Your turn to tell the FDA what you think of their promoting poisons for use in food

In March of this year, I submitted a Citizen Petition to the FDA requesting that the FDA Commissioner remove misleading and incorrect information presently displayed on the FDA website in a post titled “Questions and Answers on Monosodium Glutamate” (Q&A) and replace it with accurate information about monosodium glutamate (MSG) toxicity.  

Both the Glutamate Association and the International Hydrolyzed Protein Council responded with characteristic glutamate industry propaganda, stating that the Q&A accurately reflects the data and information on MSG, and that Petitioner’s proposed changes should be rejected.

And I, with characteristic vigor, tore their response apart, pointing out the deceptive and misleading statements and outright lies – in six parts, no less (links below).

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

Part 5:

Part 6:

Now it’s your turn to tell the FDA what you think of their promoting poisons for use in food.  Even one sentence will help get the word out. 

Below is the link you need to use to post your comment. Just click on the blue “comment” button on the upper left side of that page and cut and paste your story or start writing in the box provided.

It’s the easiest thing in the world to do – and could even be therapeutic. 

Adrienne Samuels

PS Our new website, 7 Lines of Evidence, has just posted a special page about the connection between free glutamic acid and obesity. Check it out here:

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.

Burger King: Still serving up brain damaging ingredients despite what you may have heard

When Burger King recently announced it was dropping 120 “non-essential artificial ingredients” from its food, two important things were exposed.

First, just how many chemical additives, colors and preservatives are actually used in processed foods, and second, that you shouldn’t believe everything Big Food tells you.

How the company came up with this list is difficult to tell, as not all toxic chemical ingredients used in Burger King foods are revealed. To add to the mystery, Burger King makes no effort to provide ingredients online, but shares only “nutritional facts” information — such as details on sodium, fat, calories and carbs. Calls and emails to its agency, Alison Brod Public Relations, to find out more have been ignored.  And finally, BK brags that it has “removed around 8,500 tons of artificial ingredients globally.” But how they computed the tonnage of nasty additives put into their products is also unknown.

Although we don’t know all the details behind BK’s well publicized claims of “realness,” we do know that despite there being a number of excitotoxic (brain damaging) additives in the “banned” inventory, many are missing. Not only that, some are still alive and well on the current BK menu.

Take the “Impossible Whopper” made with the popular fake meat product known as the Impossible Burger. The Impossible Whopper contains five ingredients containing brain damaging amino acids: soy-protein concentrate, potato protein, yeast extract, modified food starch and soy-protein isolate – six if you count natural flavors. And not one of those excitotoxic chemical concoctions is found on the BK “dropped” list.  

If you’re looking to avoid brain damaging chemical additives, eliminating excitotoxic glutamate from your diet would be a good place to start — and the ones that BK picked for its “dropped” list are just the tip of the iceberg. You’ll find several dozen more ingredients that contain excitotoxic Manufactured free Glutamate on our list of hidden sources of MfG.  

Print out that list and take it with you whenever you go shopping. And if you happen to pass by a Burger King, why not stop in and give a copy to the manager.

Trouble avoiding MSG?

Trouble avoiding MSG?  That’s because it’s not MSG per se  that’s causing your reactions. it’s the Manufactured free Glutamate in it.  And MfG is found in snacks, processed foods, protein drinks, protein powders, dietary supplements, infant formula and pharmaceuticals.

Download our list of ingredient names here.

Toxic glutamate in your food?

When I filed three citizen petitions with the FDA at the beginning of this year, I wasn’t expecting the Glutamate Association to respond. It typically never acknowledges anything negative about its flagship product MSG, that is loaded with toxic free glutamate. But this time it did.

Now, inspired by those comments from the “Glutes” I have produced a website dedicated to laying out the evidence behind the requests made in those petitions — one being that manufactured free glutamate (MfG) and those ingredients that contain MfG should be removed from the FDA’s list of GRAS (generally recognized as safe) substances.

It’s no secret that disease and disability may be caused, at least in part, by toxic chemicals released into the air and added to food. But while chemicals such as lead and asbestos and hazardous air pollutants are recognized as noxious by government agencies, poisonous chemicals used in foods and beverages are rarely acknowledged as such.

The website “Seven Lines of Evidence leading to the conclusion that manufacture free glutamate is toxic,” was created to draw attention to the class of chemicals known as excitotoxins – brain damaging amino acids – recognized by neuroscientists as being toxic, but not acknowledged by the FDA as such. 

Glutamic acid (as in pea protein isolate) and aspartic acid (as in aspartame), two of the three excitotoxic amino acids used in food, are being used as flavor enhancers, protein supplements, and low calorie (diet) sweeteners, added in quantity to infant formula, enteral care products, protein powders, dietary supplements, processed foods, so-called “plant-based” products, snacks, anything that is hydrolyzed, some pesticides/fertilizers and pharmaceuticals.

The FDA, EPA, and USDA will claim that the excitotoxins used in food are perfectly safe.  The evidence says otherwise.

