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.”

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

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.

The History of Monosodium Glutamate (the hidden neurotoxic chemical), Part Two

This is part two of a video set created by Avalina Kreska out of a series of comics she produced about the dangers of monosodium glutamate.

Credits: Compiled by Avalina Kreska, Voiceovers: wellsaidlabs.com & ttsMP3.com, Music: purple-planet.com, Comic software: Pixton.com SFX: bbc.co.uk

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 History of Monosodium Glutamate (the hidden neurotoxic chemical) Part One

This video was created by Avalina Kreska out of a series of comics she produced about the dangers of monosodium glutamate. Watch this video and you’ll never look at processed foods the same way again!

Credits: Compiled by Avalina Kreska, Voiceovers: wellsaidlabs.com & ttsMP3.com, Music: purple-planet.com, Comic software: Pixton.com SFX: bbc.co.uk

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.

Know the truth or pay the consequences

Can someone explain how an ingredient mass-produced in a factory using a method protected by patents** is “naturally occurring?”

Psychologists tell us that if you hear something often enough you will begin to believe what you hear.

And Ajinomoto, along with its assorted PR firms, tells us over and over again that “monosodium glutamate (MSG) and the glutamate in MSG are ‘naturally occurring.’”

But that doesn’t make it true.

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 of the “No added MSG” 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 “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.

Beware the ‘No added MSG’ 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 “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

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.

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.

20 questions, part one: How much do you really know about MSG?

MSG is manufactured using genetically modified bacteria. In what state does that happen?
Who was the first researcher to warn of the dangers of eating MSG?
What was the name of the person who supervised the MSG-toxicity studies that used toxic amino acids known to cause the same reactions as MSG?
What university took part in the last industry-run study of the toxicity of MSG? Hint: the study was completed after the use of toxic amino acids in placebos was made public.
What was the name of the book written by Dr. George Schwartz that disclosed the fact that the toxic ingredient in MSG is manufactured free glutamic acid?
In what year was the study revealing that there is D-glutamate in MSG published?
Dr. Steve L. Taylor, Ph.D., represented the interest of the glutamate industry for years without acknowledging the relationship. With what school was he affiliated?
What is the second excitotoxic -- brain damaging -- amino acid, in addition to glutamic acid, found in quantity in processed food?
What FDA Commissioner reported on four studies that allegedly demonstrated that MSG is harmless, with two of those studies non-existent and the other two incomplete?
What was the year of that Commissioner’s testimony?