Featured Articles

MSG – A Pervasive Neurotoxin

by: Ingri Cassel

This column’s initial focus was on basic naturopathic health principles, encouraging people to incorporate lifestyle changes that include cooking from scratch, eating and growing their own organic food, using herbs, and detoxification protocols. Many readers have asked if we have done a column on MSG. Although I hadn’t done one, it was always on the backburner. Now that so many children and adults have been hoodwinked into squirting the MSG-containing H1N1 nasal spray up their nose and our food supply is literally laced with it even when items are purchased from the health food store, I can no longer postpone sharing with our readers what science has known all along about this toxic substance.

One of the primary additives used in food products is monosodium glutamate (MSG), a chemical added to enhance flavor. This substance occurs naturally in seaweed and has been used in oriental countries for thousands of years safely since the body is usually able to process this natural form of glutamate. However, in the 1940s, MSG was commercially produced by isolating a part of naturally occurring glutamates as free glutamic acid. It is called “free” because it is not stabilized by a protein as it is in most foods. It is this form of free glutamate that causes so many adverse reactions. Commercial MSG is comprised of processed free glutamic acid, sodium, moisture and about one percent contaminants. It was introduced into commercial food products in 1948 and has been widely used as a flavor enhancer ever since.
MSG is an excitotoxin

MSG is in a class of chemicals often referred to as excitotoxins. These chemicals excite neurons (nerve cells) throughout the body, literally exciting them to death. At lower concentrations, the neurons themselves do not die but rather the connections between them, called synapses, shrivel and die. Other pervasive excitotoxins are aspartame, mercury, aluminum, L-cystein and sodium fluoride (added to municipal water and toothpaste.) Retired neurosurgeon Russell Blaylock, MD (author of Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills), stated the following:

“It is a rule of neurology that a disorder caused by the destruction of a particular area of the brain… will produce no clincal signs until 70 to 80 percent of the brain area is destroyed.” Blaylock claims there is growing evidence that excitotoxins are a major cause of degenerative brain diseases in adults including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, ALS and MS diseases. He has also stated that once ingested (or injected) excitotoxins interact with one another and increase the toxicity of each chemical a hundred-fold.
John Erb

The man responsible for bringing to the public’s attention the devastating effects of MSG is John Erb, author of The Slow Poisoning of America. After writing his book, he submitted a 24-page report to the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives in August 2006, “The Slow Poisoning of Mankind – A Report on the Toxic Effects of the Food Additive Monosodium Glutamate.” In this well-cited document, Erb states:

“The Codex Alimentarius lists Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) as a flavor enhancer with no daily limit to be added to a broad range of food categories. MSG is an amino acid that affects almost every major system and organ in the body. Glutamate receptors trigger many different responses and can be over stimulated to cause cell death and other systemic problems. For thirty years, scientists and researchers have used MSG in their experiments to purposely create obese and pre-diabetic test subjects, trigger epileptic seizures, create ischemic stroles, and destroy cell tissues in vivo and in vitro. The amount of studies that use MSG to cause negative effects in test subjects numbers over one thousand, published in a variety of medical and scientific journals in over a dozen different countries.

“There is mounting evidence that not only the rise in human obesity and diabetes is linked to the ingestion of Monosodium Glutamate, but the increase in Autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder as well.

“In light of the overwhelming evidence showing the detrimental effects of the food additive MSG, it is requested that the FAO/WHO’s Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) remove monosodium glutamate (and ingredients that contain MSG) from the allowable additives list of the Codex Alimentarius, and have it banned from vaccines as well….

“Because food manufacturers do not have to list the amount of MSG on their packaging, there is no way of knowing how much a normal child or adult would ingest in a day’s period. According to industry research 0.6% added to food is optimal for making people eat progressively more and faster… If this is the case, as much as .6% of a person’s daily diet could be made up of MSG. In a daily intake of 2 kgs of laced food the adult or child would receive a 12 gram dose of monosodium glutamate. A 12 gram dosage of MSG is lethal to a one kg rat.

“Though previous JECFA reports have disallowed MSG in foods for infants or those under one year of age, many infants and children receive doses of MSG in a variety of vaccinations. [See Appendix C.]

“MSG is now being sprayed on crops and can become airborne. Though the Codex Alimentarius specifically disallows MSG addition to fresh fruits and vegetables, Auxigro, with 30% MSG content, has been approved by some countries to be sprayed on crops of fresh fruits and vegetables. Airborne effects of MSG sprays have not been studied by the JECFA.”

The rest of Erb’s report cites several shocking medical journal articles, one dating back to 1975, proving just how toxic this additive is, especially to the developing fetus and newborn. Appendix B of Erb’s report is a complete list of common food ingredients that contain MSG, proving how manufacturers hide the presence of MSG. Also included is part of his Appendix C that lists vaccines containing MSG that are administered to children and adults in the U.S.

John Erb also petitioned the FDA to revoke the GRAS (Generally recognized as safe) status of MSG on December 17, 2007 with a similar document. There were several letters of support submitted to the FDA for Docket ID: FDA-2007-P-0178 . To date, the FDA has taken no action on Erb’s life saving petition.
Appendix B – List of Ingredients Involving MSG

These contain Monosodium Glutamate:
Glutamate, monosodium glutamate, monopotassium glutamate, glutamic acid, gelatin, calcium caseinate, textured protein, sodium caseinate, yeast nutrient, yeast extract, yeast food, autolyzed yeast, hydrolyzed protein (any protein that is hydrolyzed), hydrolyzed corn gluten, natrium glutamate (natrium is Latin/German for sodium).

