Aspartame: the placebo used in ‘MSG-is-safe’ studies

But to make sure the conclusion that MSG is harmless would be beyond reproach, glutamate-industry researchers guaranteed that subjects would react to placebos with the same reactions that are caused by MSG. They did that by using aspartame as the toxic ingredient in their placebos, which worked well for them because the aspartic acid in aspartame and the glutamic acid in MSG cause virtually identical reactions (as well as identical brain damage). Having set that up, glutamate-industry researchers (and the propaganda artists who quote them) will say “These people aren’t sensitive to MSG, they reacted to the ‘placebo’ too.”


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.

Fraud?

Almost 30 years ago RN’s Rose Chop and Mary Silva writing in the Journal of Professional Nursing noted that “Scientific research typically has been founded on high ethical standards established by researchers in academia and health care research institutions. Scientific fraud, an act of deception or misrepresentation of one’s own work, violates these ethical standards. It can take the form of plagiarism, falsification of data, and irresponsible authorship. Scientific fraud has been attributed to misdirected attempts to attain high levels of personal and professional success. Researchers so prone commit scientific fraud in a search for promotion, status, tenure, and the obtaining of research grants.

With Big Food, we have seen another kind of scientific fraud – one that has nothing to do with attaining high levels of personal and professional success. Research grants are not needed by those who are paid up front to turn out these studies. And there is no need to falsify data as these studies were rigged in advance to produce the numbers that would be needed to draw the conclusions that their sponsor(s) had pre-ordained.

In a 2018 article titled “How do we tackle scientific fraud?” Anne Cooke writing for the British Society for Immunology stated that “fraud or scientific misconduct includes fabrication of data, falsification of data (including data selection and image manipulation), plagiarism (including self-plagiarism and use of other people’s data/ ideas), failure to meet ethical obligations such as obtaining patient consent, misuse of research funds, misrepresentation of data by, for example, not disclosing relevant findings, making inappropriate claims to authorship or failing to include an author who has made a significant contribution.”

Ajinomoto’s program for scientific fraud incorporates little or none of that. They don’t fabricate or falsify data, they simply design studies that will produce the results they are looking for.

If you use only subjects who have never had any reactions known to be caused by MSG, chances are good that the subjects in your study won’t have MSG reactions. If you limit your subjects to people on anti-migraine drugs, chances are that your subjects won’t have migraines. However, those designs aren’t foolproof.

Foolproof

There’s nothing second rate about Ajinomoto’s research. A variety of academics from various universities and medical schools were given study protocols and supervised by Andrew G. Ebert (Ajinomoto’s agent in charge of research) without the involvement of Ajinomoto being disclosed. Although they had common elements, no two studies were identical.

There was, however, one element that was shared by all — the use of excitotoxic amino acids in “placebos.” It’s actually elegant in its simplicity.

In a double-blind study, test material is given to a subject on one occasion, and on another occasion the subject is given a placebo. The placebo, if it’s a true placebo, looks, tastes and smells like the test material, but it will not cause a reaction. If the subject reacts to the inert placebo, the researchers could conclude that the subject is some kind of nut case who might react to anything, and therefore any reactions to MSG test material are coming from what the subject was thinking or imagining, not from the MSG. In industry studies of MSG-safety, subjects were not given true placebos.

That’s it. Simple. By giving subjects alleged placebos that cause the “right” reactions, there may be as many reactions to placebos as there are to MSG test material. From that, researchers could declare they had demonstrated that people really don’t react to MSG. But to make sure the conclusion that MSG is harmless would be beyond reproach, glutamate-industry researchers guaranteed that subjects would react to placebos with the same reactions that are caused by MSG. They did that by using aspartame as the toxic ingredient in their placebos, which worked well for them because the aspartic acid in aspartame and the glutamic acid in MSG cause virtually identical reactions (as well as identical brain damage). Having set that up, glutamate-industry researchers (and the propaganda artists who quote them) will say “These people aren’t sensitive to MSG, they reacted to the ‘placebo’ too.” Case closed!

Resources
FDA Adverse Reactions Monitoring System (ARMS) – Collected Reports of Adverse reactions to monosodium glutamate.

FDA Adverse Reactions Monitoring System (ARMS) – Collected Reports of Adverse reactions to Aspartame.


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.

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Big Food has some big plans for you. Here’s how to fight back!

At a time when gathering provisions to feed your family has become an unprecedented challenge, the matter of what is in that food seems to have taken a back seat. And don’t think Big Food isn’t well aware of that.

That’s why a book like A Consumer’s Guide to Toxic Food Additives (Skyhorse Publishing, March, 2020) by longtime health and environmental journalists Linda and Bill Bonvie couldn’t be timelier.

