MSG: a double whammy to your liver

When Dr. Russell Blaylock came out with his eye-opening book in 1994, “Excitotoxins: the Taste that Kills,” he forecast an ongoing obesity epidemic based on the sheer amount of MSG and other excitotoxins dumped into processed foods and beverages.

Now, almost three decades later he says, “Unfortunately, my prediction has come true. Obesity is now a national epidemic – not just among adults, but also among children, even the very young.”

But the damage caused by our national obesity epidemic didn’t stop with extreme weight gain. It has helped to foster another widespread condition (even called a “pandemic” by some doctors and researchers), known as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, or NAFLD. This chronic liver condition was a rare occurrence only a few decades ago. Now it’s not only rampant among adults but being diagnosed more and more in kids, some just toddlers.

As the name implies, NAFLD is a buildup of fat in the liver, something that can progress to a life-threatening condition called non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), which can lead to liver failure and liver cancer.

MSG has the distinction of contributing to NAFLD and NASH is two ways. As Blaylock revealed in Excitotoxins, it had been decisively shown in research that baby mice fed MSG became “grossly obese,” and that their “obesity was very difficult to reverse.” (Today, researchers turn to MSG as a tool to fatten up their lab animals for obesity studies.)

The other way MSG is helping to create this pandemic of liver disease was found in a study showing how low doses of MSG (extremely easy to consume if you eat any kind of processed food), combined with the ever-popular sweetener high fructose corn syrup, “greatly increased the risk” of both liver conditions, Blaylock recently reported.

HFCS, a cheap genetically modified sugar substitute, is extremely toxic to the liver. Study after study has found a significant connection between ingesting all forms of processed fructose and liver damage.

As for MSG and the manufactured free glutamate (MfG) it contains, it not only is a major cause of obesity that leads to NAFLD, but has been linked to numerous other conditions including many incapacitating neurological disorders.

Ironically, many processed foods labeled as “low-cal,” which are pitched to those hoping to lose weight, contain the worst additives when it comes to weight loss, as well as liver health. For example, HFCS-90, with a whopping 90 percent fructose, is often added to diet dishes, as only a small amount is needed for sweetening. And since lower-calorie processed foods are typically made from cheap, tasteless ingredients, MSG and other forms of MfG are added liberally.

While Dr. Blaylock has made a significant contribution to our understanding of the toxic nature of MSG and other excitotoxins — warning for decades about the dangers of consuming them – unfortunately, you still don’t have to look very hard to find them in our food supply.

But perhaps as even more children sadly fall victim to suffering the consequences of the widespread use of such additives, more people will join those already demanding change in how processed foods are made and regulated.

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.

Have you been eating these popular FDA-approved chemical stews?

The Covid-19 pandemic has presented untold challenges for people everywhere. For certain segments of the U.S. food industry, however, it was likely a dream come true.

Sales of what the FDA calls “substitute” foods are off the charts, and new products are being introduced at a record pace. According to industry experts, last year saw an almost 30 percent increase in these “foods,” with sales hitting the $7 billion mark (that’s right, B as in billion), far exceeding the growth of the “total U.S. retail food market.” As a result, experts now consider 2020 to have been “a breakout year for plant-based foods across the store.”

But what do those billions of dollars in sales represent? Not a healthy new way to eat while saving the planet, that’s for sure. In truth, these products, which are advertised as being wholesome alternatives to real meat, fish and eggs, are chemically laden promotors of obesity, infertility and migraines, filled with brain-damaging manufactured free glutamic acid (MfG) — the same toxic ingredient found in monosodium glutamate.

So, what are these toxic products made from and how do manufacturers get away with using the names of real food on their packaging?

Ersatz eggs

Let’s start with plant-based “eggs,” an unknown commodity just a short time ago that is now out-selling the real deal at ten times the rate.

