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A letter, and a reply...

Battling the MSG Myth » Archive » Sharing Ideas, Suggestions, and Information » A letter, and a reply... « Previous Next »

Author Message
Aaron P. Wisher
Posted on Friday, October 12, 2001 - 5:38 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I recently sent Kraft foods about MSG, and as I expected I received the standard junk back. here is the correspondance:

letter I sent:
"I wanted to contact you to share with you my story. I, like millions of other people am very allergic to Monosodium Glutamate (MSG), and I want to express my dissatisfaction with Kraft products that contain MSG. Since I have Identified MSG as the culprit of much of my suffering, I have stopped eating all foods containing MSG in the ingredient labels. Here is my story:
I always got "puffy" after eating foods containing MSG. It wasn't until about 1994 that I started getting very characteristic migraines after ingesting MSG. My reaction starts with severe tunnel vision, and lately with lights in my eyes so bad that I cannot see and have to sit down. Then that fades and I get tingling on the left side of my face, which eventually goes numb. My left arm, and leg go numb next. Each stage lasts about 10-15 minutes. Then this fades away and I get the migraine that lasts approximately 24-48 hours. I also get a racing heartbeat, and jitters. I start to lose mental focus, and often have difficulty speaking coherently. I was lucky, in that the very first doctor I went to suggested that MSG could be triggering the migraines (which the numbness, tunnel-vision, and lights are part of). I am also luck in the sense that I only have a direct reaction to foods that explicitly say MSG on the label. I have never had a reaction to foods that don't have MSG on the label. When I go to Asian restaurants, I always ask for no MSG, and I would say only 1 out of every 40 still triggers a reaction. However, I noticed that it doesn't matter how much or how little MSG food contains I will always have the reaction. I can precisely time my reaction and it will almost always happen exactly 24 hours later. I have an extremely high tolerance to pain so the headaches don't really bother me that much, but the temp. blindness and numbness really does. I have yet to find an "antidote" but if I take about 3 ibuprofen immediately when I first notice symptoms, it seems to lessen the effects. Being vigilant, (as well as I can) I only slip up and ingest MSG about every three to four months. On a side note, my mom is now starting to notice the lights in here eyes and numbness, as is her mom, so it would seem to run in the family.
I know that there are many more people out there that have much stronger reactions, and are much more sensitive to foods than I.

I know many people that have always experienced some "reaction" after eating foods with MSG in them. Many people I speak to about it specifically mention that if companies took MSG out of their food and labeled the packaging as "no MSG" that sales would probably increase! It is a shame that companies would continue to use MSG, knowing that it has such adverse effects on so many people. I can now steer people away from certain foods and certain brands because I have been so diligent in reading ingredient labels.
If you do not believe MSG is dangerous, or you believe the FDA that it is safe, I invite you to come and visit. I would be glad to eat some Kraft dressings, or stovetop stuffing, and let you monitor my physiologic reaction.
I guess I am just pleading with you to give me back my life, free from MSG."
-----------------------------------------

here is what I got back:

Thanks for visiting our Web site. We appreciate having the chance to
respond to your concerns about monosodium glutamate (MSG).

MSG is commonly used to enhance the flavor of many packaged foods and also
occurs naturally in a number of foods. MSG is among the most extensively
tested food ingredients in use today. The overwhelming evidence from
hundreds of scientific, academic and government studies has shown MSG to be
safe. Likewise, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the World
Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United
Nations have all certified MSG as safe.

Your confidence in our products is important to us. We firmly stand behind
the safety of all our products, including those that contain MSG. Our
products that contain MSG are in full compliance with all FDA labeling
regulations.

When MSG is added directly to a product, it must be listed on the label as
monosodium glutamate. MSG can also be a component of other ingredients such
as hydrolyzed vegetable protein, hydrolyzed plant protein, or autolyzed
yeast extract. In these instances, those ingredients are listed, but in
accordance with FDA regulations, MSG is not listed separately. To determine
if those ingredients are present in a product, we suggest your best source
of information is the product's label.

Please add our site to your bookmarks, and visit us again soon!
------------------------------------

I particularly like the last line there.. Me visiting there website should be the least of ther worries. :-)

Aaron
Roy Piwovar
Posted on Friday, October 12, 2001 - 8:47 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Aaron,

I suppose they could have written that they were sorry their product caused you and others suffering, but that's too much to ask from a company that clearly doesn't care about anything but their bottom line. They are not going to do anything not required by law.

