Designed for deception

What kind of researchers lace placebos in their double-blind studies with chemicals guaranteed to produce reactions just like the reactions produced by their test material? You can read their story at

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 and follow us on Twitter @truthlabeling

What you’re eating could make you more vulnerable to the Coronavirus

Agree or not, we hear a lot about face masks and social distancing in helping prevent transmission of the Covid-19 virus. But missing is the fact that what you’re eating or not eating could increase or decrease your vulnerability to a Coronavirus attack.

Being a health food advocate, it was easy for me to look to my dinner plate for clues to Coronavirus vulnerability. My take was that if my plate was loaded with what the Food Pyramid people call healthy food, I’d have a better chance of warding off the virus should I be exposed.

Indeed, the website HealthLine tells us that research links serious diseases to a poor diet. It goes on to say that eating whole foods is important. The experts there tell us to try and consume whole foods at least 80-90% of the time. They even define what that means: “The term ‘whole foods’ generally describes natural, unprocessed foods containing only one ingredient. If the product looks like it was made in a factory, then it’s probably not a whole food. Many processed foods have little nutritional value and are often referred to as “empty” calories. Eating them in large amounts is linked to obesity and other diseases.”

Also offered is a list of “super-healthy” foods.

But HealthLine like so many others, doesn’t tell us the rest of what we need to know to reduce our vulnerability to the Coronavirus. They mention worthless empty calories usurping the place of nourishing food, and that’s important to know. But they don’t tell us about toxic food additives that stress our immune systems, diverting energy from combatting the Coronavirus to combating toxins in food, and making us ripe for attack.

While there are many toxins added to food, the worst, in my educated opinion, is excitotoxic manufactured free glutamate (MfG).

Most people know that glutamate is a building block of protein as well as a neurotransmitter vital for normal body function. But it’s a Jekyll and Hyde amino acid. When it’s manmade and present in excess outside of protein, either standing alone or in flavor enhancers such as MSG, it becomes excitotoxic, firing repeatedly until its targeted brain cells die.

Research by independent scientists has shown that L-glutamate accumulated in the human body is implicated in kidney and liver disorders, neurodegenerative disease, and additional disorders such as headaches, asthma, diabetes, muscle pain, atrial fibrillation, ischemia, trauma, seizures, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, depression, multiple sclerosis, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), epilepsy, addiction, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), frontotemporal dementia and autism. All these conditions and diseases are on the rise, with evidence of the related toxic effects of glutamate generally accepted by the scientific community. A November 15, 2020 search of the National Library of Medicine using returned 3872 citations for “glutamate-induced.”

And there’s good reason to suspect that the MfG being ingesting on a daily basis adds to the glutamate accumulating in the body, increasing one’s susceptibility to those disorders.

Many consider being sensitive to MSG to be no big deal. If it really bothers you, just learn the names of ingredients that contain its toxic manufactured free glutamate (MfG), read labels, and avoid it.

But with Covid-19 being a threat, it assumes much greater importance.

In the olden days, we called everything that caused an MSG-reaction “MSG.” It took us years to realize that MSG was just one of the many ingredients that contain the venom responsible for an MSG reaction. And it is only lately that we have begun to refer to that toxic substance as MfG.

Recently were we able to put two and two together and realize that it was entirely possible that the venomous glutamate being ingested could contribute to the “excess” glutamate that caused normal glutamate to take on its Jekyll and Hyde role contributing to human abnormalities, increasing our vulnerability to toxic substances of all kinds, and in particular to the Coronavirus.

If I held a faculty position at a university or medical school outside of the United States, I could source relevant research and build a theory that could be evaluated. But in the U.S. researchers don’t touch anything that might place MSG and its venomous glutamate in a bad light, and if someone did, no medical journal in the U.S. would publish it.

So, the best that this knowledgeable health advocate can do is inform the public with a blog or Facebook post and hope that enough people take notice to make a difference, or that some person of unassailable reputation for knowledge and integrity takes an interest in presenting this information to the public.

Adrienne Samuels

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 and follow us on Twitter @truthlabeling

Excitotoxins in processed food: The best guarded secret of the food and drug industries

Excitotoxicity is the pathological process by which nerve cells are damaged or killed by excessive stimulation by neurotransmitters such as glutamic acid (glutamate).

In 1969 when researcher Dr. John Olney of Washington University in St. Louis observed that process in his laboratory, it should have resulted in sweeping changes in how food additives are regulated. 

