repost of reformatted article on MSG:hazards : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

(Category: Food)

This is a repost (with more readable formatting) of an article on MSG posted in the thread OT- WARNING! Auxigro - MSG Crop Spray

I posted this as an answer on that thread, but neglected to remove an undefined reference at the end. I've provided an anchor to the start of the answer portion of this thread.

To end of article

MSG - The Deadly Mouth Aphrodisiac
By Janet Allen <>
c. 2000  All Rights Reserved

"The worst piece of information I have when I'm in the midst of having a reaction like this is that I'm going to live.  I only want to die. It will not happen...I know I will live through this, and that's torture.

"I come across embarrassingly as if I have brain damage, even though I graduated from a good college, top of my class."

"If I don't make it, I don't eat it. I have to make everything from scratch. I can't eat in restaurants. It's just really pathetic and I'm really depressed."

What do the people who made these comments have in common? What devastating condition could they possibly be referring to, the one factor which makes their lives at times akin to a living hell? The answer is a condition termed "MSG Symptom Complex" by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), an independent body of scientists sponsored by the U.S. government's Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in September 1992 to review all available data bearing on the safety of the food additive Monosodium Glutamate and related substances. For a full one third of the U.S. population (70 to 75 million Americans) , consuming this chemical (as well as the close relative Aspartame, also known as "Nutrasweet" or "Equal") will result in mild to moderate physiological and emotional reactions. For a small minority of people, accidental ingestion could prove to be severely debilitating and sometimes even life-threatening. What's worse, the New England Journal of Medicine and Science Magazine have both published articles linking Glutamic Acid and other excitatory amino acids (namely Aspartic Acid and L-Cysteine) to the development of various neurological diseases.

The FDA-funded FASEB report was in response to a set of laws on the books designed "to protect the public health, to prohibit the use in food of additives which have not been adequately tested to establish their safety." In 1958, the Code of Federal Regulations (Title 21) established a FOOD ADDITIVES AMENDMENT which subsequently required that manufacturers show "proof of a reasonable certainty that no harm will result from the proposed use of an additive." This included the DELANEY CLAUSE, which demanded a federal ban on any food additive shown to cause cancer when fed to either animals or humans.

At the Fourth Annual NoMSG (National Organization Mobilized to Stop Glutamate) Conference held in Los Angeles in October 1996, members flew in from all over the country to hear lectures by respected doctors, scientists, authors, and activists, receiving legislative updates, medical findings, food and nutritional tips, and a chance to gain more information on how to cope with MSG sensitivity. The following attendees agreed to share their unique stories with us:

Erik J. of New Jersey has been experiencing symptoms since college. For a period in excess of 24-hours after ingesting MSG, Aspartame, or Sulfites, he develops a cloudy head, faded memory, an inability to concentrate, and excess nervous energy. It has impacted his life enough to motivate this cross-country journey.

Kaye W. of Montana watched her infant daughter react negatively to MSG-infused babyfood back in the 1950's. Her own typical reactions have included stomach aches, swollen abdomen and gums, frequent urination, difficulty in focusing her eyes, and extreme "gallbladder pains" that have lasted for up to a week. In addition, her rectal and genital regions become highly irritated and inflamed, complete with hardening of the tissues and vaginal bleeding. After a particularly serious attack from eating an offensive salad dressing, her doctor even suggested per- forming a colostomy. After eliminating MSG from her diet, the condition resolved itself completely and surgery was cancelled. She happily lost 20 pounds within 2 months from this change in her food intake.

Natalie M. of Los Angeles suffers severe 12-18 hour migraine headaches that don't hit her until 8-10 hours after she has swallowed MSG. At that point, she can't ingest anything and even regurgitates her own saliva. Her ability to function plummets to zero until the reaction abates. It is a self-described nightmare.

Ten years ago, Pat Conway of Palm Springs, California would meet her mother for lunch every Wednesday at the same Chinese restaurant. By the end of the meal each week, like clockwork, she would become clammy and sick, plagued by diarrhea. Progressively over time, the symptoms became worse: chest pains, heart pounding, depression. The doctor diagnosed her condition as "panic attacks" and accused her of being a hypochondriac. Previously affluent and happily married, this "mystery illness" destroyed her relationship. Eventually she learned that she was acutely sensitive to MSG.

