The year that mass produced free glutamate was first consumed by pregnant women, causing brain damage followed by irreversible obesity in their fetuses. 

Is it news or is it propaganda?

If you have enough money and the right contacts, you too can make up your own ‘news’     

Ajinomoto, the world’s largest manufacturer of monosodium glutamate (MSG), and its PR firm, Edelman Public Relations, have recently joined with CBS to recycle the Glues favorite propaganda pieces disguised as news.

Aired recently on both CBS Mornings and the network’s highly regarded Sunday Morning show led by veteran journalist Jane Pauley, as well as a Bay area affiliate station, the productions are straight out of the Edelman/Ajinomoto playbook.

The often-repeated blueprint goes like this:”

  1. Use a headline that shows there’s controversy, but not to worry because you can trust that this article/video will give you the real facts:

Yes, MSG has a bad reputation but it’s now making a “comeback.”

“Science” has proven that there’s nothing to worry about!

Things need to be “set straight.”

2. Repeat the well-worn fiction that a 55-year-old letter is responsible for consumers considering that MSG might be toxic. Capitalize on its unique name “Chinese Restaurant Syndrome.”  Ignore the multitude of studies clearly demonstrating that MSG causes brain damage.

3. Trot out the “Expert,” who talks about “The Letter” and alludes to how it’s been refuted by “decades of research,” without the expert actually citing any.

4. Bring on the “Chefs,” who will be shown cooking up a storm of delicious food sprinkled with MSG and give some to the reporter to taste. “Yum!”

5. Introduce the xenophobic zinger. This is indeed the perfect example of the diabolical genius of the folks at Edelman PR, filling the airwaves with the concept that avoidance of MSG isn’t based on science, but is actually nothing more than anti-Asian hate speech in disguise.

“Ajinomoto established that deep-rooted xenophobia is at the center of MSG’s complicated history in the U.S.” Edelman stated in a 2019 press release. That seemingly crazy concept has caught on so well that even a book I co-authored about food additives was targeted by a “reader review” that claimed it’s “not cool to promote myths rooted in racism.”

The Edelman team works long and hard at selling the product they’ve been paid to sell. And they have the media connections to make it happen. But despite the constant use of such expensive and wide-spread propaganda, recognition that MSG is harmful continues to be acknowledged by consumers. It looks like growing numbers of consumers are realizing that they are getting sick following meals that include MSG or some other ingredient that contains its processed free glutamate, and that the more consumers know the harder Ajinomoto and Edelman will work to sell us its disinformation.  Remember that currently the only consumer group to reveal what’s going on with MSG is the Truth in Labeling Campaign.

Interesting thing about CBS, the network also makes itself available to spin news on behalf of Big Pharma.  A January 60 Minutes program was identified as “an unlawful weight loss drug ad” for the med Wegovy by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. “The 60 Minutes program looked like a news story, but it was effectively a drug ad,” the group Committee said in a press release. PCRM also stated that Novo Nordisk, which makes Wegovy, paid over $100,000 to the doctors CBS interviewed for the segment.

The blog links below (click on the headlines) will give you an idea of how extensive glutamate marketing is, and should leave you wondering whenever you read an article or watch a program: is it news or is it propaganda?

Linda Bonvie

The ‘Glutes’ are pulling out all the stops

I know the word about free glutamate toxicity (still called “MSG” toxicity by many) is getting out, but I never envisioned the impact that our messages would have.  The Glutes seem to be pulling out all the stops, with propaganda carried in places like CBS, which aired four different versions of Glute propaganda in just this last week. 

Whatever you’re doing to warn your loved ones, keep it up.   And thank you from all of us. 


The slow, steady, thought-altering drip of propaganda

A tip sheet to help fight back when you encounter the glutes’ ‘mishmash’ of altered facts

Effective propaganda doesn’t just hit once and disappear. It works best as a steady stream, most effectively coming at you from all directions. It puts a grain of sand in your oyster of belief, slowly eroding what you thought to be true.

One of the best propaganda campaigns currently out there is being hosted by Ajinomoto, the world’s largest manufacturer of monosodium glutamate. We’ve seen videos, blogs and “news” stories touting the safety of MSG. We’ve been told that avoiding this brain-damaging additive is somehow “racist.” We’ve been informed that it all started with a 1968 letter sent to the New England Journal of Medicine, and that any idea that this toxic substance is dangerous has been debunked by decades of scientific testing. All this disinformation being orchestrated by those in the glutamate industry who don’t mind spending multi-millions to keep generating their ill-gotten billions.

For that reason, we have prepared the following tip sheet for you. Since most of what is circulating is amazingly similar, you can use it for practically any glute hype that comes your way – and that includes articles in newspapers and magazines, Youtube videos and most especially talks on MSG by celebrity chefs and famous foodies.