He noted that glutamate fed as monosodium glutamate (MSG) to laboratory animals killed brain cells and subsequently caused gross obesity, reproductive dysfunction, and behavior abnormalities.

Before that, the world knew nothing of what Dr. Olney had dubbed “excitotoxins.” And after Olney’s discovery, the existence of free excitotoxic amino acids present in food became the best-guarded secret of the food and drug industries.

Today, excitotoxins present in food remain largely ignored or unknown, mostly because the rich and powerful food and pharmaceutical industries want it that way. A great deal of food industry profit depends on using excitotoxins to “enhance” the taste of cheaply made food. And a great deal of pharmaceutical industry profit depends on selling drugs to “cure” the diseases and disabilities caused by the excitotoxins in the food supply.

What are excitotoxins?

Excitotoxins are often amino acids, but not all amino acids are excitotoxins. The amino acid with the greatest excitotoxic footprint is glutamate. When present in protein or released from protein in a regulated fashion (through routine digestion), glutamate is vital to normal body function. It is the major 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.

Technically speaking, neurotransmitters that over-stimulate their receptors to the point of killing the cells that host them are called excitotoxic neurotransmitters, and the resulting condition is referred to as excitotoxicity. Glutamate excitotoxicity is the process that underlies the damage done by MSG and the other ingredients that contain processed free glutamic acid (MfG). 

Glutamate is called a non-essential amino acid because if the body does not have sufficient quantities to function normally, any needed glutamate can be produced from other amino acids. So, there is no need to add glutamate to the human diet. The excitotoxins in MSG and other ingredients that contain MfG are not needed for nutritional purposes. MSG and many other ingredients have been designed to enhance the taste of cheaply made food for the sole purpose of lining the pockets of those who manufacture and sell them.

Glutamate neurotransmitters trigger glutamate receptors both in the central nervous system and in peripheral tissue (heart, lungs, and intestines, for example). After stimulating glutamate receptors, glutamate neurotransmitters may do no damage and simply fade away, so to speak, or they may damage the cells that their receptors cling to, or overexcite their receptors until the cells that host them die.

There’s another possibility. There are a great many glutamate receptors in the brain, so it’s possible that if a few are damaged or wiped out following ingestion of MfG, their loss may not be noticed because there are so many undamaged ones remaining. It is also possible that individuals differ in the numbers of glutamate receptors that they have. If so, people with more glutamate receptors to begin with are less likely to feel the effects of brain damage following ingestion of MfG because even after some cells are killed or damaged, there will still be sufficient numbers of undamaged cells to carry out normal body functions.

That might account for the fact that some people are more sensitive to MfG than others.

Less is known about glutamate receptors outside the brain – in the heart, stomach, and lungs, for example. It would make sense (although that doesn’t make it true) that cells serving a particular function would be grouped together. It would also seem logical that in each location there would be fewer glutamate receptors siting on host cells than found in the brain, and for some individuals there might be so few cells with glutamate receptors to begin with, that ingestion of even small amounts of MfG might trigger asthma, atrial fibrillation, or irritable bowel disease; while persons with more cells hosting glutamate receptors would not notice damage or loss.

Short-term effects of excitotoxic glutamate (such as asthma and migraine headache) have long been obvious to those not influenced by the rhetoric of the glutamate industry and their friends at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Hopefully, researchers will soon begin to correlate the adverse effects of glutamate ingestion with endocrine disturbances such as reproductive disorders and gross obesity. It is well known that glutamate plays an important role in some mental disorders and neurodegenerative diseases, but the fact that ingestion of excitotoxic glutamate might contribute to existing pools of free glutamate that could become excitotoxic, still needs to be considered. Finally, a few have begun to realize the importance of glutamate’s access to the human body through the mouth, nose and skin.

There are three excitotoxic amino acids used in quantity in food, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, protein drinks and powders, and dietary supplements:

1) Glutamic acid — found in flavor enhancers, infant formula, enteral care products for invalids, protein powders, processed foods, anything that is hydrolyzed, and some pesticides/fertilizers.

2) Aspartic acid — found in low-calorie sweeteners, aspartame and its aliases, infant formula, protein powders, anything that is hydrolyzed, and

3) L-cysteine — found in dough conditioners.

According to Dr. Edward Group, the six most dangerous excitotoxins are: MSG (monosodium glutamate), aspartate, domoic acid, L-BOAA, cysteine, and casein.

