The Truth About AJI-NO-MOTO®

Reading about the Umami Seasoning Day celebration in Lagos, Nigeria, we came across an article titled The Truth About AJI-NO-MOTO, which we felt needed clarification. The update we offer here is based on the motto of The Truth in Labeling Campaign: “The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about MSG.”

Note: our revisions are in red type and the patently false statements have been crossed out.

The Truth About AJI-NO-MOTO® — clarified by the Truth in Labeling Campaign

Since 1909 AJI-NO-MOTO® Umami Seasoning has been used to bring out the best taste in food all over the world. The extensive body of research produced by Ajinomoto which exists about this widely used ingredient has been reviewed by independent Ajinomoto’s scientists and regulatory authorities (to whom Ajinomoto provided all materials for review) throughout the world – all have found of whom claim that MSG to be safe is harmless.

You can find out more about this from our parent site the Truth in Labeling Campaign here.

Feel safe enjoying tastes and eating

AJI-NO-MOTO® (MSG) has been safely used as a food ingredient since 1909. However, due to the common misconceptions, growing numbers of reports of adverse reactions caused by MSG, it is now claimed to be one of the most thoroughly tested of all food ingredients, with hundreds of scientific studies financed by Ajinomoto confirming proclaiming its safe and effective use. MSG’s safety has been repeatedly affirmed by regulators and scientific agencies around the world who were given selected studies done by Ajinomoto’s agents to use in drawing their conclusions that MSG is harmless.

History of scientific studies for MSG around the world

In the early 1950s, as processed foods increased in many countries all over the world, the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) of the United Nations established a new committee, the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA), to evaluate the safety of food additives.

JECFA* evaluated the safety of glutamate in 1970, 1973 and 1987, all overseen by members of the glutamate industry. After three safety evaluations, JECFA placed MSG in the safest category, “Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) not specified”.

In 1991, the European Commission’s Scientific Committee for Food (SCF), after considering studies brought to it by Ajinomoto’s agents, also affirmed MSG’s safety. Having reviewed the most advanced and up-to-date research created by Ajinomoto on glutamate, the SCF published a report in 1991 which designated an ‘ADI not specified’ for MSG.

In 1995, the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), with a review panel staffed by persons with conflicts of interest, reaffirmed the safety of MSG for the general population. In its review, commissioned by the FDA, FASEB’s panel of reviewers with serious conflicts of interest, found looked for no evidence linking MSG to any serious or long-term health effects, which led the FDA used to again reaffirm that MSG is a safe food ingredient at normally consumed levels.

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 and follow us on Twitter @truthlabeling.