FDA/industry collusion: here’s how it works

The fiction about the safety of monosodium glutamate (MSG) is written by the U.S. manufacturer of MSG and distributed throughout the world by its many “outlets,” described in part in “Meet the Glutes:” https://www.truthinlabeling.org/glutes.html.

A large part of the Glutes’ post-1957 success in marketing MSG has been due to the close cooperation of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – the Glutes official mouthpiece for the “safety” of MSG. They’ve been partners since 1968 when the toxicity of MSG was first recognized. (https://www.truthinlabeling.org/assets/industrys_fda_final.pdf)

The Glutes rely heavily on repeating the statement that the FDA finds MSG to be GRAS (generally recognized as safe). The fact that in assigning GRAS status to MSG the FDA has violated its own rules is just one of many examples of the FDA’s allegiance to the glutamate industry (https://www.truthinlabeling.org/assets/FDA_is_in_violation_FINAL.pdf).

The story of FDA/glutamate-industry collusion is told in the pages of “Industry’s FDA” which can be accessed at https://www.truthinlabeling.org/assets/industrys_fda_final.pdf    

It details:

  • Blatant lies told about the safety of MSG, lies originating with the glutamate industry and repeated by the FDA,
  • Dispensing positive information about MSG while withholding information that might be considered negative,
  • Officially approving study protocols for MSG-is-safe studies that used placebos known to cause the same adverse reactions as those caused by MSG test material,
  • Refusing to collect reports of reactions to MSG “because we know that no one reacts to MSG,” and
  • Withholding key information from dietitians, nutritionists, consumers, and the medical community.

The most recent FDA contribution to the Glutes’ marketing plan has been the FDA’s failure to post my scathing response to the Glutes’ attack on my Citizen Petition FDA-2021-P-0267. Suppression of information such as that is often used by the glutamate-industry to promote their product.

My Citizen Petition FDA-2021-P-0267 was posted by the FDA on February 28, 2021. The Glutes sent in a condemnation of the Petition, received on August 15 and posted on August 19 (a four-day delay in posting).  In turn, I submitted a comment in which I tore apart the Glutes’ criticism, pointing out that platitudes but no data made up the body of their retort. My comment was marked received by the FDA on October 20, but as of November 3 it had not been posted (14 days without posting).

My guess (based on past glutamate-industry behavior) is that my critique of the glutamate-industry response would never have been posted had I not had the temerity to search out a way to contact Docket’s Management and disputed the omission.

“Oh” was what I heard from the person who picked up the phone when I finally got connected. “It must have been because it was so large that it got overlooked. Just give me half an hour to 45 minutes, and you’ll be able to see it posted.” (And in an hour, it was posted.)

More on suppression of information can be found in The toxicity/safety of processed free glutamic acid (MSG): a study in suppression of information. Account Res. 1999;6(4):259-310. doi: 10.1080/08989629908573933. PMID: 11657840.

We invite you to learn more about the FDA at https://www.truthinlabeling.org/assets/industrys_fda_final.pdf where you can get a feel for how your tax dollars are being spent for the benefit of the glutamate industry.


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