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 and follow us on Twitter @truthlabeling


Dr. Edward Group The 6 Most Dangerous Excitotoxins. Global Healing Center.  (accessed 8/20/2016)

Blaylock RL. Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills. Santa Fe, New Mexico: Health Press; 1994.

Olney JW. Brain Lesions, Obesity, and Other Disturbances in Mice Treated with Monosodium Glutamate; Science. 1969;164:719-21.  

Olney JW, Ho OL. Brain damage in infant mice following oral intake of glutamate, aspartate or cystine. Nature. 1970;227:609-611.

Olney, J.W. Excitatory neurotoxins as food additives: an evaluation of risk. Neurotoxicology 2: 163-192, 1980.

Olney JW. Excitotoxins in foods. Neurotoxicology. 1994 Fall;15(3):535-44.

Gudiño-Cabrera G, Ureña-Guerrero ME, Rivera-Cervantes MC, Feria-Velasco AI, Beas-Zárate C. Excitotoxicity triggered by neonatal monosodium glutamate treatment and blood-brain barrier function. Arch Med Res. 2014 Nov;45(8):653-9.  An Overview of Cell Receptors and How They Work   (Accessed 5/5/2019)

A Thanksgiving like no other deserves extra care in the food you eat

Ingredient names used to hide manufactured free glutamate (MfG)

However you’ll be recognizing Thanksgiving this year, chances are good that it will involve cooking up a special meal. And that’s when things can easily go off the rails, even for those who carefully select what they eat and serve their family during the rest of the year.

Fresh fruits can give way to canned cranberry sauce, forgotten stuffing ingredients are replaced with boxed seasoned bread, and additive-filled processed foods are used in a pinch.

But now is not the time to let your guard down where your health is concerned. That’s why we’re making this list available again to help you avoid not only foods that contain MSG, but also those that contain MfG, which stands for manufactured free glutamate.

The glutamate industry would prefer that you just keep reading labels for MSG, and not realize that the same toxic chemical that causes brain damage, endocrine disorders and the same adverse reactions as MSG is also found in more than 40 other food ingredients containing MfG — things such as autolyzed yeast, soy protein and yeast extract. Vegan and vegetarian foods are especially prone to be contaminated with these toxic additives.

The list below is in three parts: ingredients that always contain MfG, ingredients that often contain or produce MfG during processing, and ingredients that contain enough MfG to cause a reaction in highly sensitive people.

Knowing the truth about what is in your food has never been more important.

Ingredient Names Used to Hide Manufactured free Glutamate (MfG)

MSG has been used as an acronym for “monosodium glutamate” for years, with people who reacted to it referring to their “MSG reactions.” So, it isn’t surprising that over time, consumers started using the acronym “MSG” to stand for the ingredients that trigger what they identified as “MSG reactions.” Largely because those in the glutamate industry have built on the confusion caused by using “MSG” incorrectly, we thought it time that there be a proper acronym for consumers to use when talking about what’s contained in monosodium glutamate that causes their pain and suffering – distinguishing between the product called “monosodium glutamate” and the toxic ingredient contained in it.

We propose to use MSG just as the Glutes do, to stand for the flavor enhancer, “monosodium glutamate,” but will now refer to the amino acid in monosodium glutamate that causes brain damage, endocrine disorders and adverse reactions, by its more factual name – Manufactured free Glutamate or MfG.

Names of ingredients that contain Manufactured free Glutamate (MfG) *1

Everyone knows that some people react to the food ingredient monosodium glutamate (MSG). What many don’t know, is that more than 40 different ingredients contain the chemical in monosodium glutamate — Manufactured free Glutamate (MfG) — that causes these reactions. The following list has been compiled over the last 20 years from consumer reports and information provided by manufacturers and food technologists.

