No, Ashley Urtecho, you won’t find MSG in tomatoes, meat or cheese

“MSG is safe” propaganda shows up in all kinds of places, but it’s of most value to those who make millions pandering poisons for profit when it has a medical ring to it.

Today it was a blog sponsored by “NYC Pain Specialists,” authored by intern Ashley Urtecho titled “Is It Safe to consume MSG?” that caught our eye.

In a short two pages, Ms. Urtecho spews out more than a half dozen deceptive, misleading and downright false statements about MSG. But our favorite (which is an out-and-out lie), is the one Ms. Urtecho starts out with, “Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) is a popular flavor additive primarily found in Chinese cuisine, but can also be found in tomatoes, meats, and certain cheeses.”

We’ve said it before, and looks like we’ll be saying it again and again:

  • MSG is manufactured.
  • MSG is man-made in food processing or chemical plants.
  • In the U.S. MSG is manufactured in a plant in Eddyville Iowa.
  • There is no MSG (glutamate yes, but not MSG) in tomatoes, meats, or any cheeses – unless the manufacturer has added it.

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.

8 Replies to “No, Ashley Urtecho, you won’t find MSG in tomatoes, meat or cheese”

  1. While we’re on the topic of harmful man-made chemicals, let’s talk about dihydrogen monoxide (DHMO). This substance causes severe burns in gaseous form, will kill you if inhaled, yet it exists everywhere! They put it in our drinks at restaurants, spray it on our food in grocery stores, even clean surfaces with it. Prolonged exposure with solid DHMO can cause severe burns, even requiring amputation. DHMO is a component of other toxic solutions, like acid rain. It doesn’t stop there, DHMO is also found in tumors and cancerous tissues. Do we really want DHMO (or MSG??) in our everyday lives? A substance used by the KKK, nuclear power plants, and even in WWII concentration camps?

  2. MSG is not only manufactured. Naturally-produced, biological glutamic acid exists primarily in de-protonated forms. It is standard to refer to de-protonated glutamic acid as glutamate. Anything with a charge (negative or positive) has to have a counter-ion. Sodium is one of the most common positive ions (cations) in the body and in all of nature. Therefore, nearly every instance of glutamate exists as sodium glutamate. MSG is the case when one acidic portion of glutamic acid has been de-protonated, and this absolutely exists naturally in humans, tomatoes, plants, cheese, cows, dogs, and is added in excess to food for seasoning. It is literally inside you as you read this. Read a book before becoming a scientist.

  3. If you didn’t have time to check the references, you can find more information using this source: This information was written by the FDA – yes, the Food and Drug administration. I also added information from the Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology classes at NYU that I completed recently. Before you start classifying information as “deceptive”, maybe start checking references and reaching out to the author to have a discussion! 🙂

    Yours truly,
    Ashley Urtecho

    1. Ashley,

      Your comments are much appreciated. I would guess that your information (including the reference to the FDA’s “Questions and Answers about monosodium glutamate”) came from The Glutamate Association or another arm of Ajinomoto’s extensive organization. So, let me provide you with some material that you evidently were not given previously and did not search out for yourself.

      The FDA maintains that MSG is a “safe” ingredient. But they offer no evidence. In the 1960s and 1970s it was repeatedly demonstrated that animals fed L-glutamate as fetuses, or in the first 12 days of life suffered brain damage and neuroendocrine disturbances including obesity, stunting, abnormalities of the reproductive system, and underdevelopment of certain endocrine glands. In addition, researchers observed pathological changes in several brain regions associated with endocrine function in maturing mice that had been given L-glutamate as neonates. In those studies, Accent brand monosodium glutamate was used as the source of L-glutamate because the L-glutamate in Accent brand monosodium glutamate had been found to be comparable to pharmaceutical-grade L-glutamate in its ability to cause brain damage, but was less expensive (1).

