The Cover-Up of Hidden MSG

The safety of MSG is a controversial issue that deserves much more attention, debate and discussion within the health industry, the mainstream media and the public. Independent researchers, experts and whistle-blowers claim that MSG functions not only as a flavor enhancer, but as a harmful neurotoxin that has adverse effects in the short term and long term for much more than 2% of the public. However, the FDA regards MSG as generally safe and claims that only 2% of the public suffers from adverse reactions to it. They allow many companies, such Kraft, Pringles and Campbell’s Soup, to hide it in seemingly benign ingredients without including it on the label. In many ways, the FDA has been part of a cover-up of hidden MSG in many food and beverage products as well as a cover-up of MSG’s potential health risks. The public deserves the right to have proper labeling of MSG and to be completely aware of its many health risks in order to make fully informed decisions.

The terms “MSG” and “Processed Free Glutamic Acid” can be used interchangeably because they’re essentially and functionally equivilant. Sodium has no function in MSG other than to turn it into the salt form commonly known as monosodium glutamate. The only way a smart consumer can avoid it is by knowing the list of ingredients that contain or result in MSG.

Food and beverage companies often use Processed Free Glutamic Acid (MSG) as a cheap flavor enhancer. However, according to independent studies and researchers/insiders such as neurosurgeon Dr. Russell Blaylock, ex-food processing scientist and engineer Carol Hoernlein (, consumer advocate Debbie Anglesey (, Dr. John W. Olney, and MSG activists and investigators Jack Samuels & Dr. Adrienne Samuels, the founders of the Truth in Labeling Campaign (, Processed Free Glutamic Acid is also a harmful neurotoxin and excitotoxin that leads to and/or worsens many health problems ranging from headaches, migraines, mood change, nausea, pains in joints/bones, sleep disorders, chronic post nasal drip, heart irregularities and excessive perspiration to Asthma, ADD, Depression, Obesity and many more. It is also implicated in neurodegenerative diseases such as Lou Gehrig’s (ALS), Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

According to the FDA and The Glutamate Association (see, MSG is regarded as natural and generally safe. The FDA’s wordy rules and regulations treat bound glutamate and free glutamate as one despite that free glutamate is processed and more harmful to your health than bound glutamate, which is found in protein that had not been processed by manufacturers or through fermentation. Jack Samuels commented that “the staff at the FDA are unbelievably fantastic in their ability to write in a way that deceives the public, but loosely based on fact. We refer to such writing as half truths. Read the FDA points carefully and you will see how MSG can be hidden in foods.” The FDA has not returned phone calls to comment about this important matter yet.

Please feel free to watch this 60 Minutes segment about hidden MSG from 1991.

The FDA allows companies to hide Processed Free Glutamic Acid (MSG) in many seemingly benign ingredients without disclosing its presence or precise quantity on labels. Moreover, the FDA considers all of those ingredients to be natural even though they contain the artificial chemical, Processed Free Glutamic Acid (MSG).

The following ingredients always contain various amounts of unlabeled Processed Free Glutamic Acid (MSG):

Autolyzed yeast

Calcium caseinate

Dry milk powder

Dry mily protein



Glutamic acid

Hydrolyzed corn gluten

Hydrolyzed soy protein

Hydrolyzed wheat protein

Monopotassium glutamate

Monosodium glutamate

Natrium glutamate

Sodium caseinate

Textured protein

Yeast food

Yeast nutrient

The following ingredients often contain or result in various amounts of unlabeled Processed Free Glutamic Acid (MSG):

Barley malt




Citric acid

Corn Starch

Corn Syrup



High Fructose Corn Syrup


Malt extract

Malted Barley

Malt flavoring

Natural chicken flavoring

Natural beef flavoring

Natural flavors/flavor

Natural pork flavoring


Protein fortified food


Soy protein isolate

Soy protein or soy protein concentrate

Soy sauce




Whey protein

Whey protein concentrate

Whey protein isolate

Regardless of whether or not Processed Free Glutamic Acid (MSG) is safe, why doesn’t the FDA require companies to disclose it on food/beverage labels? Why does the FDA consider MSG to be natural? Why isn’t the list of ingredients that contain MSG fully exposed to the public, students, doctors and the mainstream media? Why are food and drugs regulated by the same administration and not separate ones? What will it take to bring accountability and democracy into the health industry?

When asked whether the public has the right to know all sides of the issue of MSG so that they can make fully informed decisions, Heidi Rebello, Deputy Assistant Commissioner of Public Affairs at the FDA, replied, “Yes, of course. Why wouldn’t they?” In reality, though, the public doesn’t know all sides of the issue given the cover up of hidden MSG and all of its health hazards. Recall that the FDA had once were part of the cover-up claiming that cigarettes were safe for the public.

Please feel free to continue consuming McDonald’s, Burger King, Dorito’s, Pringles, Pepsi, Entenmann’s, Snapple, Glaceau Vitamin Water and Campbell’s Soup if you desire to, but at least consume it while knowing all of the risks to your health. Do you trust independent studies/researchers or the FDA? Would you take the health risks to consume a food or beverage that has MSG, a controversial, potentially toxic ingredient, even if it’s allowed to be hidden on labels? Do you believe that the FDA is truly living up to its mission statement (click here)? Decide for yourself, do the research, and, most importantly, ask questions.