Names of ingredients that always contain MfG:

  • Glutamic acid (E 620) *2
  • Glutamate (E 620)
  • Monosodium glutamate (E 621)
  • Monopotassium glutamate (E 622)
  • Calcium glutamate (E 623)
  • Monoammonium glutamate (E 624)
  • Magnesium glutamate (E 625)
  • Natrium glutamate
  • Anything “hydrolyzed”
  • Any “hydrolyzed protein”
  • Calcium caseinate, Sodium caseinate
  • Yeast extract, Torula yeast
  • Yeast food, Yeast nutrient
  • Autolyzed yeast
  • Gelatin
  • Textured protein
  • Whey protein
  • Whey protein concentrate
  • Whey protein isolate
  • Soy protein
  • Soy protein concentrate
  • Soy protein isolate
  • Anything “protein”
  • Anything “protein fortified”
  • Soy sauce
  • Soy sauce extract
  • Protease
  • Anything “enzyme modified”
  • Anything containing “enzymes”
  • Anything “fermented”
  • Vetsin
  • Ajinomoto
  • Umami
  • Zinc proteninate

Names of ingredients that often contain or produce MfG during processing:

  • Carrageenan (E 407)
  • Bouillon and broth
  • Stock
  • Any “flavors” or “flavoring”
  • Natural flavor
  • Maltodextrin
  • Oligodextrin
  • Citric acid, Citrate (E 330)
  • Anything “ultra-pasteurized”
  • Barley malt
  • Malted barley
  • Brewer’s yeast
  • Pectin (E 440)
  • Malt extract
  • Seasonings

The following are ingredients suspected of containing or creating sufficient processed free glutamic acid to serve as MfG-reaction triggers in HIGHLY SENSITIVE people:

  • Corn starch
  • Corn syrup
  • Modified food starch
  • Lipolyzed butter fat
  • Dextrose
  • Rice syrup
  • Brown rice syrup
  • Milk powder
  • Reduced fat milk (skim; 1%; 2%)
  • most things “low fat” or “no fat”
  • anything “enriched”
  • anything “vitamin enriched”
  • anything “pasteurized”
  • Annatto
  • Vinegar
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • certain amino acid chelates (Citrate, aspartate, and glutamate are used as chelating agents with mineral supplements.)

The following work synergistically with the ingredient monosodium glutamate (MSG) to enhance flavor. If they are present for flavoring, so is MSG:

Disodium 5’-guanylate (E 627) / Disodium 5’-inosinate (E-631) / Disodium 5′-ribonucleotides (E 635)


Low fat and no fat milk products often contain milk solids that contain MfG and many dairy products contain carrageenan, guar gum, and/or locust bean gum. Low fat and no fat ice cream and cheese may not be as obvious as yogurt, milk, cream, cream cheese, cottage cheese, etc., but they are not exceptions.

Protein powders contain glutamic acid, which, invariably, will be Manufactured free Glutamate (MfG). Individual amino acids are not always listed on labels of protein powders. If you see the word “protein” in an ingredient label, the product contains MfG.

At present there may be an FDA requirement to include the protein source when listing hydrolyzed protein products on labels of processed foods. Examples are hydrolyzed soy protein, hydrolyzed wheat protein, hydrolyzed pea protein, hydrolyzed whey protein, hydrolyzed, corn protein. If a tomato, for example, were whole, it would be identified as a tomato. Calling an ingredient tomato protein indicates that the tomato has been hydrolyzed, at least in part, and that Manufactured free Glutamate (MfG) is present.

Disodium guanylate and disodium inosinate are relatively expensive food additives that work synergistically with inexpensive MSG. Their use suggests that the product has MSG in it. They would probably not be used as food additives if there were no MSG present.

Reactions have been reported from soaps, shampoos, hair conditioners, and cosmetics, where MfG is hidden in ingredients with names that include the words “hydrolyzed,” “amino acids,” and/or “protein.” Most sun block creams and insect repellents also contain MfG.

Drinks, candy, and chewing gum are potential sources of hidden MfG and/or aspartame, neotame. and AminoSweet (a relatively new name for aspartame). Aspartic acid, found in neotame, aspartame (NutraSweet), and AminoSweet, ordinarily causes reactions in MfG sensitive people. (It would appear that calling aspartame “AminoSweet” is industry’s method of choice for hiding aspartame.) We have not seen Neotame used widely in the United States.

Aspartame will be found in some medications, including children’s medications. For questions about the ingredients in pharmaceuticals, check with your pharmacist and/or read the product inserts for the names of “other” or “inert” ingredients.

Binders and fillers for medications, nutrients, and supplements, both prescription and non-prescription, enteral feeding materials, and some fluids administered intravenously in hospitals, may contain MfG.