You’ll find Seven Lines of Evidence at  Please use the contact form at the webpage for questions and comments.

In Health,

Adrienne Samuels, Ph.D.
Director, Truth in Labeling Campaign

Do your ‘eggs’ come from a chicken or a laboratory? The FDA could care less.

Just Egg is the creation of food technologists who make their livings by replacing nutritious whole foods with laboratory-created compounds topped off with chemical flavor enhancers like monosodium glutamate (MSG).

This plant-based yellow liquid contains no real food, and positively not a trace of real eggs.

What it does contain, it’s second ingredient, is mung bean protein isolate, which, along with the natural flavors can pack enough excitotoxic amino acids to give migraine headaches to many, and possibly send some MSG-sensitive people to the ER.

But brain-damaging ingredients aside, you may wonder how this product can get away with being called not just “egg” but JUST EGG?

The FDA maintains what’s called a “standard of identity,” a legally binding description of what a particular food name represents and what it may consist of or even look like. Want to manufacture peanut butter? It better be made by the grinding of shelled and roasted peanuts. If you make noodles, they need to be “ribbon-shaped” with vermicelli mandated to be “cord-shaped.”

But as far as eggs go, not only have regulators refused to define them, but have prohibited such a definition from being made. It’s bizarre even by FDA standards.

What this means to the egg-expecting public is that if you don’t see it cracked from a shell, an “egg” can be made from just about anything, even the chemical concoction listed below.

Just Egg ingredients:

Ingredients: Water, Mung Bean Protein Isolate, Expeller-Pressed Canola Oil, Contains less than 2% of Dehydrated Onion, Gellan Gum, Natural Carrot Extractives (color), Natural Flavors, Natural Turmeric Extractives (color), Potassium Citrate, Salt, Soy Lecithin, Sugar, Tapioca Syrup, Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate, Transglutaminase, Nisin (preservative). (Contains soy.)

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.


Umami: the con of the decade?

It has always been my opinion that the concept of umami was developed to promote the sale of monosodium glutamate, with a very large enterprise developed to promote the fiction.

When I was first introduced to “umami” I had a creeping suspicion that the concept of umami had been promoted in an effort to legitimize the use of monosodium glutamate in food, drawing attention away from the fact that monosodium glutamate is a neurotoxic amino acid which kills brain cells, is an endocrine disruptor (causing obesity and reproductive disorders), and is the trigger for reactions such as asthma, migraine headache, seizures, depression, irritable bowel, hives, and heart irregularities.

It’s common knowledge that there are glutamate receptors in the mouth and on the tongue. Could researchers be hired to produce studies demonstrating that glutamate containing food can stimulate those glutamate receptors, and then declare to the world that a fifth taste has been discovered — calling it umami? I wondered.

Never mind that for years monosodium glutamate was described as a tasteless white crystalline powder. Never mind that Julia Child, who in her later years was recruited to praise the use of monosodium glutamate, never once mentioned the additive in her cookbooks. Never mind that if there was taste associated with monosodium glutamate, people who are sensitive to MSG would be highly motivated to identify that taste and thereby avoid ingesting MSG – which they claim they cannot do.

It certainly would be wonderful, I thought, if the glutamic acid in processed free glutamic acid (MSG) had a delicious, robust, easily identifiable taste of its own. Even if the taste was unpleasant instead of delicious, it would still be wonderful — at least the adults who are sensitive to MSG could identify the additive in their food and avoid eating it. MSG-induced migraine headaches, tachycardia, skin rash, irritable bowels, seizures, depression, and all of the other MSG-induced maladies, could become nothing more than bad memories.

Sometime after Olney and others demonstrated that monosodium glutamate was an excitotoxin — killing brain cells and disrupting the endocrine system — Ajinomoto, Co., Inc. began to claim that their researchers had identified/isolated a “fifth taste.” The “fifth taste,” they said, was the taste of processed free glutamic acid. This alleged fifth taste was branded “umami.”

The word “umami” has been in the Japanese vocabulary for over a century, being in use during the Edo period of Japanese history which ended in 1868. In the 1990s, it was written that “umami” can denote a really good taste of something – a taste or flavor that exemplifies the flavor of that something. It was said that the taste of monosodium glutamate by itself does not in any sense represent deliciousness. Instead, it is often described as unpleasant, and as bitter, salty, or soapy. However, when monosodium glutamate is added in low concentrations to appropriate foods, the flavor, the pleasantness, and the acceptability of the food increases.

For years, certainly up to the turn of this century, monosodium glutamate had been thought of as a flavor enhancer – like salt. Something that enhances the taste of the food to which it is added. Early encyclopedia definitions of monosodium glutamate stated that monosodium glutamate was an essentially tasteless substance. The idea (advanced by Ajinomoto) that monosodium glutamate has a taste of its own, as opposed to being a flavor enhancer, is relatively recent. Not just a taste of its own, mind you, but something newsworthy that could attract national or international attention. A fifth classification of taste added to the recognized tastes of sweet, salty, bitter, and sour.

