FDA claim that MSG is GRAS puts it in violation of its own rules


BY FDA REGULATIONS found in the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and in the FDA Code of Federal Regulations, the use of a food substance may be GRAS (generally recognized as safe) either through scientific procedures or, for a substance used in food before 1958, through experience based on common use

In short, to be designated FDA GRAS, an ingredient must be:

1) Tested for safety using scientific procedures, or

2) Known to be safe through experience based on common use in food prior to January 1958.

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) does not meet that standard and therefore does not meet the FDA requirements for GRAS status.

The MSG in use today has never been tested for safety. Although the glutamate industry has turned out badly flawed studies on the “safety” of MSG (using toxic material in placebos, for example), no one outside of the glutamate industry would ever claim that any of those studies qualified as “scientific” procedures.

The MSG in use today, made with glutamate created by genetically modified bacteria that excrete glutamate through their cell walls, was only invented in 1957, allowing no time to demonstrate safe use through experience (based on common use in food) prior to 1958. The MSG in use today could not have been grandfathered GRAS in 1958 because it didn’t exist prior to 1957.

In 1969, it was first observed that manufactured free glutamic acid, the essential ingredient in MSG, is an excitotoxic amino acid. When glutamate is ingested in controlled quantities, it is essential to normal function. But when ingested in excess, it causes brain damage, leading to a variety of abnormalities.

Prior to 1957, when glutamate was produced by extracting it from protein, there was not enough manufactured free glutamate added in food to cause glutamate to become excitotoxic. That changed in 1957 after glutamate came to be produced in virtually unlimited quantities.

Resources

Sections 201(s) and 409 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act
FDA’s implementing regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations, 21 CFR 170.3, 21 CFR 170.30, and 21 CFR 170.30(b


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.

Have you been eating these popular FDA-approved chemical stews?

The Covid-19 pandemic has presented untold challenges for people everywhere. For certain segments of the U.S. food industry, however, it was likely a dream come true.

Sales of what the FDA calls “substitute” foods are off the charts, and new products are being introduced at a record pace. According to industry experts, last year saw an almost 30 percent increase in these “foods,” with sales hitting the $7 billion mark (that’s right, B as in billion), far exceeding the growth of the “total U.S. retail food market.” As a result, experts now consider 2020 to have been “a breakout year for plant-based foods across the store.”

But what do those billions of dollars in sales represent? Not a healthy new way to eat while saving the planet, that’s for sure. In truth, these products, which are advertised as being wholesome alternatives to real meat, fish and eggs, are chemically laden promotors of obesity, infertility and migraines, filled with brain-damaging manufactured free glutamic acid (MfG) — the same toxic ingredient found in monosodium glutamate.

So, what are these toxic products made from and how do manufacturers get away with using the names of real food on their packaging?

Ersatz eggs

Let’s start with plant-based “eggs,” an unknown commodity just a short time ago that is now out-selling the real deal at ten times the rate.

The leader in the artificial egg game is JUST, Inc., makers of JUST Egg, which contains nothing that any reasonable person would consider having come from a bird of any kind. JUST, however, has no shame about splashing the word EGG all over its product and website. The company (known as Hampton Creek when it introduced its first fake product, mock mayo) is apparently taking advantage of an odd FDA loophole in the “standard of identity” (SOI) for what can be called an egg. While the FDA requires that there be a legally binding SOI for hundreds of items from peanut butter to pasta (consisting of a detailed description of that food), you won’t find eggs among them. And, to make things even crazier, the FDA is prohibited from creating an SOI for eggs.

So, a product concocted of mung bean protein isolate (containing MSG’s toxic component MfG), canola oil, tetrasodium pyrophosphate (a thickening agent or coagulant) and transglutaminase (a.k.a. “meat glue”), among other highly processed ingredients, came to be called “egg,” outselling highly nutritional real eggs.

Fake fish

The ever-expanding market for imitation food has reeled in a host of phony fish dishes, the latest coming from “Good Catch,” with its “fish-free TUNA.”

This product contains more brain damaging MfG ingredients than any other product we’ve previously looked at, including pea protein isolate, soy protein concentrate, faba protein, lentil protein, soy protein isolate, citric acid and yeast extract.