Today, a single bite of food laced with this flavor enhancer will trigger full respiratory arrest for Conway within 30 seconds. At a sea- food restaurant, one nibble of shrimp cocktail (which the waitress had assured her contained no MSG) landed her in the hospital emergency room for 4 hours with a heartrate of 200 beats per minute, followed by severe depression. In another instance, eating a little bag of flavored nuts during an airplane ride resulting in the stewardess having to drop her the oxygen mask. The numerous breathing crises she has endured have caused her to develop asthma. She's moved to a house only two minutes away from the E.R. The paramedics have been summoned to her rescue so many times that she not only knows them by name, but has begun educating them and the hospital staff on this affliction of which most medical professionals are largely ignorant. She feels it just as necessary to inform the general public, especially those employed in the food service industry. "People who work in restaurants are as much a problem as the problem. Because of my MSG sensitivity, they treat me like a space alien, embarrass me, tell me not to worry. They believe that my aller- gic response would consist only of a little itching and a few hives."

Los Angeles resident David Livingstone has been taken for a wild ride of his own on the MSG rollercoaster as a result of the food industry's lax attitude toward the problem. In July 1993 during a business lunch, he ordered vegetable soup at a Marie Callender's Restaurant after his waitress represented to him that it was free of monosodium glutamate. He had clearly advised her of his health concerns, after which she assured him that the chefs made all the soups from scratch daily. Walking back to his office, he felt the symptoms of an asthma attack coming on. His inhaler did not provide him with the usual relief, so he promptly drove over to his primary care physician, who was a close 5 minutes away. Experiencing intense bowel discomfort, diarrhea, and profuse perspiration, it was there that he passed out and went into massive anaphylactoid shock (a chemically-induced poisoning of the system), which triggered severe respiratory arrest. Apparently, the MSG had triggered a response for his lungs to shut down. His doctor began applying CPR, which was then taken over by the paramedics who arrived to transport him to the hospital by ambulance. Once there, he went into full cardiac arrest and lost his pulse for 7 minutes. More CPR was administered, during which time some ribs were cracked. After being worked on for an hour, David was finally resuscitated and stabilized. For the next 3 days, he was unconscious on a respirator in the Intensive Care Unit, then remained another 3 days in the hospital for observation and treatment. An MRI determined that there was some deadening of the grey matter of his brain due to Hypoxia (lack of blood flow to deliver oxygen). He still remains with a slight neurological deficit.

Back on his feet and more than a bit perturbed, this less-than-satisfied customer returned to the same restaurant to do a bit of investigation. Inquiring about the exact recipe of the vegetable soup, he discovered that it actually contained "beef base," a pasty, tar-like material on whose label MSG was clearly listed as an ingredient. Because soup is hot and liquid, the glutamate it contains is absorbed very quickly into the human system and causes a more severe, immediate reaction. Because he claims his "near-death experience" was a direct result of Marie Callender's providing him with wrong information, David Livingston initiated in June 1994 a Products Liability and Misrepre- sentation Lawsuit against the company. Intending to protect other consumers as well as himself, he feels that "restaurants need to be more proactive in providing information about their food's internal ingredients to sensitive individuals, especially those that ask." The case is set for trial in June 1997 in the Glendale Superior Court.

Restaurants making false allegations about their use of MSG may just be more the rule than the exception. Jack Samuels, who founded the Illinois-based TRUTH IN LABELING CAMPAIGN with his wife Adrienne (both are MSG-sensitive), recounts the tale of an ABC news station in San Diego that investigated 10 different Oriental restaurants, each claiming they didn't use any MSG. After a laboratory tested food purchased from each venue, the chemical was indicated to be present in all samples. A similar venture pursued by a New York station uncovered an equivalent amount of fraudulent claims by that city's eateries.

David Livingston and ABC are not alone in their pursuit of honesty and integrity in the culinary MSG minefield: In 1988, a Pasadena, California District Attorney successfully sued Union Foods for mislabelling their Golden Ramen soups as containing "NO MSG," when in fact it did. Under Section 403 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, the FDA has acknowledged that such a practice would be considered deceptive mislabelling of a product. A California Civil Code also permits such a lawsuit if a company makes untrue representations. The Japanese-owned company agreed to pay a $153,000 fine and recall 455,000 cases of the soup.