This well-researched and fully updated book makes clear the kinds of processed foods we’ve gotten into the habit of consuming – and which are now being labeled as indispensable “comfort foods” – are just the kinds that can be lowering our ability to resist illness, be it COVID-19, the flu or any number of other opportunist infections. And that’s in addition to many of the devastating diseases we’ve grown to accept as “normal” such as diabetes and dementia, along with a variety of auto-immune illnesses.

First, however, let’s take a brief look at how industry is using this deadly pandemic to make sure we keep buying its products. There is no crisis, big or small, that Big Food isn’t ready, willing and able to take advantage of.

Gotcha!

What could tug at your heartstrings more than a little girl quarantined with her loving dad who misses her mom and grandma? That’s the “spin” the Uncle Ben’s brand (owned by Mars) is now using in its commercials. Yes, the spot is endearing, and it will keep plenty of consumers focused on “grandma’s recipe” and the difficulties of isolation instead of the many chemical additives in Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice mixes – including some you’ll find covered in A Consumer’s Guide.

Kraft/Heinz, another mega-multinational that makes billions churning out ultra-processed foods such as Lunchables, Ore-Ida, Kool-Aid and Velveeta, has adopted a rallying cry incorporated in its new commercials for this pandemic of “We Got You America.” Yes, they certainly do.

Post Cereal, makers of Fruity Pebbles (which comes with five artificial colors and the preservative BHA – more additives covered in the book), has started providing kids with daily videos to help “ignite” their “creativity, imagination, happiness and sense of exploration in every bowl of Pebbles.”

And Impossible Foods, makers of the impossibly additive filled, ultra-processed fake meat products such as the “Impossible Burger,” has been able to use this crisis to maneuver its goods into a trifecta of 777 additional grocery stores around the U.S.

All of these brands, and many, many more, are running creative spots produced by some of the best and brightest advertising minds in the land, all hoping to craftily convince you that ingredients don’t matter. Unfortunately, most of these processed foods contain additives that make them basically unfit for human consumption.

While A Consumer’s Guide only covers 13 of the many toxic food additives in use, they are, in fact, a baker’s dozen of what you’re most likely to find in today’s processed products. It tells you not just why you need to avoid them, but how to as well.

Along with aspartame, artificial colors, fluoride (yes, it’s an additive), and genetically modified ingredients (also additives), the book covers some lesser known issues such as what commercial fats will be taking the place of partially hydrogenated oils, what preservative is linked to impaired immune function and how the media is easily manipulated to sell products under the guise of “news.”

It’s certainly a cliché, but still true: Knowledge is power. And when you’re up against Big Food and all of its resources you need all the power you can get.

A Consumer’s Guide to Toxic Food Additives can be purchased here:
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/consumers-guide-to-toxic-food-additives-linda-bonvie/113273321
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Is the FDA doing its best to put CBD into the pockets of Big Food and Big Pharma?

Why would the FDA warn consumers against CBD? They don’t issue alerts about ingesting food with residues of glyphosate in it. They don’t warn about the excitotoxic amino acids in the low-calorie sweetener know as aspartame, Equal, or AminoSweet. They don’t even tell the consumer that “diet sodas” actually prevent weight loss. And for sure they don’t tell consumers about the excitotoxic amino acids in monosodium glutamate (MSG), hydrolyzed protein, and protein powders that cause brain damage, endocrine disorders, and reactions such as a-fib, asthma, migraine headache, and seizures.

Many years ago, I set out to uncover what was causing my husband to go into anaphylactic shock. We knew that monosodium glutamate was a trigger, but he’d have reactions at times when there was no monosodium glutamate in anything he had consumed. I read everything I could get my hands on, and along the way I realized that there were two kinds of information circulating about the safety of MSG — one published by independent scientists who found MSG to have toxic potential and another published by the people who manufacture MSG.

Another interesting discovery I made was that the FDA wasn’t looking out for the welfare of the individual consumer. The FDA was looking out for the welfare of people who worked at the FDA — those who looked out for Big Food and Big Pharma while they were at the FDA and took cushy jobs with Big Food and Big Pharma (or their law firms or PR firms) upon leaving the agency. Or people like Michael Taylor who moved between formal employment with Monsanto and the USDA, and Monsanto and the FDA, all the while guaranteeing that things like aspartame and bST were approved, directly or indirectly, for use in food.

My take on the FDA’s CBD warnings is that it has to do with Big Pharma’s long-term program for reaping great profits from CBD — starting with FDA approval of the obscenely priced drug Epidiolex, recently OK’d for childhood seizures. But for that to be successful, Big Pharma also has to obliterate its competition. Warning consumers about CBD is just the start of FDA attacks on CBD products that don’t put money into the pockets of Big Pharma and Big Food.

Adrienne Samuels

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.