Why the company has not been challenged by the FDA for false and misleading labeling isn’t clear, since the FDA has a long list of what can legally be called tuna, which is limited to actual varieties of real fish. Nestle, which also makes a faux fish product at least calls it “Vuna,” a product that “tastes like tuna.”

That little detail hasn’t stopped “Good Catch” from netting millions of dollars in investment capital, including close to $30 million in its latest round of funding.

The big kahuna of mock meat

While meatless burgers and nuggets have been around for some time, it wasn’t until Impossible Foods came along with the additive-filled concoction it calls a “burger” that the market for consuming bogus beef took off.

While Impossible claims it’s busy saving the Earth from devastation, it doesn’t have much to say on its main component, soy-protein concentrate, an MfG filled excitotoxic ingredient. And that’s not the only one. You’ll also find natural flavors, potato protein, yeast extract and soy-protein isolate in their “burgers.”

Aside from the known brain-damaging nature of these ingredients, there’s also a GMO ingredient called soy leghemoglobin, or heme, added as a color additive to make the burger appear to “bleed” like real meat. That’s now the subject of a lawsuit filed by The Center for Food Safety (CFS) challenging the FDA’s approval of the ingredient.

This genetically modified soy (a newcomer to the human diet), was OK’d by the FDA without “extensive safety testing before approving its use,” CFS states.

The heme is produced by a chemically complex process in which the DNA from genetically modified soy is extracted, inserted into genetically engineered yeast and fermented to produce genetically engineered heme.

The FDA has no comment as to the regulatory compliance of these fake foods other than saying (in a 2018 press release) that it’s on a “fast track” in reviewing “substitute” food products. The last we were told by the FDA is that staffers there are busy reading over 13,000 comments on this issue and that they take “labeling concerns seriously.” But apparently not all that seriously, as more and more foods that aren’t really foods are being manufactured and misleadingly labeled all the time.

How one health crisis is helping to fuel another

It seems that it took a world-wide health crisis to give these “substitute” products the push needed to rake in those billions in sales. Along with meat shortages last year and the all-around difficulty in buying actual food items, somehow these products became labeled by some as “healthier” eating, with numerous articles attributing the plant-based “revolution” to Covid-19.

But despite all the extravagant claims made by manufacturers, if you read the ingredient labels on these products you’ll find that they are not eggs, meat or fish, and not the kinds of “plants” grown by farmers either. As we’ve said before, a better name might be chemical-based junk foods.

Finally…

Watch out for products that make protein claims on the packaging. Most are made from combinations of manufactured free amino acids such as those found in MSG and in aspartame. This includes snack bars, cookies, smoothie mixes, protein powders and protein drinks in addition to fake eggs, fish, and meat.

All, “substitute” protein products will contain MSG or its toxic MfG.

Remember also that soy, pea and bean protein do not taste remotely like meat, fish or eggs, so MfG-containing flavor enhancers like MSG are added to trick your tongue into making that taste association.

Check out our list of ingredient names that contain MfG as well as our brochure to take shopping with you. Better yet, if you want to do all you can to have a healthy diet, ditch the processed foods and ultra-processed fake foods, altogether.


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.

Doing Ajinomoto a favor

Deep in the FDA’s “Food Code” lies Annex 4, Table 2b. Added Chemical Hazards at Retail, along with Their Associated Foods and Control Measures that lists monosodium glutamate as an “Added Chemical Hazard.”

Knowing that Ajinomoto, producer of MSG, has expressed concern that MSG is getting “a bad rap,” I thought it only proper that all of the ingredients that contain manufactured free glutamate, MSG’s excitotoxic – brain damaging – component, should be listed along with MSG as added chemical hazards.

So, on March 1st of this year I filed Citizen Petition # FDA-2021-P-0267 requesting that the FDA Commissioner add hydrolyzed protein, autolyzed yeast, maltodextrin and the names of all other ingredients that contain excitotoxic manufactured free glutamic acid to the Food Code, Annex 4, Table 2b, “Added Chemical Hazards at Retail, Along with Their Associated Foods and Control Measures.”

