (brain-damaging) amino acids: aspartic acid (as in aspartame) and L-cysteine (used in dough conditioners), as well as glutamic acid. On top of that, excitotoxins marketed as “protein” sources have become increasingly available and extremely popular.

Recently we have seen excitotoxic amino acids in products such as Real Egg (mung bean protein isolate, the enzyme transglutaminase, and natural flavors), the Impossible Burger (textured wheat protein, potato protein, natural flavors, yeast extract, and soy protein isolate), Beyond Meat Beast Burger (pea protein isolate, natural flavoring, yeast extract, and maltodextrin), and the Lightlife Burger (water, pea protein, expeller pressed canola oil, modified corn starch, modified cellulose, yeast extract, virgin coconut oil, sea salt, natural flavor, beet powder (color), ascorbic acid (to promote color retention), onion extract, onion powder garlic powder) as well as excitotoxins added to an increasing array of ultra-processed foods. Most ultra-processed foods are made exclusively of chemicals and poor-quality ingredients to which glutamate-containing flavor enhancers have been added.

Prior to the time that Ajinomoto reformulated its method of MSG production (now over 60 years ago), accumulating excesses of glutamate through food sufficient to turn it excitotoxic would have been nearly impossible. But in the decades that followed Ajinomoto’s reformulation of MSG, obesity and infertility escalated to epidemic proportions.

The names of ingredients that contain manufactured free glutamate (MfG) can be found at this link.

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 on 60 Minutes – the truth isn’t going away

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.