It wasn’t Alzheimer’s. It was MSG

This is the story of one man’s battle to survive unlabeled poisons in food, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and dietary supplements — poisons found even in infant formula. It’s a book for those who care about the toxic potential of MSG and/or aspartame, and those who would like to understand FDA/industry collusion.

Part memoire, part history, part exposé — you will meet the men and women who manufacture and market toxic chemicals poured into food. Meet those who are payed to do research that is rigged to conclude MSG is safe for all, and how they get the government, media and medical community to do their bidding.

Meet the individual who supplied researchers with study designs and neurotoxic aspartame to use in placebos. And meet his friends at the FDA — friends like Michael R. Taylor, FDA Deputy Commissioner for Food and Tipper Gore’s cousin, who for years has moved through the revolving door between Monsanto, the USDA, the industry law firm of King and Spalding, and the FDA.

Click here to download a free PDF version of the book or purchase a Kindle edition at Amazon.com

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 Truth in Labeling Campaign: Who we are and why you should follow us

In a world filled with instant information coming at you from all directions, it has become increasingly difficult to tell fact from fiction, PR from journalism and reality from advertising.

This is where the Truth in Labeling Campaign, which is marking its 25th anniversary, can make a difference.

We are a non-profit, all-volunteer organization dedicated to the complete and clear labeling of ingredients in processed foods. We don’t rent space for fancy offices or pay our officers or directors a salary. We are beholden to no organization, advertiser, PR firm, donor or university. Our small budget comes entirely from contributions from volunteers.

Since the Truth in Labeling Campaign was incorporated in 1994, we have been providing fact-based information to consumers, many of whom have been trying to unravel mysterious health problems for years. Our focus has been on glutamic acid (glutamate), the excitotoxic (brain damaging) amino acid found in monosodium glutamate (MSG), hydrolyzed proteins, autolyzed yeast, caseinates, maltodextrin, and some 40 additional ingredients used in quantity in processed foods, dietary supplements, and pharmaceuticals.

Over the past 25 years we’ve learned a lot about propaganda techniques used to benefit those who profit at the expense of human life and suffering. Ajinomoto, possibly the world’s largest producer of MSG, as well as the low-calorie sweetener known best as aspartame (or Equal), is only one among many. The cigarette, pharmaceutical, sugar, oil and chemical industries, as well as those who manufacture and sell GMOs, pesticides, and fertilizers, use similar tactics.

What we do
Our first challenge was to expose the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about MSG. But it wasn’t long before it became obvious that we had more to do than simply provide useful information to our followers. We found that there was, and still is, a large and extremely well-funded campaign purposely designed to keep consumers deceived and in the dark about the toxic effects of MSG, and the names of the many additives we’re ingesting on a daily basis that contain MSG and the excitotoxic manufactured free glutamate (or MfG) found in it.

TLC was founded by Jack Samuels, a health-care professional and his wife, Adrienne Samuels, an experimental psychologist by training, proficient in research methodology, statistics, research design and test construction – vital skills to have if you’re going to notice and unravel design flaws, detect fraudulent research and spot skewered study conclusions.

Long before either thought of putting up a web page, Adrienne was searching for answers that would help her understand Jack’s life-threatening sensitivity to MSG, which could put him into anaphylactic shock.

Finding those answers proved to be inordinately difficult, for the people to whom she was at first referred simply assured her that no one was sensitive to MSG. Richard Cristol, then executive director of Ajinomoto’s Glutamate Association, even sent her a book that he said would prove it.

The answers eventually came from individual consumers, manufacturers, food chemists, food technologists, food encyclopedias, trade magazines, people Jack met on airplanes, and above all, intuition. And over time, Jack and Adrienne found discrepancies between 1) scientific articles produced by independent scientists who found that MSG had toxic potential, and 2) claims made in seriously flawed studies by glutamate industry researchers that declared that MSG was harmless. (Details can be found at the TLC website here.)

Possibly the most flagrant violation of ethics has been use of double-blind studies wherein the number of reactions to MSG test material would be compared to those of a “placebo” containing excitotoxic amino acids. Aspartame, which contains excitotoxic aspartic acid, was the placebo material of choice, but glutamic acid in ingredients with names other than MSG were also used. Then, when subjects reacted to both test material and placebos, industry researchers claimed that was proof MSG was harmless.

The studies in question were approved by the FDA prior to their implementation.

Shortly after the Truth in Labeling Campaign was formed, it was joined by 29 doctors, researchers and parents of MSG-sensitive children, in filing a Citizen Petition asking that the FDA mandate labeling of all MfG added to processed foods.

When the Citizen Petition was denied, TLC filed a lawsuit requesting the same labeling standards. The FDA’s response was to invoke the Administrative Procedures Act, a rule allowing government agencies to refuse to disclose any evidence contained even in their own files that industry wanted withheld.

Realizing that the chances were slim to none that the hold the glutamate industry has over our “watchdog” and other regulatory agencies would ever allow potentially life-saving changes to be made in food labeling, TLC has focused on telling the public the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about MSG and MfG – one person at a time if necessary.

