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More government bigwigs trying to cov...

Battling the MSG Myth » Sharing Media Reports and Letters Related to the Issue » More government bigwigs trying to cover up MSG toxicity!! « Previous Next »

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laurie M
Posted on Friday, June 07, 2002 - 7:52 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

hey Carol,
maybe you could respond to this ridiculous press statement. Sorry so long

Monosodium glutamate (MSG).
A statement addressed to:
the media, dietitians, nutritionists and food scientists.

The Glutamate Advisory Council of South Africa

In response to misleading information currently circulating about monosodium glutamate (MSG).

Date: Johannesburg, Wednesday 6 February 2002

Here are the facts about MSG.

Recent media reports have implied that monosodium glutamate (MSG) is 'unsafe' and can trigger allergic reactions in some people and may cause Attention Deficit Disorder or hyperactivity in children. These reports may be misleading and are not supported by scientific evidence.

MSG has been used to enhance food flavours for many years, and has been thoroughly researched. However, primarily due to non-scientific reporting, it is a commonly misunderstood flavour enhancer.

Although allergic reactions to environmental allergens such as pollen are common, occurrence of an allergic reaction to food and food ingredients is less common. Research (Journal of the American Medical Association, 1993) indicates that although up to 30 percent of adults believe they have a food allergy, in reality less than two percent of the adult population is allergic to foods or food additives. Reactions to MSG are uncommon and have not been proven to be due to an allergy, but as a result of food intolerances. However, in a few individuals with allergies, especially asthma, their illness could be triggered or exacerbated by MSG.

MSG is the sodium salt of glutamic acid, which is an amino acid found in most proteins. It is produced by a natural fermentation process from sugar cane molasses, sugar beet, starch or corn sugar. It is a component of common foods such as milk (including breast milk), meat, fish and certain vegetables. Free (uncombined) glutamic acid and its salt, sodium glutamate, are also natural components of many foodstuffs.

The body makes no distinction between 'free' and 'bound' glutamate. Glutamate exists in the 'bound' form when linked with other amino acids to form proteins. It is also found in nature in the 'free' form, not linked to protein but present in plant and animal tissues. It is 'free' glutamate which plays a role in palatability and acceptability of foods. Foods that contain high levels of glutamate include cheese, ripe tomatoes and mushrooms. The average person consumes between 10 and 20 grams of bound glutamate and one gram of free glutamate daily while the human body itself also manufactures free glutamate continuously. Glutamate is also the precursor of the important amino acid, glutamine, which plays an essential role in the immune system as well as for the maintenance of the health of the small intestine.

Glutamate, in the form of MSG added to food, is metabolised by the body in the same way as glutamate that naturally exists in food. Once digested the body does not differentiate between the origins of the glutamate. For example, the body is not capable of distinguishing between glutamate naturally occurring in tomatoes and MSG which may have been added to tomato sauce.

For food manufacturers to label products 'No MSG Added' is misleading as it implies that there is a distinction between 'free' glutamate and 'bound' glutamate and that the added form is in some way 'unsafe'. This misleading information leads to wrong perceptions among consumers.

This view is endorsed by the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which disallows the labelling of foods 'No MSG' or 'No Added MSG' because it is misleading, if the foods contain ingredients that are sources of free glutamates (FDA Report August, 1995). In South Africa, legislation requires that all foods with added MSG must list the ingredient as monosodium glutamate. However, additional labelling legislation is desirable which will prohibit manufacturers of foods that contain free glutamate from including misleading information on their labels, influencing consumers negatively.

Since 1958, the US FDA has designated MSG as a Generally Regarded as Safe (GRAS) ingredient along with many other foodstuffs such as salt, vinegar and baking powder, confirming MSG's safety for the general population, including pregnant and lactating women, and children.

- Dr Ingrid van Heerden, Registered Dietitian
Chairman of the Professional Panel of the Glutamate Advisory Council of South Africa.


