An open letter to CBS: Please play it again. It’s already in the can. Ed Bradley did it in November 1991.

It was gone over with a fine-tooth comb by your legal department in 1990 and 1991, and Ajinomoto didn’t sue 60 Minutes after the program aired. Actually, Ajinomoto won’t sue anyone who suggests that monosodium glutamate might be toxic. They keep an extremely low profile and don’t want a lawsuit to shine the light of day on their product. Watch Ed Bradley’s program. You’ll notice there was no one from Ajinomoto speaking about the safety of monosodium glutamate. They did, however, have their man at the FDA, Michael R. Taylor formerly of King and Spaulding and Monsanto represent them wearing his FDA credentials.

Although rated by TV guide as one of the two most watched segments of the 1991 year, 60 Minutes hasn’t replayed it or touched a story that might remotely criticize MSG. It would appear that Don Hewitt caved to industry pressure – could it be explained in any other way? And for neither love nor money can you buy a tape of the program from CBS.

But Don Hewitt is gone. The lie that cigarettes are harmless has been exposed. The toxic chemicals used in production of genetically modified products (GMO’s) are literally on trial. In February, 60 Minutes aired “Did the FDA Ignite the Opioid Epidemic?” The time is right for the toxic effects of monosodium glutamate and the other ingredients that contain Manufactured free Glutamic acid (MfG) to be exposed – and for the conversation to begin anew.

Some things have changed. It is now acknowledged that MfG — the toxic ingredient in monosodium glutamate — is an excitotoxin, killing brain cells and wiping out parts of the endocrine system when passed to the fetus and newborn through the diets of mothers who consume it in quantity in processed foods (which is easy enough to do), as well as through breast milk. There is more excitotoxic MfG in our food supply than there was in 1991, and each year more is added. In addition, the body of medical research on the toxic effects of glutamic acid is growing. A pubmed search done on April 12, 2019, produced 2984 studies of glutamate-related toxicity.

Many of the people interviewed in 1991 are gone. But if you chose to do so, you might still find some, especially the children.

John Olney died of cancer recently, a brilliant scientist and humanitarian, working in his laboratory up to the last. Jack Samuels is gone. He provided information on the toxicity of monosodium glutamate to Roz Karson and Grace Dickhaus of CBS, and to Bruce Ingersol of the Wall Street Journal, from 1990 until the story aired in 1991 – information which they were pleased to confirm. Jack died following a heart attack where medical treatment required that he be given pharmaceuticals that contained manufactured free glutamic acid – which caused him to fibrillate non-stop until he died.

Resources you might fine of interest:

So, play it again please. The timing couldn’t be better.

Respectfully requested,
Adrienne Samuels
Director, Truth in Labeling Campaign

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.

Monosodium glutamate no longer GRAS?

On November 15, 2011, Truth in Labeling co-founder Jack Samuels suffered a massive heart attack. He died on January 15, 2012 from heart damage exacerbated by complications caused by MSG — MSG in the electrode tabs applied to his skin; MSG in the dextrose solution used to deliver the drugs that would crystallize in the non-MSG Ringer’s solution and MSG in the starch and cornstarch components of the medications given to him when the IVs were withdrawn.

Jack Samuels

Had the FDA not lied about the toxic potential of MSG, had the medical community not believed them, had the MSG in the solutions and meds been identified on product inserts, Jack might be alive today. Had Jack not spent half of the last quarter of his life fibrillating following ingestion of MSG hidden in food, he might not have had the heart attack in the first place.

On January 4, 2021, I filed a Citizen Petition requesting that the FDA discontinue representing the interests of those who manufacture monosodium glutamate (MSG) – that the public be told the truth about the toxicity of MSG and its excitotoxic, brain damaging L-glutamic acid. FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, M.D. has been asked to revoke the GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status of MSG and L-glutamic acid for any use in human food.

Copies of the Petition from the FDA are available here. (To read or comment, simply insert the petition docket number FDA-2021-P-0035 in the space provided and use the “comment now” button). The petition and related material are also available at the webpage of the Truth in Labeling Campaign.

The petition contains a Statement of Grounds providing evidence of the need for revoking the GRAS status of MSG and L-glutamic acid for use in human food.