The leader in the artificial egg game is JUST, Inc., makers of JUST Egg, which contains nothing that any reasonable person would consider having come from a bird of any kind. JUST, however, has no shame about splashing the word EGG all over its product and website. The company (known as Hampton Creek when it introduced its first fake product, mock mayo) is apparently taking advantage of an odd FDA loophole in the “standard of identity” (SOI) for what can be called an egg. While the FDA requires that there be a legally binding SOI for hundreds of items from peanut butter to pasta (consisting of a detailed description of that food), you won’t find eggs among them. And, to make things even crazier, the FDA is prohibited from creating an SOI for eggs.

So, a product concocted of mung bean protein isolate (containing MSG’s toxic component MfG), canola oil, tetrasodium pyrophosphate (a thickening agent or coagulant) and transglutaminase (a.k.a. “meat glue”), among other highly processed ingredients, came to be called “egg,” outselling highly nutritional real eggs.

Fake fish

The ever-expanding market for imitation food has reeled in a host of phony fish dishes, the latest coming from “Good Catch,” with its “fish-free TUNA.”

This product contains more brain damaging MfG ingredients than any other product we’ve previously looked at, including pea protein isolate, soy protein concentrate, faba protein, lentil protein, soy protein isolate, citric acid and yeast extract.

Why the company has not been challenged by the FDA for false and misleading labeling isn’t clear, since the FDA has a long list of what can legally be called tuna, which is limited to actual varieties of real fish. Nestle, which also makes a faux fish product at least calls it “Vuna,” a product that “tastes like tuna.”

That little detail hasn’t stopped “Good Catch” from netting millions of dollars in investment capital, including close to $30 million in its latest round of funding.

The big kahuna of mock meat

While meatless burgers and nuggets have been around for some time, it wasn’t until Impossible Foods came along with the additive-filled concoction it calls a “burger” that the market for consuming bogus beef took off.

While Impossible claims it’s busy saving the Earth from devastation, it doesn’t have much to say on its main component, soy-protein concentrate, an MfG filled excitotoxic ingredient. And that’s not the only one. You’ll also find natural flavors, potato protein, yeast extract and soy-protein isolate in their “burgers.”

Aside from the known brain-damaging nature of these ingredients, there’s also a GMO ingredient called soy leghemoglobin, or heme, added as a color additive to make the burger appear to “bleed” like real meat. That’s now the subject of a lawsuit filed by The Center for Food Safety (CFS) challenging the FDA’s approval of the ingredient.

This genetically modified soy (a newcomer to the human diet), was OK’d by the FDA without “extensive safety testing before approving its use,” CFS states.

The heme is produced by a chemically complex process in which the DNA from genetically modified soy is extracted, inserted into genetically engineered yeast and fermented to produce genetically engineered heme.

The FDA has no comment as to the regulatory compliance of these fake foods other than saying (in a 2018 press release) that it’s on a “fast track” in reviewing “substitute” food products. The last we were told by the FDA is that staffers there are busy reading over 13,000 comments on this issue and that they take “labeling concerns seriously.” But apparently not all that seriously, as more and more foods that aren’t really foods are being manufactured and misleadingly labeled all the time.

How one health crisis is helping to fuel another

It seems that it took a world-wide health crisis to give these “substitute” products the push needed to rake in those billions in sales. Along with meat shortages last year and the all-around difficulty in buying actual food items, somehow these products became labeled by some as “healthier” eating, with numerous articles attributing the plant-based “revolution” to Covid-19.

But despite all the extravagant claims made by manufacturers, if you read the ingredient labels on these products you’ll find that they are not eggs, meat or fish, and not the kinds of “plants” grown by farmers either. As we’ve said before, a better name might be chemical-based junk foods.


Watch out for products that make protein claims on the packaging. Most are made from combinations of manufactured free amino acids such as those found in MSG and in aspartame. This includes snack bars, cookies, smoothie mixes, protein powders and protein drinks in addition to fake eggs, fish, and meat.