The Glutamate Advisory Council is guided by a panel of healthcare professionals to assess the effects in humans of monosodium glutamate and other glutamates to ensure that statements made and actions taken concerning glutamates are in the best interest of consumers.
The panel comprises in alphabetical order:
Heinz Brunner, Chairman, SA Chefs Association
Aubrey Parsons, Immediate Past President , SA Association of Food Science and Technology
Professor Harry Seftel, Emeritus Professor of Medicine, Johannesburg Hospital, University of the Witwatersrand.
Dr Harris Steinman, Allergy Society of South Africa.
Dr Ingrid van Heerden, Association for Dietetics in South Africa
Dr Pieter van Twisk, Nutrition Society of Southern Africa
Professor Trevor Winter, Chairman, SA Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition.

Editorial contacts: Dr Ingrid van Heerden:
Christine Leighton: Tel: 012-667-3980 Cell 082-453-9017
Bill Paterson: Tel: 011-403-3999 Cell 082-881-8773

Issued by the Glutamate Advisory Council of South Africa
10th Floor Noswal Hall 3 Stiemens Street Braamfontein
Carol H
Posted on Friday, June 07, 2002 - 6:25 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I've got questions for them. Couldn't the fact that glutamine is involved in the immune system affect immune response? Is that not what an allergy is? Immune response? They are disingenous when they say that MSG is not an allergen. It was never considered one. It is too small. Any half-scientific person knows that an antibody needs something big enough to be a protein to attach to in a key-lock situation. However, it would be interesting to see their reaction when they see the scientific data showing that histamine response is actually decreased by the presence of glutamate blockers. I am not saying restaurant deaths attributed to MSG were not also caused by consumption of a "true" allergen. However, if the difference between an allergen filled meal without MSG and a more severe reaction to an allergen filled meal WITH MSG is the difference bewteen the survival or death of a victim, I'd say that the presence of MSG could possibly be a matter of life and death. Have they seen the data from Johns Hopkins that relates the nervous system to the immune system re: asthma? Do they understand that glutamate is a neurotransmitter? Do they understand that neurotransmitters are involved in the nervous system?
Why else would a body call itself the Glutamate Advisory Council unless it was sponsored by industry? The drivel they are passing off as science sounds like it came straight from a Glutamate Association glossy brochure. I still have a brochure from ten years ago when they were bragging about how they had hired this woman called Kristin McNutt who was really entrenched in the Nutrition scene to launch their PR war after 60 Minutes did that story on MSG. The "Glutes" were using the tactic of hiring nutritionists and dieticians ten years ago. Wish they'd try something new. Now, really. Nutritionists and Dieticians and Food Scientists. I was a Food Scientist. I know what they are taught and what they aren't. I could write a book about the gaps in the instruction of Food Science professionals in this country. I am humbled by civil engineering. There are still structures around that were built thousands of years ago. These clowns really beleive that they have the universe figured out in less than one century. Their hubris is not to be believed. Thanks for letting me vent. Cool they have phone numbers. I'll think I'll give them a jingle :)
Just Fed Up
Posted on Friday, June 07, 2002 - 7:04 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

First of all the Glut advisory of South America?????? he he
I think North America has better commitees and doctors ect,
Your brain knows the differance between glutamates
What a waste of breath.
The most important question is ,,, if all the MSG and gluts is suppose to be good for you, why are they trying to persuade you to think that this junk is good for you???
Why do they need to fight it??
Deb A.
Posted on Sunday, June 09, 2002 - 1:18 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

They are nervous...plain and simple. The glutamate producers and giant food conglomerates can afford to hire anyone to say anything, putting any spin on any so-called scientific info they have. They are high paid smooth talking lobbyists...more interested in their pay check than hurting millions. These vast companies are very aware of the growing interest and awareness of MSG/glutamate and they have web sites and press releases working for them in nations all over the world.
Sue Clark
Posted on Friday, July 01, 2005 - 9:43 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

So tell my stomach that garbage won't hurt you/it's "good" for you, when it's trying to get it out of my body and I'm worshiping the great porcelan (sp) Goddess for hours on end and then can't figure out what my name is the next day. Been battling it for 8 years now, getting tougher to find food all the time.
Jerry Story
Posted on Friday, July 01, 2005 - 11:56 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Here are some lies:

* There was a guy who was so thin that he had to stand twice in the same place to make a good shadow.

