|Posted on Friday, August 17, 2001 - 9:24 am: || |
I'm mailing my letter by snail mail today. Please mail yours today too...
Office of the Hearing Clerk (1900)
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW.
Washington, DC 20460
SUBJECT: “L-Glutamic Acid and Gamma Aminobutyric Acid; Exemptions from the Requirement of a Tolerance” Final Rule. Docket Control Number OPP-3021136.
I object to granting L-glutamic acid and gamma aminobutyric acid an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance. There are documented cases of individuals with a life threatening reaction to MSG (the salt of free L-glutamic acid) which can cause these persons to need emergency medical treatment. Persons who react strongly to monosodium glutamate (MSG) would be put at risk if this exemption is granted.
Glutamate is a neurotransmitter, widely accepted by neuroscientists to be excitotoxic to nerve cells in excess: it can overstimulate nerve cells until they die. Many new glutamate-blocking drugs are currently being used to treat neurodegenerative diseases like A.L.S. as well as stroke. By blocking glutamate’s action, brain damage may be prevented. Spraying L-Glutamic acid (MSG) on fresh produce may be detrimental to individuals taking these medications.
Recent research at Johns Hopkins has shown a link between the immune system and the nervous system. It is accepted MSG can induce asthma attacks in certain individuals. The unexplained rise in asthma in this country coincides with the increase in the use of MSG in the US food supply. Until this coincidence is explained by further research, MSG should not be added to fresh produce - the only foods that provide these people some level of comfort.
MSG also has shown direct effects on the body’s production of insulin, and is suspected of increasing the incidence of Type II diabetes and insulin resistance, which plays a role in obesity. Many individuals are recently showing signs of controlling diabetes by eating more fresh vegetables. Granting an exemption would put those suffering obesity and type II diabetes at unnecessary risk.
MSG in the presence of Vitamins B6 and C is turned into Gamma Amino Butyric Acid (GABA), in vegetables as well as in the human body. GABA not only causes vegetables to grow: in the human brain, GABA stimulates the pituitary gland to produce growth hormone. The American public has already sent the message that they prefer not to have hormones added to their meat. Raising the obvious question of why the EPA would allow human growth enhancing compounds to be sprayed on fresh vegetables.
25% of Americans will develop a pituitary tumor in their lifetime. Since GABA stimulates the pituitary to release growth hormone, it is fair to question the wisdom of spraying foods with GABA. If this spray is linked to pituitary or endocrine abnormalities, the health care costs could well become staggering.
Persons with neurodegenerative diseases whose blood brain barrier is compromised, (the case in those with hypoglycemia, or allergies, when the blood vessels become “leaky”), are at increased risk of brain damage from glutamate. Ingested glutamic acid stimulates the pancreas directly to produce insulin, possibly inducing hypoglycemia, putting these persons at risk. Since MSG is also a nerve cell trigger, (that is why it was used in the first place, to stimulate nerve cells in the mouth), the latest research from John’s Hopkins indicates that MSG might make an allergy sufferers symptoms worse, again putting those with neurodegenerative diseases at risk.
Glutamate is a calcium channel opener. As such, it may interfere with calcium channel blockers being taken by hypertensive patients. Excess glutamate is also known to interfere with cysteine metabolism. Cysteine is used by the body to make heartbeat-regulating taurine. “Chinese restaurant syndrome” mimics taurine deficiency - including the racing heartbeat. Taurine is the body’s natural water soluble anti-oxidant as well as calcium channel blocker. Recent research in Japan has shown taurine to have a blood pressure lowering effect. Taurine is a non-essential amino acid. If ingested glutamate interferes with its formation, than it would be wise to not spray MSG on foods eaten by cardiovascular patients.
An unusual number of MSG-sensitive persons take thyroid medication for hypothyroid conditions. Based on research done by Dr. Olney, the part of the brain most vulnerable to ingested MSG is the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus regulates the action of the pituitary gland and consequently the thyroid, as well as body temperature, extremely necessary for the correct operation of enzymes during metabolism. Should we be spraying MSG on produce eaten by hypothyroid patients, or patients incapable of regulating body temperature?
Currently, Fibromyalgia patients, those suffering from MS, and parents of ADD children have reported dramatic reduction in symptoms by avoiding foods high in free glutamic acid (MSG). Should we take away their choices of foods without MSG?
MSG must be avoided by anyone taking anti-convulsant medication. It is well known by hospital personnel. If these individuals are to avoid processed foods because they will interfere with anti-seizure medications, and the agriculture industry is allowed to spray MSG on fresh produce, what will these people eat?
Granting an exemption would be extremely detrimental to all the individuals I have mentioned. Allergic, diabetic, hypothyroid, hypoglycemic, ADD, MS, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, A.L.S, A-Fib, hypertensive, epileptic, and obese patients should all avoid MSG. We cannot assume MSG is safe for everyone. We must not allow the unlimited spraying of MSG on the only foods these patients rely on.
My observations are based on ten years of studying this topic, careful consideration, knowledge, training and experience in the fields of food, nutrition, and food processing. I hold degrees in both Agricultural Engineering as well as Food Science from Rutgers University, and I have worked in the food industry in Research and Development at several major US food companies. Please do not grant an exemption of the requirement of a tolerance for L-Glutamic acid and Gamma aminobutyric acid to be sprayed on fresh produce. MSG and GABA affect the body greatly and on a vast many levels. The perfect human specimen does not exist, but there are many individuals with special medical conditions and dietary needs that will be put in harms way if you allow this exemption.
Carol A Hoernlein
|Posted on Friday, August 17, 2001 - 12:22 pm: || |
Excellent, Carol!!!! Thanks for sharing your letter and for being an inspiration to so many!
|Posted on Friday, August 17, 2001 - 2:53 pm: || |
Great letter, Carol! You have given me several more avenues of research and hope. I had been narrowing in on needing more taurine and B6. Your letter has convinced me that I need more to move me back towards normal.
Thank you for your efforts to sway our non elected bureaucrats.
|Posted on Friday, August 17, 2001 - 6:56 pm: || |
Carol: Wonderful. Could you put this on your website? And tell others here what that website is. (I'm out of town and can't remember the address myself). I'd like to have a hardcopy of this letter in my files and can't get this computer to print off just this page.
|Posted on Friday, August 17, 2001 - 6:57 pm: || |
My two paragraph snail-mail letter looks meager, but we all need to send ours; it's the mass that they need to hear from.
|Posted on Saturday, August 18, 2001 - 5:17 am: || |
My site is http://www.basicfare.com (all the good names were taken ) I apologize for not updating it in a while, work got very busy. I promise to do better. Thanks for the compliments. I must applaud John for inspiring me with his letter in the first place