      When Dr. John Olney and others demonstrated that MSG causes brain lesions and causes neuroendocrine disorders in maturing animals fed MSG as neonates and infants, glutamate industry researchers produced studies that they claimed were failed attempted replications — but their procedures were different enough to guarantee that toxic doses had not been administered, or that all evidence that nerve cells had died would be obscured. Industry-sponsored researchers said they were replicating studies but did not do so. Instead, discussion was phrased to suggest that studies were “replications,” and the conclusions were based on what was said, not on what was done.

      In the 1980s and later, human studies of adverse reactions were given as evidence that MSG was a harmless food additive. FDA regulations require that those who manufacture food additives must provide evidence demonstrating that they are “safe.” The glutamate industry has, indeed, presented evidence, but they have falsified data — not by changing test scores or research results, but by rigging the procedures used in conducting their studies. Glutamate industry studies are generally methodologically inadequate, statistically unsound, and/or irrelevant to the safety/toxicity of MSG. Researchers have gone so far as to use aspartame and/or glutamate in ingredients other than MSG in placebos to cause subjects to respond to placebos just as they would respond to monosodium glutamate test material. In addition, industry’s researchers have been known to draw conclusions that did not follow from the results of their studies (2).

      The FDA has a 50-year relationship with the glutamate industry. To read about it may help you understand how a propaganda-type article worked its way onto the FDA webpage (3,4).

      Over the course of this last year we have taken a hard look at the media releases that end by “confirming” that MSG is safe. We have posted a number of blogs discussing what we refer to as propaganda.

      We have been intrigued by the number of writers who have taken material from the glutamate industry and parroted it back, and hope to discourage others from doing the same. “Without MSG, processed food wouldn’t sell — and there would be no obesity epidemic” was a blog done for that purpose (5). So were “No Ashley Urtecho, you won’t find MSG in tomatoes, meat, or cheese” (6) and “Dietitians who front for the glutamate industry want you to believe there’s ‘no scientific evidence that MSG is bad for you’” (7).

      Again, let me thank you for reaching out. I would be delighted to further discuss this with you. I am particularly interested in what or who prompted you to write the piece, and how you chose to use glutamate-industry resources and ignore the Truth in Labeling Campaign.


      1) Studies of toxicity

      2) Detail of glutamate-industry sponsored data



      5. “Without MSG, processed food wouldn’t sell — and there would be no obesity epidemic” (’t sell-and-there-would-be-no-obesity-epidemic/)

      6. “No Ashley Urtecho, you won’t find MSG in tomatoes, meat, or cheese” (

      7. “Dietitians who front for the glutamate industry want you to believe there’s ‘no scientific evidence that MSG is bad for you’” (


      1. Adrienne,

        First of all, I wasn’t even aware this campaign existed when conducting my research, so forgive me for “parroting” information from primary articles and government websites, as these sources are literally the most abundant. I was prompted to write my article based on the information I learned during my Biochemistry class. I figured that the information given to me by my professor, who has a PhD in Biochemistry, was accurate. So forgive me once again if I chose to believe this information over this campaign, which I repeat, didn’t even know existed until yesterday. I respect your opinion on the issue of MSG, but do not respect the fact that you decided to write a fairly offensive post about my article, rather than first reaching out to me directly and informing me, especially since your mission is supposedly to educate and “spread the truth”. Have a nice day!


        1. Ashley,

          I’m personally sorry for any embarrassment you’ve endured in being called out for disseminating deceptive and misleading information claiming the safety of monosodium glutamate (MSG). I accept that you were an innocent victim of Ajinomoto’s multi-million dollar campaign to convince the public to buy into the safety of their toxic product. I can only hope that others may learn from your innocent mistake.

          1. Miss Adrienne,

            No need to apologize, as I am not the one who has suffered embarrassment between us. I wouldn’t exactly call myself a victim of Ajinomoto’s campaign, but rather a university student. I stand by my article and the information I have learned from my professors throughout my years of formal education. I respect the differences in our opinions, and hope you might do the same. While I do wish we had this conversation in a more mature and civil manner, we cannot change the past. I wish you luck in your campaign.