In December 1994, a Citizen Petition was filed by the TRUTH IN LABELING CAMPAIGN (in conjunction with 29 independent citizens, includ- ing 10 physicians) requesting the FDA take specific action. It asked that all processed foods be tested for the presence of glutamates and, if present, that MSG be identified and its amount listed in grams on the label. It's estimated that the total investment in these testing and relabeling procedures would fall around $3 billion, resulting in a price increase of only one quarter cent per product. When the FDA failed to respond within the prescribed 180 days, lawyers for the petitioners filed suit in Federal Court in August 1995. As the FDA first attempted to have the Court dismiss the Complaint, then was withholding important documents and evidence in their possession, the trial date has been continually postponed, but is scheduled for sometime this year.


If all this uproar over a simple seasoning has taken you by surprise, then pull out your chopsticks and get ready to burst a well-established bubble, for the "Chinese Restaurant Syndrome" has gone international. If you thought the only place you had to exclaim "Hold the MSG!" while ordering a meal was at your local chow mein eatery or egg roll takeout joint, read on. Its presence has spread like a virus, in epidemic proportions, into almost everything we eat (at least anything that's "convenient"), and we've all been fooled. This article is to shed light on the deleterious effects of Monosodium Glutamate, a dangerous "excitotoxin" which is currently used in some form in almost every single processed, pre-cooked, and pre-packaged food manufactured today, whether frozen, canned, boxed, or dried. Not always detectable by examining the product label, it may be hidden under any one of a number of seemingly innocuous, even wholesome and healthy-sounding ingredients. So buyer beware, as it may not alway s be-where you expect to find it.


If ever there was a wolf in sheep's clothing, this was it. Until recently, the wool had been pulled securely over the eyes of even this health food advocate, and I was adamant to reverse the damage now that my blindfold had been lifted. I had just finished devouring two incredible books on the subject, and this powerful new knowledge inspired the activist in me to take my first action. Armed with a bag of product "rejects" in one hand and a list of food additives in the other, I ventured into the grocery store and sniffed out the customer service desk, determined to take advantage of the company's "satisfaction guaranteed or your money back" policy. (Many supermarkets and health food stores have such policies in place, even if the products have been opened or used.) I knew it would be the first time that a customer returned items because they contained not just MSG, but "hydrolyzed vegetable protein," "natural flavorings," "corn syrup," "barley malt", or "calcium caseinate," so I came prepared--documentation close at hand--to explain the whole story should any argument ensue. Surprisingly, the manager quickly and cheerfully refunded my money, casually commenting, "So you're allergic to MSG, huh?"

COBRA IN A BASKET Allergic? Tip of the iceberg, I thought. Try brain cell destruction; try Alzheimer's Disease; try neurodegenerative ailments. If he only knew the extent to which I yearned to spew two volumes worth of statistics, scientific data and case studies at him like so many cognitive bricks, shattering an ignorance that permeates the food industry and consumers alike. Because although approximately one-third of all Americans are sensitive to MSG consumption, reacting with symptoms running the gamut from fatigue, headaches, nausea, and diarrhea to heart irregularities, asthma attacks, and depression, the down-and-dirty bottom line of this excitotoxin's detrimental effects on the human organism is devastatingly simple: Consumed over a long period of time in great enough quantities, monosodium glutamate poses a serious threat to one's physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Like a cobra curled up in a basket, this toxic substance has insidiously slithered its way into the cuisine of an entire generation and waits, coiled and silent, ready to pounce on even the most unsuspecting victim. Its venom, its poison accumulates invisibly...a predator that may strike now or later, sparing some fortunate individuals, striking others without warning. So, Mr. Grocery Store Manager, NO, I'm not allergic to MSG in the classic sense (as far as I know, although I don't keep track of every headache or bout of minor depression), but YES, I definitely am allergic to Death. So give me my money back, please.


Who would have dreamed that at the root of this whole fiasco was an innocent little piece of seaweed? For thousands of years, Japanese chefs had been spicing up their cuisine by the simple addition of a flavor-enhancing ocean plant called "kombu" or "sea tangle" (Laminaria japonica), which can still be purchased in many specialty or natural foods outlets. A chemistry professor at the Imperial University of Tokyo named Kikunae Ikeda began to investigate this seaweed's amazing, yet mysterious, qualities, and in 1908 was successful in isolating its active ingredient as the sodium salt of the amino acid Glutamic Acid, or Monosodium Glutamate.

