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MSG is all about money


MSG is all about money.  Manufacturers substitute inexpensive MSG-containing processed products such as monosodium glutamate, autolyzed yeast, and hydrolyzed soy protein for real food -- and manufacturers make more money than they otherwise would.  But what if using MSG in processed food, in pharmaceuticals, in dietary supplements, in waxes used on produce, or spraying MSG on crops, was to cost the glutamate industry more money than it saved by using MSG?  Might manufacturers then stop using MSG-containing ingredients?

If you're thinking of suing

Ajinomoto USA, Inc., one of the powers, if not the power, behind keeping processed free glutamic acid (MSG) hidden in processed food, was sued some time ago by the US Department of Justice for price fixing lysine. On October 28, 1999, Felbro Food Products, Inc., sued Ajinomoto Company, Inc., Ajinomoto U.S.A., Inc. and others for "a pervasive price-fixing scheme and conspiracy involving the sale of the food additives, monosodium glutamate ("MSG"), disodium inosinate ("IMP") and disodium guanylate ("GMP")." In both cases, class action suits followed. Attorneys have filed, and continue to file, suits against Ajinomoto and others on behalf of companies or people who paid more for their flavoring because of the price fixing activities of Ajinomoto and others.

More recently, Ajinomoto Co., Inc. and Ajinomoto U.S.A., Inc. (“Ajinomoto”), Takeda Chemical Industries, Ltd. (“Takeda”), Kyowa Hakko Kogyo Co., Ltd. (“Kyowa”), Archer Daniels Midland Co. (“ADM”), CJ Corp. and CJ America (“Cheil”), Miwon Company Ltd., Miwon Trading and Shipping Co., Ltd., Miwon Japan, Inc., Daesang America, Inc. f/k/a Miwon America, Inc., Daesang Corporation, and Daesang Japan, Inc. (“Daesang”) and Tung Hai Fermentation Industrial Corp. (“Tung Hai”) have been named as defendants in litigation seeking treble damages for alleged violations of the California antitrust laws with respect to the pricing, marketing and sale of Food Flavor Enhancers.

(The term “Food Flavor Enhancers” means and includes the products Monosodium Glutamate (“MSG”), Diosodium Inosinate (“DSI” or “IMP”), Diosodium Guanylate (“DSG” or “GMP”), and the combination of IMP and GMP (“I&G”).  IMP, GMP, and I&G are also known as nucleotides. Food Flavor Enhancers are most commonly used in dehydrated soups and gravies; canned meat, sausage and fish; soups and gravies; fish (preserved); sausage; prepared meals; tomato sauce and ketchup; mayonnaise; snack foods; soy sauce; crab, prawn and shellfish (preserved); Asian cuisine; prepared vegetables and a variety of other products.)

It would appear that lawyers are also being called upon to represent people who have suffered damages at the hands of Ajinomoto and others in the glutamate industry who --

-- Knowingly manufacture, produce, and/or sell products that contain neurotoxic amino acids such as glutamic acid, aspartic acid, and L-cysteine;

-- Advertise "No MSG" or "No MSG Added" when their products contain processed free glutamic acid (MSG); and/or

-- Have been less that forthright in responding to consumers who inquire about the glutamic acid content of their products.

We understand that those in the glutamate industry are concerned that there be no court record of suits against them.  We understand that no suit filed against food and/or glutamate industry companies relevant to MSG causing human suffering has ever gone to trial, but that there have been out of court settlements in some cases.

We have also observed interest on the part of consumers who, from time to time, ask about involvement in a class action suit.  To our knowledge, no such action has yet developed.

We would be pleased to provide interested parties with more detail. Contact us if you have interest.