According to the manufacturer, Varivax–Merck chicken pox vaccine (Varicella Virus Live), contains (or contained) L-monosodium glutamate and hydrolyzed gelatin, both of which contain Manufactured free Glutamate (MfG) which causes brain lesions in young laboratory animals, and causes endocrine disturbances like OBESITY and REPRODUCTIVE disorders later in life. It would appear that most, if not all, live virus vaccines contain some ingredient(s) that contains MfG.

According to the CDC, as listed in its Vaccine Excipient & Media Summary (Appendix B of the “Pink Book”), there are 37 vaccines presently in use that obviously contain ingredients that contain MfG. Reactions to MfG are dose related, i.e., some people react to even very small amounts. MfG-induced reactions may occur immediately after ingestion or after as much as 48 hours. The time lapse between ingestion and reaction is typically the same each time for a particular individual who ingests an amount of MfG that exceeds his or her individual tolerance level.

Remember: By food industry definition, all MfG is “naturally occurring.” “Natural” doesn’t mean “safe.” “Natural” only means that the ingredient started out in nature like arsenic and hydrochloric acid.

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.

Snake in the GRAS

When you hear that the FDA considers monosodium glutamate GRAS – or, generally recognized as safe – what does that mean? It’s certainly one of the “selling points” that industry likes to toss around a lot as evidence that monosodium glutamate is harmless.

But that GRAS designation is inherently deceiving.

Sixty-two years ago, following passage of the Food Additives Amendment of 1958, the FDA grandfathered monosodium glutamate into a category of additives called GRAS. There was no testing done or even reviewed by the FDA to determine if monosodium glutamate was indeed safe. The GRAS classification was solely based on monosodium glutamate having been in use without objection prior to 1958. The actual safety of pre-1958 monosodium glutamate was not then, and never has been, established.

But to make using a GRAS label for monosodium glutamate even more farfetched, is the fact that the monosodium glutamate in use in the U.S. today is not even the same as the monosodium glutamate that was grandfathered as GRAS in 1958. From 1920 until 1956, the process underlying production of glutamic acid and monosodium glutamate in Japan had been one of extraction, a slow and costly method (1). Then, around 1956, Ajinomoto Co., Inc. succeeded in producing glutamic acid and monosodium glutamate using genetically modified bacteria to secrete the glutamic acid used in monosodium glutamate through their cell walls, and cost saving, large-scale production of glutamic acid and monosodium glutamate through fermentation began (2,3).

Approximately ten years later, the first published report of an adverse reaction to monosodium glutamate appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine (4), and a study demonstrating that monosodium glutamate was excitotoxic, causing brain damage, endocrine disorders and behavior disorders, was published in the journal Science in 1969 (5). Of interest to note is the fact that by the time ten years had gone by, grocery shelves were overflowing with processed foods loaded with monosodium glutamate, hydrolyzed protein products, autolyzed yeasts and lots of other ingredients that contained the same toxic free glutamic acid found in monosodium glutamate.

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.


  1. Van Nostrand’s Scientific Encyclopedia. 6th ed. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1983:1211-2.
  2. Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology. 3rd ed. Vol 2. New York: Wiley, 1978:410-21.
  3. Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology. 4th ed. New York: Wiley, 1992:571-9.
  4. Kwok RHM. The Chinese restaurant syndrome. Letter to the editor. N Engl J Med. 1968;278(14):796.
  5. Olney JW. Brain lesions, obesity, and other disturbances in mice treated with monosodium glutamate. Science. 1969;164:719-721.

MSG in your canned veggies? The FDA says it’s a good idea!

How do you know if a food you’re intending to eat contains risky food additives?

Here’s an easy tip: if it comes in a box, bottle, or can, it likely has MSG in it. And if not MSG, then one of the 40 or so other flavor enhancers or fake proteins that contain the excitotoxic glutamic acid found in MSG.

To get an idea of how much MSG and MfG (manufactured free glutamate) is being promoted for use in processed foods, take a look at what the FDA calls a “Standard of Identity” (SOI), which are rules established to define what makes up a particular processed food.

There are over 280 of these regulations covering everything from canned mushrooms to tomato sauce to beef stew. They are said to be in the “interest of the consumer” to provide them with a “reasonable definition” and a “reasonable standard of quality.”

Here’s an example: in the SOI for canned green beans, corn, peas, asparagus, artichokes, lima beans, beets, cabbage, kale, mushrooms and many more, monosodium glutamate, hydrolyzed vegetable protein and autolyzed yeast extract (the last two being prime sources of MfG) are prominently listed as “safe and suitable” optional ingredients.