Do you care?
Chances are somewhere down the road that you or a loved one will encounter a glutamate-associated disorder, which can range from problems such as headaches, muscle pains, asthma, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) to diabetes, atrial fibrillation, ischemia, trauma, seizures, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, depression, multiple sclerosis, schizophrenia, epilepsy, addiction, frontotemporal dementia, autism, and even cancer.

Then there is brain damage. Glutamate (and aspartate and L-cysteine) kill brain cells — and one would not notice a few brain cells gone missing today and a few more gone missing tomorrow.

So, wouldn’t it be smart to avoid the trio of excitotoxins that are associated with those abnormalities and brain damage? It includes not only glutamate, but aspartate (found in aspartame), and L-cysteine (often used in bakery products) that are excitotoxic. The Truth in Labeling Campaign will help you to do that.

To learn more, click here for a free download of the book, It wasn’t Alzheimer’s, it was MSG, and the peer-reviewed published article The Toxicity/Safety of Processed Free Glutamic Acid (MSG): A Study in Suppression of Information.

We also invite you to visit TLC’s webpage at www.truthinlabeling.org, follow TLC on twitter (@truthlabeling), join TLC on Facebook and read our blogs.

Medical mystery solved (one of many stories we have)

Dear Dr. Samuels,
I am writing first of all to tell you how very sorry I was to hear of Mr. Samuels’ death last year. I realize this is a bit late for condolences, but I know that even after a year and a half, he is greatly missed by those who loved him and also by those his life touched through his work.

I received my copy of your book The Man Who Sued the FDA (now titled It wasn’t Alzheimer’s, it was MSG) just yesterday morning in the post and could not put it down until I had finished all of it sometime late last night. It was a wonderful documentation in your words and Mr. Samuels’ of the journey the two of you have been on and the battles you have fought and won. Though I realize that in many ways, especially with Mr. Samuels’ untimely death and with the fact that the glutes continue to lie, cheat, steal and murder without shame that so many battles seem to have been won by the other side.

I have often felt a sense of despair in the knowledge that their adulteration of nearly every available food source continues to go on in even more hidden and illegal ways. My only hope is that as a Christian, I know there will be a day of reckoning for the men and women behind the deception and as I firmly believe murder, of so many who had no idea of what was really behind their illnesses, cancers and debilitations.

The main reason I am writing you is that I would very much like to say thank you for the long hours you have poured over research to uncover the truth, the support you gave your husband through his encounters with MSG and your continued presence on the web, which is where I first learned of the dangers of MSG myself just over three years ago.

My story is so like hundreds I know you have encountered of unexplained symptoms that progressed until I finally eliminated MSG (which as you so accurately stated in your book is never a battle that is completed for there is always something else adulterated by its presence). My husband was the first to notice changes in his health shortly after we were expatriated to China 9 years ago. For the first three years of living here, he could not get a confirmation that his problems were directly related to his threshold for MSG’s toxicity. By the process of elimination and through the information on your website and Debbie Anglesey’s website and also through Dr. Schwartz’s book we were given the information to begin eliminating processed foods that were causing the problem. We also seem to have adverse reactions to eating gluten as well and there seems to be very little written on this correlation, though I know one exists. What I am not sure of is if it is the gluten or the presence of MSG in the enhancers that are usually found within the bread recipes. Thankfully, I have always reacted badly almost instantly upon eating aspartame and so this has never been a problem for me; but as you know companies are putting it in items with regular sugar and in some cases my reactions tell me it was not identified on the label. It very much gives one the feeling of being one of those lab rats that have no control of what is being fed to them.

I continue to try to purchase and cook only whole foods, but recently we are reacting to simple apples, pears, of course the wine, and also meat that shouldn’t be adulterated but is. There is no such thing as reliable “organic” here and it is discouraging to say the least. It is also exhausting to have to cook everything you eat from scratch, but I am learning to make this more of a routine. I really appreciated your honesty in the book of how you struggled with the strain of constant vigilance for your husband. Our lives today seem far removed from the years we grew up eating so many things we had no idea that were altering our endocrine systems, destroying our brain cells and turning our bodies against us.

Thank you again for helping so many people like me and my family, who may not have the pleasure of meeting you and who didn’t have the privilege of meeting Mr. Samuels, but who will continue to think of both of you everyday we pass up that box, can or frozen dish in the grocery store; or think carefully about what to order in a restaurant.

Your work you have shared on your website and especially the work in your book will be treasured by me as I continue to try and think of ways to pass this information on to others. It is perhaps a slow and steady pursuit that will not end with the passing of Mr. Samuels and if God is willing, will continue in our children and their children as well.

God bless you, Dr. Samuels as you have blessed others who truly appreciate the cost you and your husband have paid, even when we cannot fully understand 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 questionsaboutmsg@gmail.com and follow us on Twitter @truthlabeling.