Saturday, September 6, 2008

If MSG isn't harmful, why is it hidden?

I was watching the Home Shopping Network yesterday...not because it's a regular passtime of mine, mind you...My Mom wanted me to watch because Suzan Somers was going to be on talking about her new book that is coming out September 9th called, "Breakthrough: 8 Steps to Wellness". Mom is a big Suzan Somers fan...she likes Suzan's books about health, dieting, & bio-identical hormones & her line of food. So I tune in & watched just a bit (I'll watch more of it later...I taped it. lol). The part that really got my attention was when she was talking about MSG...How bad it is for you (which I already new) & OTHER NAMES FOR IT...HOW IT'S HIDDEN IN FOOD.

Now this is really concerning for me because I already know that my body doesn't like MSG so I avoid it like the plauge...Or at least I thought I was. MSG contributes to a multitude of symptoms...including Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome symptoms. Turns out that food manufacturers don't even have to list can be called something else entirely...they can even put NO MSG ADDED on their label & it is a 'true' statement because the MSG wasn't added...BUT AN INGREDIENT THAT IS LISTED MAY HAVE MSG IN IT. What's worse...our fresh veggies & fruits can be sprayed with it...even organic products & fresh veggies & fruits can have MSG in it. Here's a list of just some of the ingredients that MSG is disguised under:

Autolyzed Yeast
Sodium Caseinate
Soy Sauce
Natural Flavorings
Yeast Autolysate
Brewers Yeast
Nutritional Yeast
Calcium Citrate
Hydrolyzed Soybean Protein
Soy Protein
Odalized Yeast
Beef Broth
Chicken Broth

I looked through a few of the food items in my kitchen & guess what...turns out that I am still poisoning myself...unknowingly. So this would explain why, even though I'm doing MUCH better most days, I still have 'unexplainable' relapses.

The following article is from (lots of informaiton on their website including symptoms & reactions to MSG):

Where is MSG hidden?

MSG can be used (and hidden) in processed food, dietary supplements, cosmetics, personal care products, and drugs. It can be used in waxes applied to fresh fruits and vegetables. It can be used as ingredients in pesticides, fungicides, fertilizers, and plant growth enhancers -- remaining in the edible portion of the plant or on the edible portion of the plant when its leaves, fruits, nuts, grains, and other edible parts are brought to market.

MSG is shorthand for processed free glutamic acid, i.e., glutamic acid that has been manufactured or freed from protein through processing or bacterial fermentation. It is a toxic substance. It can be used without disclosure.

To understand how MSG can easily be hidden, you must first understand that there are two very distinct ways of manufacturing MSG. The first is through manufacture of a product called "monosodium glutamate." There are a number of ways in which this can be achieved, but the end result will always be a product that contains glutamic acid (glutamate), sodium (salt), moisture, and a number of contaminants. It is important to understand that in "monosodium glutamate," glutamic acid will be the only amino acid present. If there were other amino acids present while the "monosodium glutamate" was being manufactured, they would have been cleaned out. When any product contains 79% free glutamic acid (with the balance being made up of salt, moisture, and up to 1 per cent contaminants), the product is called "monosodium glutamate" by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and must be labeled as such. FDA regulations require that all food ingredients be called by their "common or usual names," and "monosodium glutamate" is the "common or usual name" of the ingredient that contains 79% free glutamic acid (with the balance being made up of salt, moisture, and up to 1 per cent contaminants).

"Monosodium glutamate" was invented in 1908 by Kikunae Ikeda of Tokyo, Japan who noticed that glutamic acid had flavor-enhancing potential. Prior to that time, the Japanese had used seaweed as a favorite flavor enhancer, without understanding that glutamic acid was its flavor-enhancing component.

The second way of producing MSG is through breakdown of protein, i.e., processed free glutamic acid (MSG) is created when protein is either partially or fully broken apart into its constituent amino acids. A protein can be broken into its constituent amino acids in a number of ways (autolysis, hydrolysis, enzymolysis, and/or fermentation). When a protein is subject to autolysis, hydrolysis, enzymolysis, and/or fermentation, the amino acid chains in the protein are broken, and the amino acids are freed. Acids, enzymes, and/or fermentation processes may be used to create MSG in this way.