Along with those “safe” additives, Disodium inosinate and Disodium guanylate are also permitted ingredients in all those veggies. Those two additives work synergistically with MSG and are always a tip-off to the presence of MSG in a food.

The more you know the more you’ll begin to notice that the FDA seems to bend over backwards to promote the use of MSG.

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.

We often get questions about yeast: Does it contain monosodium glutamate?

Although yeast ingredients are popularly used to replace the flavor enhancer called monosodium glutamate (MSG), yeast does not contain any MSG. But don’t stop reading yet!

Yeast DOES contain the same toxic amino acid that’s found in MSG — excitotoxic glutamic acid. That’s why Big Food loves yeast so much. They can add as much of this noxious flavor enhancer as they want and not be required to mention MSG on the label despite what these two additives have in common.

A recent yeast industry (yes, there’s a yeast industry) market report tells some of the secrets of why it’s so popular.

“By product type, the global yeast ingredients market can be categorized into yeast extract, yeast autolysates, dry yeast, yeast flavor, and ‘others’. The yeast extracts market is high, as yeast extracts act as a replacement for monosodium glutamate, and consumers highly inclined towards natural ingredients and health concerns. Yeast extracts also offer a unique aromatic taste, which is important in low-salt-content foodstuffs…” Zenit News: “Yeast and yeast ingredients market 2020 research reports, industry size, in-depth qualitative insights, explosive growth opportunity, regional analysis by 360 market updates”

The basics

To understand the toxicity of yeast extract, you have first to understand the basics of toxic glutamate found in food.

Glutamate must be free to be harmful, meaning it can’t exist as part of a protein. And toxic free glutamate found in food will always have been manufactured.

You can make/produce free glutamate (glutamate outside of protein) using carefully selected genetically modified bacteria. Feed the bacteria on some starchy stuff like sugar, and they secrete glutamate through their cell walls. That’s pretty much how the glutamate in MSG is made in Ajinomoto’s plant in Eddyville Iowa.

You can also free glutamate from protein. Begin with something that contains protein — almost any meat, grain, diary product, fruit or vegetable will contain at least some small amount of glutamate. Then, choose your method: 1) extract glutamate from protein, 2) use hydrolysis, autolysis, enzymes, acids or fermentation to break protein into individual amino acids (which would include glutamate), or apply high heat to protein.

All glutamate made/produced by man plus that which has been fermented contains D-glutamate, pyroglutamate and other unwanted by-products of manufacture (impurities which industry has been unable to remove) as well as the desired L-glutamate. In contrast, the glutamate in unadulterated fruits, grains, vegetables, and in the human body, which wouldn’t be manufactured, is L-glutamate only.

To be toxic, free glutamate has to 1) be present in excess – more than the healthy body needs for normal body function, or 2) act as a neurotransmitter, overstimulating and damaging glutamate receptors for some weak area in an individual’s body, the heart, lungs, or stomach for example.

Yeast extract contains toxic free glutamate

Yeast extract contributes to accumulation of toxic free glutamate in two ways. First, yeast extract itself will contain toxic free glutamate. Moreover, yeast and yeast extract can also interact with other ingredients, causing the protein in those other ingredients to break down and release glutamate.

The way that the yeast extract is produced will vary from one manufacturer to another, but all break the protein found in yeast into free amino acids – one of which will be glutamate. Following are various descriptions of how that’s done:

1: Food

“Angel Yeast’s yeast extract products are obtained from molasses-cultured yeast, which are autolyzed to obtain the extract and made into pastes or powders.”

2: European Association for Specialty Yeast Products:

“Yeast extract is … made from natural bakers’ or brewers’ yeast. First sugar is added so that the yeast can multiply. Then enzymes in the yeast break down the proteins present in the yeast into smaller components and make the cell walls permeable. Finally the components present in the yeast cell – the yeast extract – are separated from the surrounding wall and dried.”

3: Biospringer:

“Yeast is a microscopic unicellular fungus that has been living on Earth for millions of years. Like any other cell, yeast is made of proteins, amino acids, vitamins and minerals gathered within the cell walls.”

“Yeast extract is simply the yeast content without the cell wall, making it a natural origin ingredient. Its production consists of 3 main steps:

Breaking of the yeast cell (also known as autolysis)

4: By Elea Carey for Healthline:

“There are two kinds of yeast extract, autolyzed and hydrolyzed. In both, the cell walls are discarded and the contents of the cell are combined. In autolyzed yeast, the enzymes found in the yeast itself are used to break down the proteins. In hydrolyzed yeast, these enzymes are added to the yeast.”