Aware that a potential treasure chest sat bubbling in his test tube, Ikeda quickly patented his newly discovered food secret and teamed up with another enterprising businessman, Saburosuke Suzuki, to form the Ajinomoto Company (literal translation: "At the Origin of Flavor"). Their intention was to synthesize this substance in the laboratory and introduce it to the world in a massive campaign of development, marketing, and distribution. By 1933, production had escalated to 10 million pounds yearly, and "Ajinomoto" (the term is used interchangeably with MSG) was the Orient's most popular seasoning. Its consumption has doubled in every decade since the 1940's, with the United States alone using in excess of 80 million pounds annually. Additionally, this figure fails to include the enormous quantities of hydrolyzed vegetable protein used (an ingredient also produced by the Ajinomoto Co.), which contains between 12-20% MSG and is mixed into everything from canned tuna fish to baby food to those vegetarian meat substitutes you thought were safe. Today, this same company is responsible for manufacturing more than half the world's supply, and has managed to make it a staple within the processed food and restaurant industries. What wheat is to bread, MSG is to almost anything in a box, bottle, or can.


How can this be?, you ask. You are an avid label reader at the supermarket, and very few products have Monosodium Glutamate listed as an ingredient. Due to the fact that this additive was proven harmful years ago and has a negative reputation in the minds of countless individuals who are highly sensitive to its effects, MSG is cleverly disguised beneath a myriad of deceitful monikers that the average consumer wouldn't blink twice at (refer to box on this page). There- fore, under such bland generalizations as "natural flavorings" (which may contain 20-60% MSG), "spices," "seasonings," "broth," "gelatin," or "bouillon," one may stumble upon the Glutamate snake coiled up in its basket, waiting to thrust a concoction of unpleasant symptoms onto its unwary dinner guests. It may be injected into poultry or lurking within the cured tobacco leaves of that cigarette you're taking drags on. It sneakily snugs within the grains of the myriad baked goods enhanced with malted barley (added to most flour to help it rise) or the yeast used for the same purpose (Red Star Yeast consists of 9-11% MSG).

This free form Glutamate does occur spontaneously in some whole unadulterated foods, such as tomatoes, mushrooms, potatoes, grapefruit, and parmesan cheese. However, consumer groups want to make it crystal clear that this natural form of free Glutamate is not dangerous and does not cause adverse reactions in people allergic to MSG. According to Mrs. Wanke, a spokesperson for NoMSG, "The FDA is purposefully clouding the issue and deceiving the public by comparing the naturally-occurring Glutamate found in some foods to the kind that is chemically added or created during processing." It is the breakdown of proteins during any of a number of manufacturing procedures (pasteurization, fermentation, enzyme modification, hydrolysis, protein fortification, chelation, etc.) which poses the risk to humans. Jack Samuels of the TRUTH IN LABELLING CAMPAIGN compares it to breaking apart a pearl necklace, on which is strung a long chain of bonded amino acid beads, after which they fall off into "free form" units and lose their relationship to each other. He relates that "some neuroscientists feel that perhaps hydrolyzed pro- teins are worse than pure MSG because in effect you're ingesting a "neurotoxic amino acid stew" containing Aspartic Acid and L-Cysteine as well as Glutamates."

Most people learn to live with the minor physical reactions, which may occur daily or regularly if one's diet consists even in part of processed or fast foods. They attribute their discomfort to stress, lack of sleep, the weather, or the flu, coping with the pain by merely popping an aspirin or antacid whenever symptoms strike. In the scheme of things, a cramp here, a wheeze there, an itch or ache elsewhere may easily be overlooked, but snap together all the pieces of the MSG puzzle and what materializes is the partial crippling of a substantial slice of this planet's population. A minimum of 20 million people in the United States and in excess of 100 million worldwide experience prominent reactions. Thirty percent of the population will react when given 5 grams MSG (an amount easily consumed in one day of eating convenience foods) and 90% when administered 10 grams.