To read and/or comment on the petition, use this link: https://www.regulations.gov/document/FDA-2021-P-0267-0001

Other petitions in which you might have interest are:

Petition to revoke the GRAS status of monosodium glutamate and L-glutamic acid for any use in human food: https://www.regulations.gov/document/FDA-2021-P-0035-0001

Petition to replace the FDA webpage post titled “Questions and Answers on Monosodium Glutamate” with accurate information about the additive, including its toxic potential: https://www.regulations.gov/document/FDA-2021-P-0301-0001


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.

FDA petitioned to update food safety list — here’s how you can help!

According to the FDA’s “best advice” on food safety, monosodium glutamate (MSG) is considered an “added chemical hazard.”

That warning will be found in the FDA’s Food Code, considered to be the agency’s “best recommendations” on food safety issues for retail food establishments. MSG has been included in Annex 4, table 2b, Added chemical hazards at retail, since 1999, with advice to “avoid using excessive amounts.”

Requesting that the list be expanded to reflect the ever-growing use of excitotoxic chemical hazards in food, Adrienne Samuels, Ph.D., director of the nonprofit Truth in Labeling Campaign has submitted a Citizen Petition to FDA Acting Commissioner Janet Woodcock, M.D., asking that additives containing manufactured free glutamate (MfG) – the same toxic ingredient found in MSG – also be included in the Food Code’s list of Added chemical hazards.

“Monosodium glutamate is not alone in containing potentially excitotoxic (brain damaging) MfG” says Samuels. “MfG can be found in dozens of additives used in processed foods, and they should all be listed as ‘chemical hazards’ along with MSG.” A list of the ingredients that always contain MfG is kept up-to-date on the webpage of the Truth in Labeling Campaign.

You can read and comment on this petition at the FDA docket here: https://www.regulations.gov/document/FDA-2021-P-0267-0001

This is the third petition Samuels has sent to the FDA this year. To read the others, one to strip MSG and manufactured glutamate of their GRAS (safe) status and the other to replace the FDA’s inaccurate webpage, “Questions and Answers on Monosodium Glutamate,” go to the Truth in Labeling Campaign’s website petition page here: https://www.truthinlabeling.org/petition.html

And remember, your comments at the FDA docket on these petitions matter, so be sure to tell them exactly what’s on your mind regarding these toxic additives!


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.

Beware the ‘No added MSG’ label

A group of products that say "No MSG" on the label.

As more consumers become aware of the toxic effects of free glutamate Big Food is becoming even more devious

In 2015 a class action lawsuit called Dennis Peterson v. CJ Foods (or as it was more casually known, the “Annie Chun’s No MSG settlement”), reached a conclusion. CJ America Inc. ponied up $1.5 million to pay consumers who had purchased the deviously labeled “No MSG added” Annie Chun’s soup products up to $15 bucks each.

While the case was mentioned online and in some media, it seems the details got lost in translation. It was sometimes referred to as a “rebate,” or simply a chance to pocket a few dollars if you had purchased Annie Chun’s soups.

But what this case really involves is one of the most popular ongoing industry scams, one known as the “clean label.”

In the Annie Chun’s case, the company put glowing ad copy on the front label, saying: “NO MSG added” when, in fact, it contained numerous sources of manufactured free glutamate (MfG), including yeast extract, natural flavors, and soy sauce. Peterson’s complaint called that a way to “deceptively hide ‘MSG’ in food labels.”

Although CJ Foods settled the case relatively quickly — and while it didn’t admit to any wrongdoing, and apparently has since refrained from posting “No MSG” on its products — that trickery is against FDA regulations yet still alive and well, being used by numerous companies to clean up the words on their packaging so as to snag the conscientious consumer.

It’s more, however, than just a “deception.” Over 25 years ago the FDA issued this statement:

“While technically MSG is only one of several forms of free glutamate used in foods, consumers frequently use the term MSG to mean all free glutamate. For this reason, FDA considers foods whose labels say “No MSG” or “No added MSG” to be misleading if the food contains ingredients that are sources of free glutamates, such as hydrolyzed protein.”

Had the case not been settled out of court it is conceivable that the company would have been deemed in violation of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. But that possibility doesn’t seem to bother Big Food a whole lot. Currently there are plenty of products that say “No added MSG” but contain ingredients that are sources of free glutamates.