All, “substitute” protein products will contain MSG or its toxic MfG.

Remember also that soy, pea and bean protein do not taste remotely like meat, fish or eggs, so MfG-containing flavor enhancers like MSG are added to trick your tongue into making that taste association.

Check out our list of ingredient names that contain MfG as well as our brochure to take shopping with you. Better yet, if you want to do all you can to have a healthy diet, ditch the processed foods and ultra-processed fake foods, altogether.

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.

If it wasn’t Alzheimer’s, what was it?

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

Had the FDA not lied about the toxic potential of MSG and MfG, had the medical community not believed them, had the MfG in IV 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 MfG hidden in food, he might not have had the heart attack in the first place.

Read Jack’s story, “It Wasn’t Alzheimer’s, It Was MSG” here or purchase a Kindle edition at Amazon.

And be sure to comment on Adrienne Samuels’ petition to strip MSG and MfG of their FDA GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status at

especially if you agree that the FDA should not be advertising MSG and MfG as GRAS.

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.

If you say ‘safe’ and ‘science’ enough times, will people forget that your product is toxic?

On January 4, 2021 my Citizen Petition asking the FDA to strip MSG of its GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status was posted by the FDA. Some of the comments that followed were restatements of what had been written in the petition. Others were powerful stories of damage done by MSG, or statements from consumers supporting the petition and agreeing that MSG should not be considered safe by the FDA. Then on March 10 a lengthy comment from Ajinomoto’s The Glutamate Association arrived, made up of run-on sentences with disconnected thoughts and a slew of feel-good words related to MSG, all of which communicated nothing other than TGA rejects the claims made in the Citizen Petition, declaring that “MSG is safe.”

My first impression was that this was some sort of mistake. In the thirty plus years since then TGA chairman Richard Cristol told me that my husband Jack couldn’t possibly be sensitive to MSG, and sent me a book* “to prove it,” my experience has been that those whose job it is to keep repeating MSG is “safe” don’t respond to criticism, they simply ignore it.

They really don’t have to respond as they have “colleagues” in high places at the FDA, USDA, and NIH and no major media has dared even suggest that MSG might be harmful since the 1991 60 Minutes program on MSG. And since the 1995 FASEB report was published, with rare exception, no researcher in the United States has published an article even hinting at MSG-toxicity. Only in January when Food Navigator-USA published “Ajinomoto defends MSG as nonprofit petitions FDA to rescind its GRAS status,” did Ajinomoto’s Tia Rains fire back — with a classic piece of glutamate-industry propaganda.

For 50+ years the Glutes have pretty much ignored criticism from those who maintain that MSG is toxic. It would appear that they’ve used this strategy to keep questions of glutamate sensitivity out of the media – just letting any mention of harm done by MSG die a slow, quiet death. And this strategy, along with rigging the research they’ve presented to the world as evidence of MSG’s safety, has been incredibly effective for this excitotoxic, brain damaging food additive is still being advertised as generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the FDA.

My second impression was that this was just another piece of glutamate industry propaganda dressed up as a comment, placed on a new stage with the array of feel-good words surrounding “MSG” and the standard lies we’ve learned to anticipate from their extensive distribution of propaganda. As I worked my way through the TGA comment trying to compose a response, I was struck by the sheer volume of complementary words describing MSG, used over and over and over again as is common in brainwashing.

Brainwashing is, after all, largely about language. Language is what nourishes the lies that claim toxic food is safe. Language is what feeds the MSG-is-safe lies about MSG and the excitotoxic – brain damaging — manufactured free glutamic acid in MSG. You can lie with pictures, but since MSG looks pretty much like salt and MSG is now being marketed as a salt-substitute as well as a flavor enhancer, using language has got to be more effective.

Just look at the words (below) used in TGA’s comment. Psychologists refer to this sort of thing as “conditioning.” Pavlov gave dogs food (causing them to salivate) while ringing a bell over and over and over again until the bell alone caused the dogs to salivate.