So why does the FDA continue to allow this substance to inundate our food supply when over 10,000 individual case studies have proven its danger? Because, having an undeniably suspicious allegiance to the large pharmaceutical and chemical industries, the FDA has decided to ignore documented incidents by passing them off as "anecdotal" evidence and, therefore, scientifically invalid. At least four of the eight men on FASEB's expert panel had conflicts of interest (MSG industry connections), and even though the original study was advertised as an independent review of existing data pertaining to glutamate's safety, some important data were omitted, and other were distorted. This was not the first time the FDA's sources were less than impeccable. An early 1970's committee set up to evaluate MSG in baby food included toxicologists from DuPont and Dow Chemical, as well as scientists tied to Gerber Products and the International Mineral and Chemical Corporation (producer of ACCENT and 80% of MSG sold in this country). Yet another "expert" had acted as an industry spokesman on behalf of the Grocery Manufacturers' Association.


An entire economy revolves around the MSG phenomenon, and the multi-billion dollar industry at stake has a huge investment in protecting its reputation. As most people are aware, addictions are big business, and greedy corporate empires have more than once been known to sacrifice human welfare for the sake of profit. Whether the fixation is tobacco, alcohol, sugar, sex, or the almighty tastebud, human beings (my friend calls us "pleasure units") on the warpath toward sensory fulfillment will always be easily manipulated by the propaganda geniuses of our day. So just who is the Wizard of Ahhs (as in: "Ahh, that sure tastes good!") lurking in the shadows behind the MSG stage show? The conspiracy to keep consumers in the dark about the hidden forms of MSG and its deleterious nature has been waged by the food industry itself in conjunction with a special MSG lobby group (so what's new?) titled The Glutamate Association. Composed of representatives from major U.S. food manufacturers in addition to (surprise, surprise) the Ajinomoto Company, these powerful monied interests have banded together to fight anyone who would dare criticize their precious seaweed derivative. So if their synthesized chemical neurotoxic time bomb happens to interact with your personal human organism in anything less than a fortunate manner, well, that's just par for the course.


In 1948, the first symposium was held in Chicago to introduce Monosodium Glutamate to such companies in attendance as Campbell's (as in "soups"), Nestles, General Foods, Libby, Borden, Pillsbury, Oscar Mayer, United Airlines, and the National Livestock and Meat Board. The almost too-good-to-be-true, flavor-enhancing attributes of this substance were described: Its ability to intensify existing flavors and increase odor appeal without contributing a strong aftertaste of its own; Suppress undesirable bitterness or sourness; Remove the tinny taste from canned items; Provide a meaty, chicken-like flavor; Add zest to low-fat, diet, or bland foods; Mask inferiority in quality or freshness; And remove the stale or spoiled taste from frozen or mass-produced meals (as in cafeterias). Needless to say, the bait was irresistible and the big fish bit. The far-reaching consequences of this eight-hour event to revolutionize American food processing and adversely affect the future health of many millions of its citizens was at that time unforeseen. Over the years, as the use of MSG increased, evidence began trickling into the scientific community that something was gravely wrong. The first case studies were ridiculed, ignored, or swept under the rug. Today, the tragedy of this spiking of the American food supply has become crystal clear.


Almost 30 years have elapsed since physicians and scientists began publishing well-documented accounts of serious, even life-threatening effects from the ingestion of small amounts of MSG (as served up in a bowl of wonton soup containing only 2.5-3 grams). In sufficient quantities, it is toxic to everyone (the degree of reaction depends upon individual tolerance levels and dosage), but for those who can't metabolize it effectively, it acts like a poison that can trigger a combination of gastrointestinal, neurological, and psychological symptoms. It has a peripheral effect on blood vessels and the lower esophageal sphincter, on the brain and central nervous system. Particularly severe reactions in some individuals can mimic those signalling a stroke (slurred speech, loss of balance) or heart attack (pressure in chest area radiating to the arms and neck); produce disabling, arthritic conditions in the joints and tendons; debilitating migraine headaches; severe hives or rashes appearing to be "atopic dermatitis;" acute asthmatic episodes requiring hospitalization (artificial ventilation and cardiopulmonary by-pass); and prolonged attacks of depression requiring psychiatric intervention. Considering that 100 million persons worldwide suffer from clinically recognized depression (with teenage and childhood suicide rates on a drastic upswing) and that asthma has been identified as "the leading cause of absenteeism among schoolchildren" by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, it's urgent that health professionals begin considering whether MSG toxicity might in certain cases be the real culprit.