Either a lawsuit or changing the laws is the best option. To change the laws and how they're enforced, one option is to put concerned politicians and judges in office. I hope everyone who reads this web site votes.
cheryl
Posted on Friday, October 12, 2001 - 8:52 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Aaron, My son is 8 and has suffered with this horrible sickness for 2 years. His reactions are just as you described yours and nothing lessons the migraines/headaches. If he's lucky it won't go into a migraine, but sometimes it does and it's been really hard to see him suffer like this. The past few days, after doing some different supplementation and removing his milk he's showing some improvement(possibly lactic acid is his problem with milk). Up until 2 days ago he couldn't go to school. I was about to remove him from public school as he was having these reactions everyday nonstop. I made an apt with a doctor at Barnes hoptital in St. Louis but I'm not really expecting much help there. I feel like there are no doctors in the world who can help us. I've tried many of them and even homeopath remedies, which I do think help with some of the symptoms, but not the migraines. I'm using Natrum mur to neutralize the acid. Perservativies are highly acid forming. He also gets puffy and retains fluids. I've been reading about homeostatis and water retention. Allergic reactions cause water retention and rapid pulse rate. I bought a blood pressure monitor for him and his BP goes up slightly and so does his pulse with these headaches and he has dizziness sometimes, depending what he's reacting to. He's also sulfite senstive and highly allergic to mold. It's very difficult to find anything he can eat and the mold count is high now too. I just started him on propranol. It's high blood pressure med and a beta blocker. It's been used a lot to prevent migraines. I gave it to my older son about 10 years ago and it worked great so I'm hopeful. I think the key is to get the water retention under control. I've started using parsley caps when he gets a headache and at the same time make him drink lots of water. Drinking water makes you flush water and toxins. Also I've added magnesium and B6 daily and as soon as the headaches begin and potassium with calcium ascorbate(vit C) in apple juice and I give him 3 feverfew caps. He can't tolerate acidic vit C or any acidic foods. Vit C detoxifys. I'm also giving him clariton redi tabs daily for a few days. Something seems to be helping. The headaches never used to go away for days. Tonight it lasted about 2 hours. I also gave him IBprofin without additivies made by the pharmacy. I'll let you know if he continues to improve.
Roy Piwovar
Posted on Friday, October 12, 2001 - 8:57 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Aaron,

Kraft is not about to concede any harm done by monosodium glutamate after entering into a joint venture with Ajinomoto, the world's largest producer of MSG:

http://www.ajinomoto.co.jp/ajinomoto/company/eajino/drink.htm
cheryl
Posted on Friday, October 12, 2001 - 9:20 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Aaron, I made a mistake in the above post.I meant to say I'm giving him Natrum phos to neutralize the acids. It works great for indigestion and heartburn too.
Roy Piwovar
Posted on Friday, October 12, 2001 - 9:51 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Cheryl,

Below is a good article on migraines in children. You may have to register (free) with Medscape to read it:

http://news.medscape.com/IMNG/PediatricNews/1999/v33.n06/pn3306.27.02.html
Ruth
Posted on Saturday, October 13, 2001 - 9:45 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Cheryl,
I would like to suggest a couple of referral websites for doctors who might be able to help your son. There are two that I know of:
American Academy of Environmental Medicine. also
American College Advancement of Medicine.
I had been planning to try NAET but chickened out and decided to go this route first. The doctor in my area that I will see next week comes highly recommended from a friend who was helped with a medical problem when no other doctor had a clue what to do. The doctors are listed by states at each of these websites, and by their specialities. Most doctors just cover up symptoms. The one I am going to see (recommended by the last doctor I tried as well as by my friend) looks for causes. I went to a couple of doctors on the list first, only because they were on my insurance plan, but they were not helpful. Describe all of your son's problems to the receptionist in the office first to make sure that particular doctor can help, and if not, they pretty much know which one can within ACAM and the Amer. Acad. of Environmental Med. Hope this helps.
cheryl
Posted on Sunday, October 14, 2001 - 6:54 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Roy and Ruth,
Thank you for the info. I have an apt with an Environmental doctor at Barnes hospital on the 31st and I just found the name of a specialist in pain control in KC, MO. I hope one of those 2 doctors can help. I'm slowy adding lactaid milk back to see if he tolerates it. I have a feeling he won't drink the rice dream.
K.A.
Posted on Monday, October 15, 2001 - 6:48 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

cheryl, is your son MSG intolerant? If he is, he is still getting a steady stream of glutamate from all the gelatin caps that he is ingesting due to all the supplemention and meds he gets. How does he do with organic whole milk? My daughter didn't like the rice milk at first, but now won't touch milk. It took some coaxing, and I sometimes add cocoa mixed with some sugar to flavor it as a treat. She likes real maple syrup in it too. Got that tip in Debby's book.I'm sorry your son is so sick. I hope he gets fewer headaches. We don't give our kids vitamins anymore. They do eat fruits and vegetables, and lots of home made lemonade for vitamin C. They love oranges and grapefruit.
lelu
Posted on Tuesday, October 16, 2001 - 3:51 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hello I am a new comer here. I, like all of you have problems with msg. I also have 4 siblings that also have problems. Each one of us shows different reactions. Anyway, my brother that suffers from migraines, wrote a program for the palmOS. It helps you track and pin down what brings them on. It's free at www.palmgear.com or www.handango.com. Do your search under headache journal. I'm just so proud of him I had to share it with others. I love to read all your entrees. It's assuring to know your all out there.
Don Campbell
Posted on Friday, October 19, 2001 - 10:29 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Lelu, I don't know about the rest of this group, but I am definitely out there, after all I've been learning about all the poisons in our food, and the rest of this group is out there, somewhere, on a coffee discussion board or in the clouds........ What you say is very interesting and should have been responded to earlier. I am curious, how old are your children and when did they first show reactions and what kind? And your brother wrote a program for the "palmOS"! I've got to check that out. I'm in the middle of a 40 hour work weekend though and will make this short. It seems you are realizing that msg is the problem behind your whole familys' suffering. Don't cut yourself short. You have realized THE #1 problem. You see msg, processed free glutamates, are eating into the central nervous system, which controls all our basic systems and even dictates our mood, thinking ability, and everything we function with. Keep reading the suggested links from this site and nomsg.com, the discussion boards there. Also go to truthinlableing.org. There are those responsible for this poisoning, and they not only know what they have been doing but are covering it up. Forgive me for using this post, my reply to you, to illustrate, once again what most people are missing here, and wake them up. Anyway, hope you reply to my questions. Sincerely, Don

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