For example, we just purchased:

Knorr (Unilever) Pasta Sides: Despite the promise of “No Added MSG” on the package front, the product contains a boatload of free glutamates, such as hydrolyzed soy protein, yeast extract and natural flavors. Knorr also adds disodium guanylate and disodium inosinate, two ingredients that work synergistically with MSG and will tip you off as to its presence.

McCormick Chicken Gravy mix

McCormick “flavor” packets: Each one we looked at claimed “No MSG Added” while loaded with a variety of ingredients containing free glutamates. The beef stew seasoning mix included soy protein and hydrolyzed corn gluten, with the Au Jus gravy packet containing hydrolyzed corn gluten, soy protein and sodium caseinate. The chicken gravy mix (pictured above) contained glutamates galore, including hydrolyzed corn gluten, yeast extract, natural flavors, soy sauce solids and disodium guanylate and disodium inosinate (which are listed as “flavor enhancers”).

College Inn (Del Monte) broths: We selected “garden vegetable,” but other types also claim “NO MSG” as well while clearly containing yeast extract and natural flavors.

Over the years litigation has attempted to stop this kind of hoax, but it’s obvious that filling processed foods with flavor-enhancing MfG is so important, so vital to industry, that it will take any chance necessary to keep the labels “clean” and the additives flowing.

ConAgra foods, for example, when legally challenged in 2014 for labeling “No MSG” on its Chef Boyardee Mac & Cheese products (when they contained free-glutamate ingredients), complained that the FDA did not give food manufacturers “fair notice” of such labeling requirements.

Well, the time for fair notice has long expired, and yet food manufacturers continue to not only mislead consumers with their packaging, but with their comments as well.

We called College Inn, Knorr and McCormick consumer information lines and were told the following:

College Inn claims it had a “campaign” to remove MSG from its products back in 2007, when they were reformulated. “MSG can’t be hidden or called something else,” they said.

McCormick has a recorded announcement saying how they “are aware of allergies and sensitivities” to various ingredients, including wheat, milk, nuts and MSG. The recording promised that such ingredients will always be declared “on our labels,” and “never hidden.”

The Knorr agent told us that they don’t have information saying MSG “is not safe,” but “additional studies are being conducted by health officials.” Oh, and that MSG isn’t used in any Knorr products.

Clearly, as more and more consumers are becoming enlightened as to the toxic nature of MSG and MfG, Big Food has chosen to become more and more deceitful. The only way to really know what you’re eating when consuming processed foods is to read the ingredient label – not the package advertising, not the nutrition facts label, but the list of actual ingredients that make up the product.

We took our questions and the falsehoods we were told to each brand’s media department for an “official” reply. When they respond we’ll update you on this evolving story.

The bottom line is that if a product states it has “No MSG,” or “No Added MSG” but it contains ingredients that contain MfG (or “free glutamates”) it is considered “false and misleading” according to the FDA, and in violation of FDA rules.

Stay tuned.

*(MfG is the potentially excitotoxic manufactured free glutamic acid found in MSG and a host of other ingredients capable of triggering what are known as MSG 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 questionsaboutmsg@gmail.com and follow us on Twitter @truthlabeling.

Would a switch to clean labels be the right thing to do?

With petition # FDA-2021-P-0035 filed at the FDA to strip monosodium glutamate (MSG) of its GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status, manufacturers who use MSG as their flavor-enhancer of choice might consider switching to “clean label” ingredients such as hydrolyzed proteins or any one of a number of yeasts.

Let there be no confusion. Those clean label products will contain essentially the same excitotoxic free glutamic acid as found in MSG, and will, therefore, contribute not only to the flavor of products but will cause “MSG reactions.” Monosodium glutamate won’t be on the label, but its toxic ingredient will be in those “clean label” products.

The Statement of Grounds in petition FDA-2021-P-0035 lays out the evidence that documents MSG toxicity, and gives details of the seriously flawed research that glutamate industry agents claim demonstrates that MSG is “safe.” Research that petitioner Samuels calls “flawed to the point of being fraudulent.”