The idea that monosodium glutamate has a unique taste can be tracked in the scientific literature if you read vigilantly. I don’t know whose brainchild it was, but it certainly was a brilliant move on the road to marketing monosodium glutamate – a move precipitated by a growing public recognition that monosodium glutamate causes serious adverse reactions. And even one step farther up the brilliance chart, this monosodium-glutamate-taste-of-its-own was given a name. Naming things makes them easy to talk about and gives them respectability. The monosodium-glutamate-taste-of-its-own was named “umami.”

We started writing about umami years ago. We were already familiar with the research that the glutamate industry used to claim that umami was a fifth taste, and we knew that, with possible rare exception, all of that research had been funded by Ajinomoto and/or their friends and agents. We also sensed that researchers outside of the direct employ, or outside of the indirect largess of the glutamate industry, found the idea of a fifth taste to be without merit.

We thought that we should begin by making the case that what was called the “taste” produced by monosodium glutamate is not a taste, per se, but is little or nothing more than the vague sensation that nerves are firing. We would start by reminding our readers that what industry calls the “taste” of monosodium glutamate is its manufactured free glutamic acid; that glutamic acid is a neurotransmitter; and that as a neurotransmitter, glutamic acid would carry nerve impulses to nerve cells called glutamate receptors, and trigger responses/reactions. Then we would explain that there are glutamate receptor cells in the mouth and on the tongue, and that monosodium glutamate could trigger reactions in those glutamate receptors — leaving the person who was ingesting the monosodium glutamate with the perception that food being ingested with it had a bigger, longer lasting taste than it would have had if there was no monosodium glutamate present.

Ask Ajinomoto, and they will tell you that there are studies that prove that umami is a fifth taste. Review of those studies has proved to be extremely interesting, but when read carefully, offers no proof that monosodium glutamate does anything more than stimulate receptors in the mouth and on the tongue and promote the perception of more taste than the ingested food would otherwise provide.

I actually spoke with one of the umami researchers on the phone, a Dr. Michael O’Mahoney, Professor in the Department of Food Science and Technology, UC Davis. He was doing research for the glutamate industry and, therefore, could certainly provide information.

Dr. O’Mahoney was warm and friendly, but said that because he had a contract with Ajinomoto to study the taste of monosodium glutamate he was not able to share information with me. An academician who refused to share information was an animal I had not met before.

Based on personal observations and conversations with MSG-sensitive friends, I have become increasingly certain that monosodium glutamate has no taste; that in stimulating the glutamate receptors in the mouth and on the tongue, glutamate causes the person ingesting monosodium glutamate to perceive more taste in food than the food would otherwise have; that umami is a clever contrivance/device/public relations effort to draw attention away from the fact that processed free glutamic acid and the monosodium glutamate that contains it are toxic.

And taste? A savory taste? Given what I know about Ajinomoto’s rigging studies of the safety of monosodium glutamate, I couldn’t help but wonder if they might have done something unsavory to support their claim that monosodium glutamate has a savory taste.

  • They certainly have studies allegedly demonstrating that monosodium glutamate has a savory taste. Were those studies rigged?
  • Did Ajinomoto feed something to the genetically modified bacteria that excrete their glutamic acid that would cause the glutamic acid to have a taste? A savory taste?
  • When the L-glutamic acid used in monosodium glutamate is produced, there are unavoidable by-products of production. Does one of those by-products contribute a savory taste?
  • Is some savory flavoring added to the monosodium glutamate product before it leaves the Eddyville plant?
  • Is “savory taste” a fiction invented by Ajinomoto and reinforced through repetition of the concept?

When it comes down to what really matters, whether there are four or five tastes is irrelevant.

When it comes down to what really matters, whether monosodium glutamate is a flavor enhancer or a flavor itself is inconsequential.

What really matters is that chemical poisons are being poured into infant formula, enteral (invalid) care products, dietary supplements, pharmaceuticals and processed foods — and one of those chemical poisons is manufactured free glutamic acid, found in monosodium glutamate and four dozen or so other ingredients with names that give no clue to its presence. That’s my opinion.

Adrienne Samuels, Ph.D.
Director, The Truth in Labeling Campaign

The ultimate in rigged research approved by the FDA. Aspartame: the FDA-approved poison used in placebos in double-blind MSG-is-safe studies.

To make sure the conclusion that MSG is harmless would be beyond reproach, glutamate-industry researchers guaranteed that subjects would react to placebos with the same reactions that are caused by MSG. They did that by using aspartame as the toxic ingredient in their placebos, which worked well for them because the aspartic acid in aspartame and the glutamic acid in MSG cause virtually identical reactions (as well as identical brain damage). Having set that up, glutamate-industry researchers (and the propaganda artists who quote them) will say “These people aren’t sensitive to MSG, they reacted to the ‘placebo’ too.”

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.