Tip sheet to cut through the toxic fog of glutamate fiction

Fiction: MSG is made from corn, wheat, and beets

Truth: Since 1957 monosodium glutamate has been manufactured by using genetically modified bacteria to synthesize glutamic acid outside of their cell membranes and excrete it into a medium to accumulate. This “reinvention” has allowed for huge amounts of the additive to be made and used in previously unheard-of amounts in processed foods of all kinds.

Fiction: Avoiding MSG is somehow racist because of the term “Chinese Restaurant Syndrome”

Truth: As you likely know, Chinese Restaurant Syndrome was the title given to a letter written by a physician and sent to the New England Journal of Medicine seeking information about reactions suffered after eating in a Chinese restaurant in the U.S. Why would avoiding this additive – generally done because of personal experiences such as migraines, asthma, depression, heart-rhythm abnormalities, pain, and even seizures – smack of racism?

Fiction: MSG is known to be perfectly safe – “nobody has come up with any science that says there is a problem with it.”

Truth: The studies cited by the Glutes as evidence of MSG safety are ones in which MSG was fed to volunteers who were given test material containing MSG at one time, and at another time given a placebo that contained (without disclosure) an excitotoxic amino acid — one that would trigger the exact same reactions as those caused by MSG. When subjects reacted to both test material and placebo, researchers claimed to have again failed to demonstrate MSG toxicity. More on this subject can be found here.

Ever vigilant in promoting its views, the glutamate industry has declared that both the FDA and regulators around the world have found monosodium glutamate to be safe. In fact, however, neither independent scientists nor independent regulators have found monosodium glutamate to be safe. FDA studies, which were actually reviews, always have been staffed by persons with ties to the glutamate industry. The regulators and/or authoritative bodies referred to by the glutamate industry did no research of their own. And studies to be reviewed were delivered by industry agents. Studies of MSG-induced brain damage were never shown to these authoritative bodies. It’s known that MSG when fed to very young laboratory animals kills brain cells in the area of the hypothalamus, and, through that damage, causes a number of endocrine disorders. One of those disorders is gross obesity. Another is infertility.

Fiction: The glutamate that naturally occurs in many foods and the glutamate in monosodium glutamate are exactly the same

Truth: The glutamate found in unprocessed, unadulterated and unfermented protein is L-glutamate only. The MSG used in cosmetics, drugs, vaccines, dietary supplements and processed food is manufactured, and always contains L-glutamate plus D-glutamate and pyroglutamate (unwanted byproducts of L-glutamate production) plus other unwanted by-products of production all called impurities. And since industry has not found a way to remove the unwanted impurities from processed free L-glutamate, the glutamate in MSG will always come with impurities.

Only manufactured glutamic acid causes brain damage and adverse reaction when ingested or otherwise used. Glutamate contained in unprocessed, unadulterated and unfermented protein, no matter in what quantities, will not cause reactions in MSG-sensitive people.

New name for an old poison

It’s obvious that your PR campaign is working really well when you can influence the Merriam-Webster dictionary to modify the definition of a long-used word.

Such is the case with “savory,” a respectable word meaning pleasant or having high moral standards. In a food sense, savory can be two types of aromatic mints as well as a tasty food that is “spicy or salty but not sweet.” And that’s how savory was defined for a very long time, its first known use being in the 13th century.

But at some point in 2019, as confirmed by the Internet archive way-back machine, Merriam-Webster added additional meanings that include none other than the all-time favorite word of the glutamate industry – umami – now defining savory as the “…taste sensation of umami” and the “taste sensation that is produced by several amino acids and nucleotides (such as glutamate and aspartate)…” (For more on “umami” check out our blog “Umami: the con of the decade?” here).

Savory is also utilized in what’s called the “savory market,” not surprisingly consisting of ingredients that all contain excitotoxic, brain damaging, free glutamic acid, such as: yeast extracts, hydrolyzed vegetable proteins, hydrolyzed animal proteins, monosodium glutamate, and nucleotides.

And that “savory market,” according to a new research report is booming. Of interest, included in that report are references to not just people food, but pet food as well. That makes careful label reading an important part of buying food for all members of your family.

Fake foods: how to quickly spot them

In our past three blogs we’ve told you about fake fish, meat and eggs, all disguised to look like the real thing. 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.

Reading labels is vital, but there’s one tip that can save you some time in the supermarket:

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.

Negative impact of MSG on the liver and heart

A trio of researchers from India are among those who warn of the dangers of MSG to humans.  The graphic from their study “Monosodium glutamate causes hepato-cardiac derangement in male rats” says it all.

Banerjee A, Mukherjee S, Maji BK. Monosodium glutamate causes hepato-cardiac derangement in male rats. Hum Exp Toxicol. 2021 Dec;40(12_suppl):S359-S369. doi: 10.1177/09603271211049550. Epub 2021 Sep 24. PMID: 34560825.

Read their research here: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/09603271211049550