MSG intolerance is not merely an allergic reaction, but demon- strates a classic toxic reaction, a true drug effect. Technically, it can be classified as a drug since it initiates changes in the physiology and functioning of tissues and organs while fulfilling absolutely no therapeutic purpose. In essence, Monosodium Glutamate works by tricking the body. In his book "IN BAD TASTE: THE MSG SYNDROME," author George Schwartz, M.D. describes the substance as a "mouth aphrodisiac." The brain resembles a television set receiving a variety of signals. MSG placed on the tongue increases the sensitivity of our taste buds and feeling receptors, stimulating electrical discharges and creating a more intense "picture." In addition, glutamates act as excitatory neuro- transmitters which stimulate brain cell activity. In "EXCITOTOXINS: THE TASTE THAT KILLS," neurosurgeon Dr. Russell Blaylock presents the latest research findings to illustrate how exposure to this class of chemicals (including MSG and other glutamates, Aspartame/Nutrasweet and other aspartates, and cystoic acid/cysteine) can damage cerebral nerve cells. "When neurons are exposed to these substances, they become very excited and fire their impulses very rapidly until they reach a state of extreme exhaustion. Several hours later these neurons suddenly die, as if the cells were excited to death." In the May 1997 issue of FOOD SCIENCE MAGAZINE, contributing writer Shirley Corriher confirms "there is evidence that Glutamic Acid is responsible for 75% of the excitatory transmission in the brain."

What's more, the devastating implications extend into the realm of our offspring's health. "Experiments will demonstrate that glutamate and other excitotoxins can alter the way the brain is formed during development. ...Exposure to these powerful compounds early in life could cause developmental brain defects that would produce learning difficulties and behavioral problems as the child grows older..(and) may contribute to violent behavior as well." Suspicions are mounting that the recent increased incidence of hyperactivity and attention deficit disorder (ADD) in children may be attributed to the widespread use of these toxins as food additives, and they may play a major role as well in a whole group of degenerative brain diseases in adults (especially the elderly) including Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, Huntington's, and Lou Gehrig's Diseases (ALS). Even an FDA-sponsored FASEB report (the scientific panel mentioned earlier) released in July 1995 finally concluded that, due to the controversy relating to the safety of Glutamic Acid, they suggested it prudent that supplements containing MSG not be used by: Infants; Children; Pregnant Women; Women of child- bearing age; and people with affective (mood) disorders. Yet not only did the Food and Drug Administration suppress this finding, they then approved a new chicken pox vaccine containing two sources of the chemical--Glutamic Acid itself, and hydrolyzed gelatin (vegetarian parents take note)--thereby indiscriminately advocating it for the very young as part of a standard, aggressively prescribed medical procedure when expert opinion exists that it could be dangerous to exactly these recipients. So much for child protection in America, from C-note to shining C-note. Do money and corporate influence ever stop talking? Apparently not.


As far back as the 1950's and 60's, the data started rolling in. Although I do not condone any kind of vivisection or animal experimentation, I will present some startling observations from which you can draw your own conclusions. I don't believe these experimental results can necessarily be applied to humans, nor do I believe they are ethical. One of the first major indicators that implied an MSG/disease link occurred in 1957 when Dr. D. Newhouse and Dr. J.P. Lucas noticed that baby mice forced to ingest glutamates experienced rapid, irreversible destruction of the majority of the nerve cells in the inner layers of the animals' retina (the visual receptor cells of the eye) within minutes of exposure. Coincidentally, an opthamology conference held in Chicago last year (1996) found that people stricken with Glaucoma happen to contain anywhere from 10 to 50 times as much glutamate in their eye tissue as persons without Glaucoma, and their optic nerves are being destroyed at a much faster rate.

In the late 1960's, John W. Olney, M.D., a neuroscientist working at the Dept. of Psychiatry at Washington University in St. Louis, repeated Lucas and Newhouse's experiment on neonatal mice and, upon examining their brains, discovered that specialized cells in the hypothalamus (the area critical for both memory and learning) were destroyed after a single dose of MSG. Brain lesions also appeared in an infant Rhesus monkey. Obesity, behavioral disturbances, endocrine changes, stunted bodies, seizures, and infertility in the test animals were also reported. (Leading Edge Research makes an interesting comment in their literature on Glutamates: "If MSG could 'solve' the rodent population problem, it could also help 'solve the population problem for humans'--in theory, that is." Could the spiking of the American food supply with this chemical possibly be contributing to the widespread epidemic amongst men of low sperm count?) In all species tested, immature animals were found to be much more vulnerable to MSG's toxic effects.