Details pertaining to the toxic effects of MSG, FDA/industry liaison, industry protocols used for production of negative results, and suppression of information can be accessed at these respective links.

If you have questions or comments other than those for the FDA please email me at

But of greatest importance, please tell the FDA that MSG should be stripped of its GRAS status, and search out others to do the same, by commenting to the FDA on the Citizen Petition:

Thank you for caring.

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

Was the Center for Science in the Public Interest ever really interested in the public?

It’s not unheard of for corporate propagandists to hijack grassroots organizations to further their agendas. Of course, the bigger, more respected and highly financed a non-profit group is, the better.

From what we’ve learned in dealing with the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), led until three years ago by its salt-and-fat fighting guru Michael Jacobson, we can’t help but wonder when CSPI lost its way, promoting industry strategies instead of the “public interest.”

When Jacobson stepped down as president of CSPI in 2017 (although still said to be serving as a senior scientist with the organization), he was hailed as a “pioneer of food activism.” CSPI got big media buzz on crusades such as the movie-theater popcorn “Godzilla” campaign and the fettuccini Alfredo “heart attack on a plate” press release – leading to the group frequently being referred to as the “Food Police.”

But as Jack Samuels (co-founder of the Truth in Labeling Campaign) discovered many years ago, asking for CSPI’s involvement in what we thought would make more people aware of the dangers of MSG ended up going in the other direction.

Science in the corporate interest?

When Jack first approached CSPI back in the early 1990s, it seemed the group was aware of both the health risks of consuming MSG as well as the fact that the FDA was refusing to provide full disclosure of manufactured free glutamate (MfG) on food labels (still true to this day).

In 1993 he received a letter from Margo Wootan (recently promoted to CSPI vice president for nutrition) that indicated CSPI knew full well there is a difference between natural and “synthesized MSG,” as she called it. “It is a question that does not seem to be adequately addressed,” she wrote, accurately stating that manufactured MSG contains both D and L glutamic acid, which might explain why some people “react only to synthesized/added MSG but not to naturally occurring glutamate” that contains only “L.” (For more on that topic, go here).

While that might seem like a negligible point, it’s key to the glutamate industry’s spin that there is zero difference between unadulterated glutamic acid (including what’s found in the human body) and manufactured glutamic acid.

Jacobson and CSPI had the power to turn that into headlines. But they didn’t. Perhaps it wasn’t as sexy as “heart attack on a plate,” but it sure would be as important to the public.

After Jack received that initial note, which made him think we had found allies in our efforts to inform consumers, CSPI’s attitude mysteriously changed.

Jack described one case where an independent journalist was planning to cover a meeting of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), organized to hear testimony on the safety of MSG. The writer canceled, however, after talking to Jacobson and being told MSG was a “non-issue,” and that he would be wasting his time.

Later, when Jack had high hopes that the FDA was taking notice and might act on unlabeled MfG in food, a CSPI staffer wrote to the agency saying that not enough was known about MSG to take any action. Jacobson even went so far as to tell the Wall Street Journal in an interview in 2007, “I don’t see normal amounts of MSG as posing a risk to the vast majority of people.”

Jacobson continued to practically parrot the glutamate industry when he told a writer in 2013 that he has been “waiting 30 years to see any decent studies, especially of people who claim to be extremely sensitive to MSG…”

And, as the saying goes, actions speak louder than words. Currently CSPI actively promotes food products that contain MSG and MfG, such as Campbell’s Vegetable Soup with beef stock, loaded with yeast extract, hydrolyzed soy protein, hydrolyzed wheat gluten and monosodium glutamate. The group has a photo of the can with a green box around it indicating the soup’s superiority to other, higher-salt brands on its Pinterest page.

For anyone who still believes that CSPI is a consumer watchdog, ferociously guarding your best interests, it’s time to take another look. That reputation is certainly what supports the group, which is said to have an annual income of over $17 million, mostly from newsletter subscriptions and to a lesser degree, donations. And with the new CSPI president, Peter Lurie, coming straight from the FDA, it doesn’t seem too likely that the group will change its tune anytime soon.

As was said in an editorial over 20 years ago: With enemies like CSPI, the industrial barons squeezing the life out of our natural bounty need no friends.

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.

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

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.

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, 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 and follow us on Twitter @truthlabeling.