TGA paired the feel-good words you read in their comment to the FDA with “MSG,” until the word “MSG” made you feel-good enough about MSG to go out and buy some – if the conditioning worked.

naturally occurring
found naturally
the exact same molecular components
major regulatory agencies
MSG is a safe ingredient
history of safe use in foods
FASEB concluded
safe for the general population
FAO/WHO Expert Committee
the safety of MSG
American Medical Association
FSANZ (Food Standards Australia New Zealand)
the safety of MSG
general recognition
MSG’s safety
throughout the scientific community.
the scientific community
irrelevant to humans
high doses
metabolized in the gut
food safety
not very likely
reviews and other research
MSG is a safe food ingredient
credible science
scientific integrity
scientific integrity
peer-reviewed studies
published in reputable scientific journals that recognize scientific standards
scientific bodies
glutamates and MSG’s safety

The petition to which TGA was responding can be found at

TGA’s comment can be found at

My response to TGA’s comment, which was submitted in 4 parts, follows:

Response by A Samuels to The Glutamate Association’s comments on Citizen Petition FDA-2021-P-0035.

Association Overview

Monosodium glutamate is the sodium salt of glutamic acid, one of the most abundant naturally occurring non-essential amino acids. Glutamic acid is found naturally in tomatoes, grapes, cheese, mushrooms, and other foods. The human body metabolizes different sources of glutamates in the same manner.

Whether MSG is made through extraction from protein sources or microbial fermentation, it comprises the exact same molecular components, and those components define the compound, not the method by which it is produced.15 Furthermore, MSG made by fermentation has been studied and reviewed by major regulatory agencies worldwide, all of which have concluded MSG is a safe ingredient. Notably, many of those studies and reviews took place after MSG achieved GRAS status in 1958 based on its history of safe use in foods. In its most recent review, published in 1995, FASEB concluded that MSG is safe for the general population.5 Furthermore, the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives recognized the safety of MSG in 19883, the American Medical Association in 19924, and FSANZ in 20037.

Below, we address each of the “lines of evidence” offered by the petitioner regarding the safety of MSG and explain why they do not undermine the general recognition of MSG’s safety throughout the scientific community.

Samuels’ response: To some extent, the comments made in the preceding overview have been addressed and responded to below. By way of clarification, however, note that:

a. The petitioner did not address “the general recognition of MSG’s safety throughout the scientific community.” The petitioner requested that MSG be stripped of its GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status. The Statement of Grounds filed as part of that petition pointed out that the MSG in use today was never lawfully granted GRAS status, and the Statement of Grounds also provided evidence of MSG’s toxicity. There was no discussion of “general recognition of MSG’s safety,” in Petition FDA-2021-P-0035.

b. Glutamic acid, not monosodium glutamate, is the most abundant amino acid produced in nature. Glutamic acid has been classified as “non-essential” because the body can manufacture all that it needs for normal body function, and it is not essential that glutamic acid be consumed in food.

c. There are no data (no scientific evidence) that demonstrate that the human body metabolizes different sources of glutamates in the same manner.

d. MSG is not made through either extraction from protein sources or microbial fermentation. It is the glutamate component of MSG that has been manufactured by such processes. And there are no data (no scientific evidence) that demonstrate that the glutamate in MSG will contain the exact same molecular components if made through extraction from protein sources as opposed to microbial fermentation. To the contrary, a statement from the Central Customs laboratory in Japan explained how it was possible to distinguish one source of MSG from another (

e. The reviews done by what the glutamate industry refers to as “major regulatory agencies worldwide, all of which have concluded MSG is a safe ingredient,” were all based on reports of studies brought to those agencies by The Glutamate Association, the International Glutamate Technical Committee, their agents, or the FDA which since 1968 has supported the false claim that MSG is a “safe” ingredient (

These “major regulatory agencies worldwide” saw only information brought to them directly or indirectly by the glutamate industry.