There are over 40 food ingredients besides "monosodium glutamate" that contain processed free glutamic acid (MSG). Each, according to the FDA, must be called by its own, unique, "common or usual name." "Autolyzed yeast," "maltodextrin," "sodium caseinate," and "soy sauce" are the common or usual names of some ingredients that contain MSG. Unlike the ingredient called "monosodium glutamate," they give the consumer no clue that there is MSG in the ingredient.

The Truth in Labeling Campaign has asked the FDA to require manufacturers to identify ingredients that contain MSG by listing MSG on a product's label. In response, we have been told that FDA regulations require that all food ingredients be called by their "common or usual names," but there is no requirement that a constituent of an ingredient be identified. Processed free glutamic acid (MSG) is considered to be a constituent of a hydrolyzed protein or fermentation product because the MSG is created during the hydrolyzation or fermentation process. To autolyze yeast, for example, yeast is subject to processing; and during that processing, protein is broken down, and glutamic acid is freed. The finished autolyzed yeast product will, therefore, always contain processed free glutamic acid (MSG) as a constituent of the autolyzed yeast. The MSG will not have been poured into the autolyzed yeast. Rather, the MSG will have been processed into the autolyzed yeast.

The distinction between having MSG poured into an ingredient and processed into an ingredient is important because the glutamate industry plays on this distinction in their efforts to hide the presence of MSG. One of their favorite ways of hiding MSG is to claim that there is "no added MSG" in a product. If MSG is processed into a product instead of being poured into a product, they declare that there is "no MSG added" or "no added MSG," in the product, even though they know full well that the product contains MSG.

That the FDA allows these distinctions to be made; that the FDA refuses to monitor those who make false claims about the presence of MSG in a product; that the FDA refers consumers who are concerned about the toxic effects of MSG to agents of the glutamate industry such as The Glutamate Association; and that the FDA refuses to require that MSG in a product be disclosed, testifies to the close ties between the FDA, Ajinomoto, Co., Inc., and the rest of the glutamate industry. It is true that the FDA does not require that the constituents of ingredients be identified. But there is nothing in FDA regulations to prevent constituents of ingredients from being identified. And there is precedent for identifying constituents of ingredients, such as cholesterol.

Although glutamic acid had been isolated in 1866 by the German chemist Karl Ritthausen, it was not until well into the 1900s that food technologists began to break various protein products into individual amino acids and used the processed free glutamic acid (MSG) as a flavor-enhancer. Today, some of those hydrolyzed protein and fermentation products are designed to replace "monosodium glutamate" as a flavor enhancer, because manufacturers know that consumers are looking for products without MSG in them, and that consumers may well not realize that products such as "yeast extract," "autolyzed yeast," and "soy sauce" are nothing more than flavor enhancers that invariably contain MSG.

The flavor enhancer known as "monosodium glutamate" was first brought to the United States in quantity in the late 1940s. Today, processed free glutamic acid (MSG), the toxic ingredient in the food ingredient called "monosodium glutamate," and a toxic ingredient in hydrolyzed protein, enzyme modified, and fermentation products, is found in most processed food. In 1997, MSG was introduced in a plant "growth enhancer" (AuxiGro) to be applied to the soil or sprayed on growing crops. Today, we know of no crop that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has failed to approve for treatment with AuxiGro. People first reported MSG reactions following ingestion of lettuce, strawberries, and giant russet potatoes in 1997 -- people who didn't know at the time that those crops might have been sprayed with a product that contained MSG.

The glutamate industry is adamantly opposed to letting consumers know where MSG is hidden. Why? Because the glutamate industry understands that MSG is a toxic substance: that it causes adverse reactions, brain lesions, endocrine disorders and more. And the glutamate industry must understand, as we do, that if MSG in food, drugs, and cosmetics were disclosed on product labels, people who reacted to those products might realize that it was MSG they were reacting to, and might, therefore, refrain from buying products that contain MSG.

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