Petition FDA-2021-P-0035 can be accessed here: https://www.regulations.gov/document/FDA-2021-P-0035-0001

Adrienne Samuels can be contacted at questionsaboutMSG@gmail.com

PS Check back later this week to see what a “clean label” looks like.


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.

The news FDA and friends don’t want you to see

A second Citizen Petition has been filed by Adrienne Samuels, PhD., requesting that all ingredients containing MSG’s excitotoxic – brain damaging – glutamate be placed alongside MSG on the FDA’s “Added Chemical Hazards” in Food list.

Once upon a time in 1991, in anticipation of a network expose of MSG toxicity, the Wall Street Journal ran the headline, “A 60 Minutes attack on MSG would be felt throughout the $280 billion-a-year food industry.” Now, thirty years later the $280 billion-a-year food industry is the $5,943.8 billion a year food industry. Those who manufacture MSG now control the USDA, the FDA, and the major U.S. media, and no attack on MSG will likely be felt anywhere. I’d be thrilled (and amazed) if these petitions were mentioned in the Wall Street Journal, much less appeared in a Wall Street Journal headline.

Today’s story is about the campaign to shine light on the fact that manufactured free glutamate (MfG) is toxic, and to expose the fact that the FDA says it’s safe.

In January, Adrienne’s first Citizen Petition (FDA-2021-P-0035), was filed with the FDA, requesting that MSG be stripped of its GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status. Today, March 1st, a second Citizen Petition has been filed with the FDA requesting that the names of ingredients containing MfG be added to the FDA’s list of chemical hazards added to food. MSG is already on this list.

There’s no lack of information about the hazards posed by MSG and the excitotoxic glutamate found in flavor enhancers and protein substitutes. And there’s no lack of information about the falsehood-filled propaganda circulated widely by the glutamate industry or the way in which they’ve rigged the studies that they claim “prove” MSG is “safe.” Our website and blog at www.truthinlabeling.org provide access to decades of scientific research, personal experience, analyses of what glutamate industry operatives call “research,” and investigation into the effects of monosodium glutamate and similar additives.

And not least of all, with these petitions you have been given the opportunity to share with the world your experiences with MSG and your knowledge of its toxic potential. https://www.regulations.gov/document/FDA-2021-P-0035-0001 will get you to the place you want to go to tell your story.

Please address questions to questionsaboutMSG@gmail.com We love hearing from you.

P.S. Curious about who we are? Read “It Wasn’t Alzheimer’s, It Was MSG” — a free download at https://www.truthinlabeling.org/assets/it_wasnt_az.pdf if you don’t want to buy it from Kindle.


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.

Here’s how YOU can make change happen!

How old do you think I am? I used to be five foot tall, but I’m not anymore. I’ve been collecting social security for longer than some of you have been alive. I’ve been actively battling the lie that monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a harmless flavor enhancer since 1968. And in January I stepped up to the plate and filed a Citizen Petition requesting that the FDA strip MSG of its GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status.

Given the history of FDA’s close cooperation with the makers of MSG, it would seem only remotely possible that the FDA would act to provide consumers with accurate information about the toxic potential of MSG. But this is a new day in a new year and a new administration sits in the White House — and all things are possible. So, I’m looking to optimize the possibility that change will happen by contacting newspapers, contacting legislators, and asking you to take 5-10 minutes to post a comment on the Citizen Petition FDA-2021-P-0035 telling of your experience with MSG. We can make change happen. You can make change happen.

To comment, simply go to https://www.regulations.gov/document/FDA-2021-P-0035-0001 and click on the “comment” button at the top left.

Names aren’t required. Want to stay anonymous? You can. Just leave the name field empty. Maybe when you post your comment, mention that you’re a registered voter (if you are a registered voter.)

And please, ask your friends to do the same.

P.S. When the first thousand comments have been posted, I’ll post the secret of my age on the Truth in Labeling Campaign Facebook page.

Adrienne

Don’t forget: https://www.regulations.gov/document/FDA-2021-P-0035-0001 and click on the “comment” button at the top left.


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.

Enough to get her fired?

In January Food Navigator-USA ran the story “Ajinomoto defends MSG as nonprofit petitions FDA to rescind its GRAS status.” And Ajinomoto’s Tia Rains fired back with a classic piece of glutamate-industry propaganda.