When questioned, the humanitarian organization Hellen Keller International (once referred to as an “authoritative body”) was not at all pleased to hear that their name was being used to endorse the safety of MSG. They had never considered that MSG might have toxic potential. Hellen Keller International was supplementing MSG, a widely used food additive with vitamin A in Indonesia to counteract an eye disease caused by lack of vitamin A (National Food Review, 1987). They did not consider that to be an endorsement of the safety of MSG.

f. In 1957, Ajinomoto changed the way it produced MSG, moving from a method of extracting glutamate from a protein source to a method that used genetically modified bacteria to secrete glutamate through their cell walls.

There are no data that demonstrate how the products of extraction differed from those of bacterial fermentation, but MSG made by extraction had been limited in quantity while the new method of bacterial fermentation allowed for virtually unlimited production of MSG. The importance of this last fact becomes evident when you realized that the glutamic acid in MSG becomes excitotoxic – brain damaging – when present in greater quantity than humans require for normal body function.

Response by A Samuels to The Glutamate Association’s comments on Citizen Petition FDA-2021-P-0035. Part 2 of 4.

Glutamate Association (GA) comment 1 on the 1969 Olney animal study on MSG

The scientific community has rejected the argument that dietary intake of glutamate from MSG would lead to neuronal excitotoxicity and subsequent cell death in the brain, a claim based on Olney’s 1969 animal study, which has been determined to be irrelevant to humans. 12

Samuels’ response: Olney’s study was a study of glutamate-induced brain damage, not a “study on MSG.” MSG was used as a source of glutamate because MSG (which contains glutamate) had been found to be just as toxic as pharmaceutical grade glutamate but less expensive.

How is “the scientific community” defined? Although not stated, it appears to be defined here as those scientists employed by the glutamate industry.

If there is such a thing as a “community” made up of independent scientists, they have not gone on record as rejecting the possibility that dietary intake of the manufactured free glutamate found in MSG will lead to excitotoxicity.

No data exist from this undefined “scientific community” rejecting the argument that dietary intake of glutamate from MSG would lead to neuronal excitotoxicity and subsequent cell death in the brain.

In 1969, Olney did not feed MSG to subjects. Yet you say that based on that study (where MSG was not fed to animals) the scientific community rejected the argument that feeding MSG to animals would lead to neuronal excitotoxicity and subsequent cell death in the brain. What logic allows you to draw conclusions about feeding from a study that did not include feeding?

Where is the alleged decision of “the scientific community” documented?

When and where was it allegedly determined that animal studies are irrelevant to humans, and what are the details behind making that alleged determination?

GA comment: In this study, neonatal mice were administered pharmacological doses (4mg/g) of MSG via subcutaneous injections. These high doses induced hypothalamic lesions in the brain and other serious adverse effects. However, this does not model dietary consumption of glutamate in humans. The average adult human consumes only about 0.55 g/day of MSG via oral route in the U.S., which does not result in serious safety concerns. 5

Samuels’ response: How are “serious safety concerns” defined?

You acknowledge that there were studies where MSG was injected into animals and brain lesions resulted. What logic allows you to conclude that finding brain lesions is such studies has any relevance to finding or not finding brain lesion in feeding studies?

GA comment: Also, more than 95 percent of ingested glutamate is metabolized in the gut and does not have a measurable effect on circulating blood glucose levels. 13

Samuels’ response: Why are free glutamate and bound glutamate being spoken of here as though they were one and the same? The glutamate in MSG is free glutamate. It is not bound with other amino acids in protein. The glutamate bound in protein is freed from protein during the normal process of digestion, a somewhat time-consuming process. The manufactured free glutamate in MSG is free to act immediately. Free to enhance the food with which it is ingested and free to cause reactions and kill brain cells. The enhanced taste of MSG is experienced immediately upon ingesting MSG, not after the glutamate in MSG has been metabolized in the gut.