Does yeast extract contain enough free glutamate to cause brain damage or adverse reactions?

If yeast extract was the only source of free glutamate ingested, toxicity would depend on the amount of free glutamate in the particular product ingested, and the sensitivity of the person ingesting it. There are glutamate-sensitive people who react to yeast extract.

But in real life one helping of yeast extract isn’t going to be ingested in isolation. Combined with other sources of glutamate in the diet, yeast extract increases the likelihood of brain damage and adverse reactions.

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.

There’s no such thing as ‘natural’ MSG

The FDA is fond of saying that there are “naturally high levels” of MSG in some foods, notably tomatoes and processed tomato products. That’s simply not true. MSG is manufactured. There’s no such thing as “natural” MSG.

This is a picture of the plant in Eddyville Iowa where Ajinomoto manufactures monosodium glutamate (MSG). What do you think Ajinomoto had to do to get the FDA to parrot its fiction that “MSG is naturally occurring?”

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.

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

It appears that the never-ending stream of “MSG is safe” propaganda has been infused with new blood. Please welcome Elena Bruess, who joins the ranks of the glutamate-industry army with her piece “Dietitians say there is no scientific evidence that MSG is bad for you and is actually found in everything from tomatoes to instant noodles.”

You’ll find Bruess’ article below, edited to adhere more closely to the truth then as it was written. Edits from the Truth in Labeling Campaign are in red. We’ve also used strike-throughs for some of the more blatantly false statements from Bruess.

Elena Bruess
Our stories are reviewed by medical professionals to ensure you get the most industry-friendly accurate and useful information about your health and wellness MSG.

  • MSG is a common food additive that is generally considered safe by the FDA.
  • There is no strong evidence, as defined by the glutamate industry, that links MSG to health risks, and despite some controversy, experts working for the glutamate industry say that worries about MSG are misplaced.
  • Though rare, Some people may have a sensitivity to MSG, which can lead to headaches or nausea or any of the other reactions listed in the following table after consumption ( Also caused by MSG are brain damage, obesity, reproductive disorders, and behavior disorders, but they aren’t called sensitivities.
  • This article was medically reviewed by Samantha Cassetty, MS, RD, nutrition and wellness expert with a private practice based in New York City.

MSG is a flavor enhancer commonly associated with Chinese takeout food, but it’s also found in some canned goods and processed meats. Once thought to cause adverse side effects like headache and nausea, MSG has become a controversial additive. But, the science handed out by glutamate-industry agents says it’s not all that bad.

Here’s what the people who manufacture and sell MSG should say you need to know about MSG and its effects on your health.

What is MSG?

Monosodium glutamate, otherwise known as MSG, is not derived from a naturally occurring amino acid in our bodies. It is composed of the amino acid called “L-glutamic acid,” moisture, sodium, and unwanted by-products of L-glutamic acid’s manufacture. Amino acids are organic compounds that are essential for bodily functions. However, some amino acids, including neurotransmitter L-glutamic acid (L-glutamic acid when it’s a neurotransmitter) when present in quantity greater than needed for essential bodily functions, become toxic, firing repeatedly until the cells they are targeting are overwhelmed and die.

The substance is also not naturally present in most any foods., such as: It is manufactured in plants throughout the world. In the US, it is produced in Ajinomoto’s factory in Eddyville, Iowa. MSG is not naturally present in cheese, tomatoes, mushrooms, or seaweed.

  • Cheese
  • Tomatoes
  • Mushrooms
  • Seaweed

However, MSG is most commonly known as a popular food additive that has an extra savory, umami flavor, or as a flavor-enhancer with no taste of its own. It is produced by fermenting starch, sugar beets, sugar cane, or molasses. using carefully selected genetically modified bacteria that feed on starch or sugar and produce the glutamic acid used in MSG through their cell walls.

Some of the products that may contain MSG as an additive include:

  • Cured meats
  • Seasoning blends and bouillon cubes
  • Frozen meals
  • Cookies and crackers
  • Salad dressings
  • Mayonnaise

“It really can be in any packaged or processed food,” says Katherine Zeratsky, RD, LD, a registered and licensed dietitian at Mayo Clinic. The FDA labels all products with the additive MSG, but does not label products that have naturally occurring MSG because there is no such thing as “naturally occurring MSG.” All MSG is manufactured.