It’s not what she said in the piece that’s so interesting, because it’s classic industry talk. What is interesting is the fact that Ajinomoto responded at all.

For 50+ years, the Glutes have pretty much ignored criticism from those who have maintained that MSG is toxic. It would appear that they’ve used this strategy to keep questions of glutamate sensitivity out of the media – just letting any question of harm done by MSG die a slow, quiet death. And this strategy, along with rigging the research they’ve presented to the FDA as evidence of MSG’s safety, has been incredibly effective, for this excitotoxic, brain damaging food additive is still being advertised as generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the FDA.

So why the change in strategy? Or did Tia Rains make a terrible mistake. Terrible enough to get her fired.


Reminder: Please take a moment to comment on this petition at the link below.

Go to www.Regulations.gov, and put this docket number FDA-2021-P-0035 in the search box, click “search.” There you’ll see a link to the petition and a button that says “comment.”

NOTE: If you’re commenting on Tuesday or Thursday an extra step is needed as the FDA site is being updated twice a week. On those days:

Go to www.regulations.gov and put this docket number FDA-2021-P-0035 in the search box, click “search.”

On the left side, it will say “Document Type,” check the “other” box and then click on the second document titled “Citizen petition from Adrienne Samuels” and you’ll see a “Comment” button at the top.


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.

Call to Action: False claims made on government websites can be removed

There is power in positive thinking and Right Action. The Informed Consent Action Network (ICAN) just reported that because of actions taken, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can no longer claim on its website that vaccines do not cause autism.

What better incentive could we have to flood the FDA with testimony telling why we believe the FDA’s claim that MSG is harmless should be dropped from any and all of their materials.

Call to action: Comment on Citizen Petition FDA-2021-P-0035 to strip MSG of its GRAS (safe) designation.

To comment on this petition:

Go to https://www.regulations.gov and put this docket number FDA-2021-P-0035 in the search box. Click on “Search.”

Click on “Comment now.”

NOTE: If you’re commenting on Tuesday or Thursday an extra step is needed as the site is being updated twice a week. On those days:

Go to https://www.regulations.gov and put this docket number FDA-2021-P-0035 in the search box.

Click on the second link titled Citizen Petition from Adrienne Samuels and you’ll see a blue tab that says “comment now.”

This is a comment from L. “Considering what we know right now, there is no reason for the FDA to label MSG as a GRAS additive. It is a toxic, brain damaging, manmade substance. For the FDA to continue to present it as a benign, GRAS ingredient benefits industry, not consumers. It’s time for the FDA to stop being a PR firm for Big Food and serve the public. This petition is an excellent way to start that process. Please give it the focus and attention it deserves.”

This is an excerpt from a comment from F. “In my case, if I sat down in the evening and consumed a large quantity of barbecue potato chips, nacho chips (two favorite snacks) or other products containing significant amounts of MSG, I would wake up the next morning with very severe vertigo that lasted 7-10 days. I was unable to function or teach my food marketing classes until I discovered that the transderm-scop patch (worn on cruises by people subject to seasickness) provided some relief. The vertigo attacks occurred about once per month. After several visits to ENT physicians who could not explain the problem or find a solution, I decided that the condition may have been caused by a food additive. I used a careful process of elimination and, over the course of several months, determined that the culprit was MSG. I completely removed MSG from my diet, as much as possible, by reading all labels and never consuming any product that contains MSG. When eating away-from-home, I always confirm that the restaurant does not use MSG in foods I purchase. I am happy to report that, as a result, I have now been free from any vertigo attacks for more than nine years.

“I suspect that the incidence of MSG sensitivity is far higher than reported, and that most people suffering the symptoms never identify the cause of their symptoms. Given that MSG is nothing more than a “flavor enhancer” and provides no real functional benefits, I cannot see how any benefits of MSG could possibly outweigh the costs (medical expenses and lost productivity), given the clearly documented sensitivities to MSG. It would be far better for the American consumer to learn to appreciate the real flavors of foods. I am gratified that some enlightened food manufacturers and retailers have been removing MSG from their products.”


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 questionsaboutmsg@gmail.com and follow us on Twitter @truthlabeling