Petition FDA-2021-P-0035 pertains to MSG-induced brain damage. Where are the data that demonstrate that circulating blood glucose levels are relevant to brain damage caused by MSG?

GA comment: There is also evidence that MSG does not pass the blood-brain barrier and cause adverse effects to the brain upon being consumed orally. 12

Samuels’ response: On April 4, 2021 there were 5994 citations for BBB permeability at and 11 citations for BBB permeability AND MSG. Of particular interest are:

1) Excitotoxicity triggered by neonatal monosodium glutamate treatment and blood-brain barrier function. Gudiño-Cabrera G, Ureña-Guerrero ME, Rivera-Cervantes MC, et al. Arch Med Res. 2014 Nov;45(8): 653-9. PMID: 25431840 Review “Excitotoxicity triggered by neonatal MSG treatment produces a significant pathophysiological impact on adulthood, which could be due to modifications in the blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability and vice versa. This mini-review analyzes this topic through brief des …”

2) Neonatal excitotoxicity modifies blood-brain barrier properties increasing its susceptibility to hypertonic shock in adulthood. Blanca Fabiola Fajardo-Fregoso, Jose Luis Castañeda-Cabral, Carlos Beas-Zárate, Mónica E Ureña-Guerrero. Int J Dev Neurosci. 2020 Jun;80(4):335-346. PMID: 32198947 “We conclude that neonatal excitotoxicity leads to lasting impairment on BBB properties in adulthood, increasing its susceptibility to HS that could be regulated by VEGFR‐2 activity inhibition.”

Response by A Samuels to The Glutamate Association’s comments on Citizen Petition FDA-2021-P-0035. Part 3 of 4.

Glutamate Association (GA) comment 2 on research related to neurodegenerative and other diseases

The petitioner has alleged L-glutamic acid is implicated in several endogenous glutamate-associated disorders such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, dementia, and many other diseases. The 1995 FASEB report specifically stated that while endogenous glutamate metabolism has been linked to certain neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease or Huntington’s Chorea, there is no causal evidence indicating that dietary MSG contributes to changes in brain neurochemistry. 5

Samuels’ response: The subject of Citizen Petition FDA-2021-P-0035 is MSG-induced brain damage, not brain neurochemistry.

Page 42 of the 1995 FASEB Report, which appears to be more closely related to The Glutamate Association’s comment than any other sections of the Report, reads, in part:

“An additional issue related to the [excitotoxicity] of glutamate is the growing body of evidence implicating neuroexcitatory amino acids, particularly glutamate, in the etiology of several neurodegenerative diseases….their relevance to the potential toxicity of ingested MSG is unclear at this time….While there is no doubt about the neurotoxic potential of locally produced synaptic glutamic acid in the CNS and the consequent impact on neural function, the [FASEB] Expert Panel concluded that, in the absence of studies or corroborating evidence linking symptoms or signs of adverse effects to either circulating levels of glutamate or related substances or changes in brain neurochemistry/neurophysiology in affected patients, it is not possible to link either acute or chronic consumption of MSG to glutamate-mediated neurodegenerative diseases at this time.”

It is fact that FASEB acknowledged glutamate-induced disorders seen as related to endogenous glutamate (glutamate present in the body). It is also true that there had been no human studies prior to 1995 exploring the possibility that ingestion of glutamate from MSG or elsewhere contributes to those disorders. But although one fact has nothing to do with the other, The Glutamate Association links them with the word “while,” which is grossly inappropriate.

On April 4, 2021, the National Library of Medicine at listed 210 citations for “monosodium glutamate-induced” such as the study titled “Natural products as safeguards against monosodium glutamate-induced toxicity,” and listed 3,934 citations for glutamate-induced.