No, According to glutamate-industry agents, MSG is not bad for you

In 1968, a physician sent a letter to the New England Journal of Medicine. In it, he described symptoms like nausea and chest pressure that he claimed came from the Chinese food he ate in a restaurant serving Chinese food. He believed suggested that MSG among other things was might be to blame.

This single incident — along with 1968 also saw the first studies of MSG-induced brain damage, studies subsequent MSG study on of mice, primates, and various other animals that found suffered brain damage after being administeringed extremely high doses of MSG. that were non-reflective of human intake — Industry focused on the Letter to the Editor to draw attention away from the studies that demonstrated brain damage. The letter combined with the studies of MSG-induced brain damage led to the popular idea that ingesting MSG would result in adverse health effects. Due to the original letter, this became known as “Chinese Restaurant Syndrome.”

Regardless, However, contrary to popular belief, according to glutamate-industry propaganda, MSG is not bad for most people.

While there have indeed been some studies that hint at possible negative effects, such as obesity or nerve damage, glutamate industry agents maintain that worries about MSG are misplaced. The majority of Their evidence appears to be based on the falsehood that there are no studies that have found that man-made MSG is metabolized identically to its naturally occurring counterpart. Even if there were such studies, which there are not, their results would be irrelevant to the safety of MSG. Illustrating the deceptive practices use by glutamate industry agents, note that the link given in this paper is not even to a study. To repeat, if there were studies of glutamate metabolism, no matter what their outcomes, they would be irrelevant to the question of and poses no health risk.

MSG was grandfathered GRAS in 1958 based on its previous use. It has never been tested for safety. But even had it been tested before being grandfathered, in 1957 the method used for producing MSG changed from extraction of glutamate to bacterial fermentation of glutamate wherein glutamate is secreted through the cell walls of genetically modified bacteria. And as is true of glutamate produced prior to 1957, the glutamate produced using the post-1957 procedure has never been tested for safety. In fact, the FDA even placed the substance on the GRAS list, short for “generally recognized as safe.” That was just one of the many things the FDA has done when asked to do so by Ajinomoto.

“Throughout the literature, there really isn’t firm evidence in any way that MSG is unhealthful,” says Soo-Yeun Lee, PhD, a food scientist, and professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. The fact that Dr. Lee said it doesn’t mean it’s true. In 1957 studies of MSG-induced retinal toxicity were first published by Lucas and Newhouse, with studies of MSG-induced brain damage following. In addition to studies that demonstrate MSG’s toxicity, are the industry studies that have been rigged to enable researchers to conclude that they found MSG to be harmless. Rigging a human double-blind study would often include using an excitotoxic amino acid like aspartic acid (found in aspartame) in placebos. Aspartame causes adverse reactions identical to those caused by MSG.

Lee conducts research on flavor and taste, including a more recent focus on MSG as a salt substitute. With one third the amount of sodium as table salt, she says MSG can reduce sodium content in snack food.

Most people consume twice as much salt as they should, and lowering this salt intake can reduce high blood pressure and accompanying risks, such as stroke or heart disease.

Some people may be sensitive to MSG

However, just like any food, a small percentage of people may have a short-term negative reaction to MSG. But given the fact that “anecdotal” reports of serious and life-threatening reactions abound, and sales of MSG are no longer robust, it would appear that considerable numbers of people may have long-lasting debilitating reactions. Though it’s important to note that MSG could be mixed with other additives or processed ingredients, Zeratsky says, so it may not always be what’s causing the issue.

For those who may be sensitive to MSG, some symptoms are short-term and often mild. They may include:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Flushing or sweating
  • Facial pressure, numbness
  • Rapid heartbeats
  • Chest pain

The full list of reactions which includes fibromyalgia, shortness of breath, atrial fibrillation, tachycardia, seizures and more can be found here:

If you experience these symptoms and think MSG is to blame, the best option is to begin avoiding food containing the ingredient. For those who feel their symptoms are more severe, consult your doctor.

The bottom line

While some may have a negative reaction, MSG is considered said by its manufacturers to be safe for the majority of people to consume. Overall, MSG is a useful, profit-making, savory enhancer with few health risks according to those who stand to gain by its sale. There’s not much controversy here, just a whole lot of flavor. toxic deception.

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.

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.