* There was a giraffe that had a neck so long that a hiccup took 12 hours.

* There was a building that was so tall that it had to have a hole in it to let the moon go by.

* There was a guy who had arthritis and he heard that electricity was good for arthritis. But he was a nature nut and he didn't believe in artificial electricity, so during an electrical storm he went outside and caught a lightning bolt in his mouth. His throat was so hot that for a whole month he ate vittles raw and by the time they got down to his stomach they were cooked.

* The body makes no distinction between 'free' and 'bound' glutamate.
That explains why a chunk of meat won't harm a dog but a tablespoon of MSG wrapped in a bun will kill the dog.

That also explains the experiences of people in this discussion group who are sensitive to MSG.

And it explains why food manufacturers insist on glutamate being 'free', so it affects taste.

The glutes probably would have won the lying contest, except that lies with obscene content are disqualified.
Deb A.
Posted on Saturday, July 02, 2005 - 7:36 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Sue, you can go to our site and read more information there..also our book for newcomers to the MSG connection is available there if you want some real help with shopping, cooking and lots of answers to your questions...we wrote it for people who are stuggling with this just as I did for 21 are way ahead of me....and you can take back your health as I did....and eat well.
Posted on Thursday, September 15, 2005 - 12:26 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

For thirty five years I have tried to find what is wrong with my gut. Couldn't eat many things, or take medications. Decided to start a list,no caffiene,no MSG (see, all I knew was the letters, not what else was involved), only lactose free milk,the reactions from medications, etc;. All I heard from the doctors was "overactive nervous gut". "There isn't anything wrong with you, but nerves". I felt like I was being slowly poisoned to death, that if anything killed me, health wise, it would be my digestive system. I would see flashing lights, tightness in my chest,chills, sinuitis, diarrhea,then emptiness, and having to eat to quite it down, sore tongue, swelling of lips, hives,etc; Then high blood pressure and unable to take medications to bring it down and Doctors scratching their heads, how can we get your BP down without medications, still trying to stick more poison down my gut. I did research on top of research. Had colonoscopy,and all the tests required. Conclusion: Polyps,(benigned) small diverticulitis, would suggest IBS. Went to an allergist, she couldn't treat me, suggested exercise to lose weight and calm the nerves. Oh why go on, you know the whole story. Researched on IBS discussion board. Then all gut problems people had like,gluten intolerence,etc; came upon MSG, knowing I couldn't tolerate it and then I knew I wasn't going crazy and there was something wrong. I sent for your book "Battling the MSG Myth" Quit eating the bad things and all of a sudden my gut went back to normal. Seventy five years old, thirty five years gone. Thank you, thank you, from the bottom of my heart,. Now how do I convince my doctor, and get her help on medications without the bad stuff in them? Oh well, the biggest problem has been solved, only people do not want to know about what we have found out, how long will it take to them realize what we are being fed????
Deb A.
Posted on Friday, September 16, 2005 - 10:16 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

What I did for my thyroid drugs and for any antibiotics, was get a list from my doctor of the various ones he usually prescibes for the conditions I was facing. Then I took the list to my pharmacist and asked for the excipient lists of these meds..a small rolled up piece of paper that comes with their big orders. It will name all the to the lists of glutamate containing substances, or do a web search on those you know nothing about. My doctor will prescibe capsules for antibiotics, knowing that I will remove the meds and take them with pure applesauce. I have tolerated some pills, but often wash the outer coating first. Anonymous, thank you for sharing your story. I know what you mean when you say,"35 years gone"...I was ill for 21 years. We, as a people, are slow to learn that something we love and trust, namely our tasty, easy to prepare, processed foods are dangerous to our health. It took many years to accept that tobacco was harmful, and it is still a huge health problem. But if we all keep sharing our knowledge and stories, without worry of what others think, eventually, people will get smart...and so had manufacturers, who care more about profits than us. I'm so happy that you are feeling so much have an advantage that most 75 year olds do not have....healthier food that you eat now. Stay well!
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