Dr. Olney was shocked to learn that the concentrations of this substance added to commercial baby foods was equal to that which created brain lesions in the experimental models. After the Food and Drug Administration refused to take action, Dr. Olney testified before a Congressional committee and finally succeeded in getting food manufacturers to remove MSG from their infant product lines. Ironically, they simply substituted a more dangerous ingredient in its place: hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP), which contains three known excitotoxins. (HVP, though advertised as a safe, natural, plant-based protein, is actually a mixture made from "junk" vegetables unfit for sale.

The extraction process involves boiling them in a vat of acid, then neutralization with caustic soda. The resulting brown sludge, extremely high in glutamates, is scraped off the top, dried, and sold. Then we eat it. Yucch!) Shamefully, millions of school children are fed cafeteria meals laced with these poisons on a daily basis, and we wonder why there is a market decline in scholastic performance, concentration, and discipline in the classroom. Who is protecting the innocent from this chemical bombardment? According to one government official, "There are no federal regulations or policies which prohibit or limit the use of monosodium glutamate in the National School Lunch program or any of the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture's federally funded programs." 'Nuf said. Once again, good conscience must fall on the shoulders of ordinary citizens uniting in grassroots coalitions. The Feingold Association, a children's advocacy group focused on reducing dangerous color additives in food, wholeheartedly supports NoMSG's efforts.

SPREAD THE WORD! I f you want to further your knowledge on the subject, please contact: The NATIONAL ORGANIZATION MOBILIZED TO STOP GLUTAMATES at 1-800-BEAT-MSG, or see their webpage at HTTP:// They have an active membership and publish quarterly newletters. The TRUTH IN LABELING CAMPAIGN may be written at: P.O. Box 2532, Darien, Illinois; or phoned at (312) 642-9333. To order the books mentioned, HEALTH PRESS may be reached at 1-800-643-BOOK.

Since MSG sensitivity increases with age, we may all eventually find ourselves in a position of having to become food detectives and legislative advocates in the quest for health freedom and personal choice. For now, we have a few courageous individuals to thank for helping to protect the rights of all American citizens...folks like the Samuels in Chicago who are fighting for stringent labeling laws, and like David Livingston who awaits his trial against a major restaurant chain. Armed with a new understanding after his July 1993 brush with death sparked by that Marie Callender's bowl of soup, he warns all consumers to be aware: "The bottom line is, do you really know what you're putting in your mouth when you buy food? Where it's been, how it's been processed, what it has gone through to get to your plate? The answer is that, especially at restaurants--moreso than with food you buy at supermarket, where at least you have a listing of the ingredients--you really have no clue." Let's take a clue from these pure food pioneers. Become an informed, discriminating consumer. Take action, take control, take charge of your future and your health!

-- David L (, February 14, 2000


From: Y2K, ` la Carte by Dancr (pic), near Monterey, California

Thanks, David. I have most of these symptoms on occasion. This is definitely worth looking into further. The Y2K connection being... storage foods...

-- Dancr (addy.available@my.webpage), February 15, 2000.

Original thread fixed. Just a very messy html post. Nothing to worry about.


OT- WARNING! Auxigro - MSG Crop Spray 002Yrj

-- Diane J. Squire (, February 15, 2000.

Thanks for canvassing this subject.

I care for my brother who must cope with MS. Often we talk about those things like foods that trigger his bad spells. Does anyone have experiences to share?

Thanks again & regards from OZ

-- Pieter (, February 15, 2000.

Diane, thanks. Appreciate the assist.

-- David L (, February 15, 2000.

Over 50% of the general population has sensitivity to at least one type of food. Glutamate, a naturally occuring amino acid, is a natural constituent of many foods we eat daily. While I condone legislation forcing the comprehensive labeling of ingredients in food, I find it saddening to see this type of commentary publicized.

