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Basic Half-truths and Fabrications used by the Glutamate Industry and for the Glutamate Industry

 by the FDA, the USDA, and the EPA

There is no honest rationale for defending the safety of processed free glutamic acid (MSG). In place of truth, Ajinomoto and the other members of the International Glutamate Technical Committee and The Glutamate Association have developed a liturgy of half-truths and fabrications that can be used, and are used, by their agents in their indefensible defense of the safety of processed free glutamic acid (MSG). In bold print is what they will tell you.  Our response in each case follows:

1) MSG is naturally occurring.

(That sounds good, doesn't it? But "natural" doesn't mean safe. By FDA definition, arsenic is "naturally occurring." They get mileage from talking about MSG being" naturally occurring" because" naturally occurring" is never defined.)

2) There is a great deal of free glutamic acid in tomatoes. Therefore, glutamic acid does not cause adverse reactions.

(Two important points: First, there may be more free glutamic acid in unadulterated tomatoes than there is in other unadulterated vegetables, but it's not "a great deal" when compared to the amounts of processed free glutamic acid (MSG) in processed food. It is at most a minute amount.  Second, the free glutamic acid in unadulterated tomatoes is not manufactured/ fabricated.  Only free glutamic acid that occurs in food as a consequence of manufacture, not other forms of free glutamic acid, causes adverse reactions.)

3) Glutamic acid found naturally in protein is identical to fabricated glutamic acid.

(That is a bold-faced lie. Glutamic acid found naturally in protein is L-glutamic acid, only. Fabricated glutamic acid is always accompanied by contaminants in addition to L-glutamic acid.)

4) L-glutamic acid is L-glutamic acid no matter what the source, i.e., no matter what material it is made from.

(That is true. It is also irrelevant. The argument is used to distract the potential critic from the lie in Item 3.)

5) L-glutamic acid found naturally in protein is identical to fabricated L-glutamic acid.

(That is also true, also irrelevant, and also used to distract the potential critic from seeing the lie in Item 3.)

6) No study done in the 1980s and 1990s has shown that processed free glutamic acid in any form causes brain lesions

(That is true, irrelevant, and grossly misleading. The studies of the 1970s demonstrating that glutamic acid causes brain lesions were so well done, and so often replicated, that by the 1980s glutamic acid was being used as a tool to selectively kill brain cells.)

7) There is no evidence that.......

(The inference, but only the inference, is that there were studies done and no evidence was found. The more correct statement would be that "No study of that subject has ever been done.")

8) The evidence that suggests that some people may suffer adverse reactions following ingestion of processed free glutamic acid (MSG) is anecdotal.