GA comment: In 2005, following expert review of the potential involvement of glutamate ingestion in the development of neurodegenerative diseases, the German Senate Commission on Food Safety (SKLM) stated, “a causal link between exogenously ingested MSG and Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease is not very likely for the following reasons: In the case of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, it is a matter of cell degeneration: in the former case in the substantia nigra, in the latter case in the hippocampus and the nucleus basalis Meynert. In both cases, the circumventricular organs, in which damage might be expected after ingesting large amounts of exogenous glutamate, are not affected.”14 Therefore, chronic consumption of MSG cannot contribute to or exacerbate any of the endogenous glutamate-mediated neurodegenerative diseases.

Samuels’ response: What logic allows one to assert that because something is “not very likely” something else cannot happen?

What data suggest that damage to circumventricular organs might be expected after ingestion of large amounts of exogenous glutamate?

GA comment: Contrary to the petitioner’s assertion that MSG is a brain-damaging ingredient, the evidence indicates it does not affect brain neurochemistry, nor does it affect the circumventricular organs.

Samuels’ response: There are numerous studies that demonstrate that MSG is a brain-damaging ingredient, see:

The subject of Citizen Petition FDA-2021-P-0035 is MSG-induced brain damage, not brain neurochemistry.

On March 28, 2021, PubMed returned 70 citations for MSG and circumventricular organs demonstrating MSG damage to circumventricular organs. What data suggest that MSG does not negatively impact the circumventricular organs?

Response by A Samuels to The Glutamate Association’s comments on Citizen Petition FDA-2021-P-0035. Part 4 of 4.

Glutamate Association (GA) comment 3 on industry-supported clinical (human) studies on MSG

Over the years, both FDA-sponsored reviews and other research, including research supported by industry, have concluded that MSG is a safe food ingredient. While the petitioner may consider industry-funded research flawed, credible science can be funded by any group – industry, consumer groups, or others – as long as it is carried out with scientific integrity. All science begins with a question and interest in that question. Otherwise, the question would not be asked in the first place. What is important is that any bias is minimized through transparency and scientific integrity. TGA and its members support peer-reviewed studies that are published in reputable scientific journals that recognize scientific standards.

Samuels’ response: Where is the scientific integrity in calling a product that causes the same reactions as those caused by double-blind study test material a “placebo”? According to Andrew Ebert, former chairman of International Glutamate Technical Committee, “placebos” he supplied to glutamate-industry researchers since 1979 all contained aspartame (which contains excitotoxic aspartic acid), material that would cause the same reactions as those caused by MSG (

The petitioner has not stated that all industry-funded research is flawed, but rather has described the flawed nature of the studies presented to the FDA as evidence of the safety of MSG and the manufactured free glutamate contained in it. And it so happens that most, if not all, of those studies were funded directly or indirectly by Ajinomoto, manufacturer of MSG and the manufactured glutamate contained in it.

Both “The alleged safety of monosodium glutamate (MSG) – The animal studies: A review of the literature and critique of industry sponsored animal research” and

“The alleged safety of monosodium glutamate (MSG) – The human studies rigged to produce negative results address the flawed nature of the studies mounted in defense of the safety of MSG and the glutamate contained in it.

GA comment: Credible, scientific bodies have recognized glutamates and MSG’s safety before and after 1958, as indicated by the supporting facts in the attached document.

Samuels’ response: Have any “scientific bodies” that claim to have recognized the “safety” of glutamates and MSG conducted laboratory studies as opposed to reviewing work brought to them directly by the glutamate-industry or glutamate-industry agents, or summarized for them by the FDA?

The attached “supporting facts” contain nothing that hasn’t been addressed in Citizen Petition FDA-2021-P-0035.

*Filer LJ Jr. et al. Glutamic Acid: Advances in Biochemistry and Physiology

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.

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.”

To read and/or comment on the petition, use this link:

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:

Petition to replace the FDA webpage post titled “Questions and Answers on Monosodium Glutamate” with accurate information about the additive, including its toxic potential:

Adrienne Samuels

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.

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:

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:

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 and follow us on Twitter @truthlabeling.