Peanuts are much more dangerous than MSG (according to mortality reports - go ahead look it up...) but I don't see any coalitions warning of the dangers of the peanut. Why? Could it possibly be the connotations of the "chemical name" and the fact that it is catagorized as an "additive"?

Check out the following links for some more objective information on MSG:

You might want to watch out for this other "dangerous" chemical:

Dihydrogen monoxide:

is also known as hydric acid, and is the major component of acid rain. contributes to the "greenhouse effect." may cause severe burns. contributes to the erosion of our natural landscape. accelerates corrosion and rusting of many metals. may cause electrical failures and decreased effectiveness of automobile brakes. has been found in excised tumors of terminal cancer patients. Quantities of dihydrogen monoxide have been found in almost every stream, lake, and reservoir in America today. The pollution is global, and the contaminant has even been found in Antarctic ice. DHMO has caused millions of dollars of property damage in the midwest, and recently California.

Despite the danger, dihydrogen monoxide is often used:

as an industrial solvent and coolant. in nuclear power plants. in the production of styrofoam. as a fire retardant. in many forms of cruel animal research. in the distribution of pesticides. Even after washing, produce remains contaminated by this chemical. as an additive in certain "junk-foods" and other food products. Companies dump waste DHMO into rivers and the ocean, and nothing can be done to stop them because this practice is still legal. The impact on wildlife is extreme, and we cannot afford to ignore it any longer!

The American government has refused to ban the production, distribution, or use of this damaging chemical due to its "importance to the economic health of this nation." In fact, the navy and other military organizations are conducting experiments with DHMO, and designing multi-billion dollar devices to control and utilize it during warfare situations. Hundreds of military research facilities receive tons of it through a highly sophisticated underground distribution network. Many store large quantities for later use.

-- Carey Hogan (, November 19, 2001.

I have a new idea. Is anyone aware of the roll that parasites play in dis-eases? We all have them, and they live in us in a non-symbiotic manner. They are easty to "catch". If you have pets you will exchange parasites with them. Did these people mentioned in this article have close association with animals? Could parasites be the key to why it is that some people react to MSG and other "excitotoxins". Perhaps they have more parasites in vulnerable places. The brain for instance! We all inhale tape worm eggs!! And they like to hibernate in the brain. Someone needs to work on the presence of parasite and all the ramifications. These folks who have had life threatening experiences have probably been tested for everthing but parasites.

-- Ruth S (, August 22, 2003.

im black..and i hate MSG, it makes me poop like there is no tomorrow. Everytime i have MSG, i crap my pants, and it is really embarassing. I hope all of you realize that MSG is a horrible bad thing, because it makes u mess urself. MSG also gave me herpes, which contributes to my explosive diarea. DO NOT EAT MSG!...OR YOU WILL DIE!

-- Tyrone Howard Jackson (, February 03, 2004.

Re: Carey Hogan's comments above.

FYI, the "chemical" dihydrogen monoxide he's referring to above is, in fact, water. This clever idea reportedly originated with a young (pre-high-school) student's science fair project. She collected signatures at her exhibit, which illustrated the many "dangers" of dihydrogen monoxide (also spelled 'H2O'). She wanted to make a statement about the tactics of those who employ "junk science" to further their cause, and, it must be admitted, she makes a good point. It's just too bad that some people can't (or choose not to) differentiate between unjustified paranoia supported by such "junk science" and legitimate concern based on overwhelming evidence, both scientific and anecdotal.

It seems to me that most of the health issues involving food additives (i.e. MSG, aspartame, etc) come about because someone takes a natural substance that is either beneficial or innocuous and develops a synthetic version of it for purely commercial reasons. While it's understandable that people would want to profit from their discoveries, which often require much money, time, mental effort, and ingenuity, I suspect that the lesson we will ultimately learn from our efforts to duplicate mother nature is that the cost of doing so is far greater than we can pay. On the day the greater world community accepts this, most of the foods we eat will probably be very natural (and delicious) and world health and longevity could conceivably be at historical highs. It would not surprise me if many of the mysterious ailments that elude our understanding today simply fade quietly into obscurity and eventual nonexistence. Perhaps one day we *will* have the ability to create synthetic foods that are harmless, or perhaps even beneficial to our health. Perhaps...but not today.

Just my two cents.

-- Bryan L (, February 05, 2004.

Thanks! That was very helpful.

-- Caren (, June 16, 2004.

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