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On March 13, 2009, President Obama stated, in part, that the nation’s decades-old food safety system is a hazard to public health. While nominating Margaret Hamburg, M.D., the former New York Health Commissioner, for the position of FDA commissioner, he also indicated that he would be creating a Food Safety Working Group to coordinate food safety laws throughout government and to advise him on how to update them.

Over time, many people have asked us what they could do to have all free glutamic acid disclosed on product labels. This Obama initiative provides us with an unusual opportunity to accomplish that goal by submitting, in large numbers, our concerns to the highest level in our land, the office of the president.

The Truth in Labeling Campaign asks that you contact President Obama through http://www.whitehouse.gov (click on "contact us" in the upper right-hand corner of the home page) then fill out the e-mail form) or by calling the White House (Comments: 202-456-1111; Switchboard: 202-456-1414) to request that action be taken to allow people to protect themselves from all free glutamic acid through full disclosure on consumer products; and that the FDA be ordered to take immediate action against companies such as Campbell’s Soups that knowingly market products that contain free glutamic acid in food ingredients other than ”monosodium glutamate”, and state “No MSG” or ”No Added MSG” on the product labels. If you or a loved one experience adverse reactions from MSG, briefly state in your message the adverse reactions you experience from MSG, and indicate that since the problem is a sensitivity to a toxic substance, disclosure should not allow any tolerance for non-disclosure. If you have had the experience, you might also want to indicate that food companies do not properly respond to questions addressed to them regarding MSG.

Please ask that your friends, relatives, fellow workers, and fellow church members write the president. With an MSG sensitivity problem that the literature indicates affects more than 25% of our country, we should certainly be able to generate enough E-mails to force resolution of one of the major health problems in our country.

There are people who would like to have all MSG banned. In our opinion, it is reasonable to request that the food ingredient “monosodium glutamate” be banned.  But since some traditional foods such as gelatin contain some processed free glutamic acid (MSG), it would not be possible to eliminate all sources of MSG. Rather, all free glutamic acid should be disclosed on food labels with the amounts present stated in milligrams.  This will help people identify or rule out MSG as a cause of their medical problems, and will allow them to eliminate or control their intake of MSG.  It will also eliminate or slow the development of the ever increasing number of products that contain the reactive component of the food ingredient “monosodium glutamate”. Full disclosure of MSG on food labels will certainly help eliminate the false information provide to consumers by industry.  Finally, identifying or ruling out MSG as a cause of medical problems, will certainly serve to reduce the cost of health care in this country.

There are four corrective actions that the government needs to take to protect its citizens. They are:

1. The FDA must require full disclosure of ”free glutamic acid” on the labels of all processed foods, with the amount stated in milligrams.

2. The FDA must take corrective action against companies with mislabeled products, claiming ”No MSG”” or ”No added MSG” when the product contains free glutamic acid.

3. The USDA must stop allowing food companies to state ”No added MSG” on the labels of processed foods the USDA regulates that contain ”free glutamic acid”.”

4. The EPA must rescind its exemption from the requirement of a tolerance for “free glutamic acid” on agricultural crops.  This exemption allows unrestricted amounts of processed free glutamic acid (MSG) residue to remain in and on any and all MSG treated food crops.

Following is the basic message that the Truth in Labeling Campaign feels needs to be expressed to the president:

All existing processed foods, dietary supplements, and pharmaceuticals must be analyzed for “free glutamic acid”. Subsequently, when a new product is introduced or a formulation is changed, the product must be analyzed for ”free glutamic acid”. If ”free glutamic acid” is present in a product, it must be disclosed as ”MSG”, with the amount stated in milligrams, on the labels of processed foods and dietary supplements, and on the product inserts of pharmaceuticals.”