These OFTEN contain MSG or create MSG during processing: Carrageenan, maltodextrin, malt extract, natural pork flavoring, natural chicken flavoring, natural beef flavoring, bouillon and broth, stock, soy protein isolate, citric acid, malt flavoring, ultra-pasteurized, soy sauce, soy sauce extract, soy protein, soy protein concentrate, barley malt, pectin, protease, protease enzymes, whey protein, whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate, anything protein fortified, flavor(s) & flavoring(s), anything enzyme modified, anything fermented, natural flavor(s) & flavoring(s), seasonings (the word “seasonings”.)

Note: There is a difference between fermented foods that you make yourself versus ones bought in the store.
Appendix C – List of Vaccines Involving MSG

Note: Gelatin and ingredients that use the word Hydrolyzed contain Glutamate.
MMR – Measles-Mumps-Rubella, Merck & Co., Inc.:
*measles, mumps, rubella live virus, neomycin sorbitol, hydrolyzed gelatin, chick embryonic fluid, and human diploid cells from aborted fetal tissue.
M-R-Vax – Measles-Rubella, Merck & Co., Inc.:
*measles, rubella live virus, neomycin, sorbitol, hydrolyzed gelatin, chick embryonic fluid, and human diploid cells from aborted fetal tissue.
Attenuvax – Measles, Merck & Co., Inc.:
*measles live virus, neomycin, sorbitol, hydrolyzed gelatin, chick embryo.
Biavax – Rubella, Merck & Co., Inc.:
*rubella live virus, neomycin, sorbitol, hydrolyzed gelatin, human diploid cells from aborted fetal tissue.
Prevnar Pneumococcal – 7-Valent Conjugate Vaccine, Wyeth Lederle:
*saccharides from capsular Streptococcus pneumoniae antigens (7 serotypes) individually conjugated to diphtheria CRM 197 protein, aluminum phosphate, ammonium sulfate, soy protein, yeast.
Varivax – Chickenpox, Merck & Co., Inc.:
*varicella live virus, neomycin phosphate, sucrose, monosodium glutamate (MSG), processed gelatin, fetal bovine serum, guinea pig embryo cells, albumin from human blood, and human diploid cells from aborted fetal tissue.
YF-VAX – Yellow Fever, Aventis Pasteur USA:
*17D strain of yellow fever virus, sorbitol, chick embryo, and gelatin.

Note: MedImmune’s H1N1 vaccine, the one administered intranasally, contains monosodium glutamate, hydrolyzed protein gelatin, and various forms of phosphates. See section 11, page 13 of the package insert.
An ever-present problem

From hospitals to school cafeterias to nursing homes, MSG is added to mass produced food to increase its palatability. MSG awareness activists call it nicotine for food. Young women today are being exposed to a major toxin causing irreparable damage to their child even before they discover they are pregnant.

Shocked by his discovery, John Erb met with Dr. Thomas Ward, Nova Scotia’s Deputy Minister of Health, a pediatrician who specialized in Neonatology. When Erb explained to Dr. Ward about the dangers of MSG, Dr. Ward replied, “I know how awful the stuff is, I would never touch it.” When Erb pressed the Deputy Health Minister to remove it from all food products, Dr. Ward said that it was an issue for the federal government, and suggested that Erb take his book, The Slow Poisoning of America, to the federal government and “Hit them over the head with it.”

John Erb took his discovery to Dr. Susan Bryson, head of the Autism Research Center in Halifax, and one of the leading Autism scientists in Canada. She was amazed by his findings, and confirmed that current studies being done by the National Institute of Health (NIH) show that the cause of Autism has been linked to a toxin invading the embryo’s brain stem at as early as twenty days after conception. While the NIH had not yet identified the toxin, they just might figure out where to focus their research if they were to pay attention to the thousands of studies performed on rodents using MSG.

“The sooner people know that MSG can cause ADHD and Autism in their unborn children, the sooner they can take steps to avoid being another victim of the steadily increasing numbers of these disorders,” John Erb states. Autism, unheard of before 1950, has now risen to epidemic proportions with one in every 67 children diagnosed with the affliction.

MSG has been hidden in food ingredient lists as hydrolyzed vegetable protein, autolyzed yeast extract, soy protein isolate, and many other names. Every year, the amount of this substance hidden in foods rises astronomically. Just because the name MSG does not appear on the label does not mean that the food does not contain the excitotoxin glutamate.

“People should demand that the food industry, both restaurants and food manufacturers, remove the added glutamate in all its forms from anything we ingest,” John Erb states emphatically. “The fact that they add it to make us addicted to their food is appalling enough, but considering it is doing terrible damage to our children, for that there is no excuse. The sooner these corporations are held accountable for poisoning us, the sooner we can eradicate ADHD and Autism from the maternity wards across the nation.”

And MSG is just one of the excitotoxins our children are consuming daily. Aspartame is in nearly all store-bought mints, chewing gum and children’s antibiotics and vitamins; L-cystein is in all commercial bakery products as a dough conditioner; and most food is processed using fluoridated muncipal water supplies. Add this to the fact that the media and government are in collusion with big business to keep this vital information from you and your family. So what can we do? Learn how to cook from scratch and grow a garden, and print out this article so you can make copies and share it with everyone you know.

Enzyme Plus

Leave a Reply