GRASSROOTS ACTION: “They Added WHAT To My Food?! No, dude!” No. 1: GMOs, MSG & Senomyx

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Posted by Laura Hagen, HWFC Member-Owner.

GRASSROOTS ACTION IS POWERFUL! is a blog dedicated to American independently-owned, Member-Owned & operated, community food co-ops, their Member-Owners and families.

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UPDATE: MARCH 19, 2017: See my newest article at the Co-op  Voice, published today, entitled: MSG and Deceptive Labeling: The Hidden Toxic Chemical in Your Family’s Food-Part 1.

TEASER ALERT:

Next blogpost will highlight the awesome work of the Member Owners of LA Montañita Food Co-op in Albuquerque, New Mexico who are taking back their co-op… …just like we at the Honest Weight Food Co-op in Albany, New York are doing!!! Some Member-Owners of La Montañita are readers of this GRASSROOTS ACTION IS POWERFUL blog; their work is truly awesome and I look forward to sharing that news with you.

Here is their September 6, 2016 Press Release.

SHOUT OUT OVER THE MILES TO FELLOW FOOD CO-OP MEMBER-OWNERS IN THE ~~LAND OF ENCHANTMENT!~~

GRASSROOTS ACTION, BABY!

See the latest edition of the HWFC Co-op Voice, here.

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       Thank you to my many loyal GRASSROOTS ACTION IS POWERFUL! readers who urged me to get back to blogging! And hello to RP, who is a brand new GRASSROOTS reader from HWFC …who has a special interest in protecting herself from MSG.

After more than a two month hiatus in blogging, GRASSROOTS is back! This blogpost is the first- Number 1 –  in the promised series of  They Added WHAT To My Food?! No, dude!, the companion series to My Food Comes From WHERE?! Oh, there which was posted on June 12, 2016.

And, of course, all information provided by this blog is intended solely for consumer educational purposes only and is not intended to offer medical advice, nor substitute for professional diagnosis or treatment of any disease or condition by your doctors and health care providers. Discuss any information with your doctors and health care providers, first.

So, without further ado the first installment of:

They Added WHAT To My Food?! No, dude!

       You’ll note my last three blogposts were following Congressional voting on THE DARK ACT here, here, and here.

It passed. It is law. Done deal.

Blogging ceased for a while as this darkness descended. The blog went cold.

It is a dark day for those of us in the U.S. who value and who need high-quality, organic, safe, locally-produced, non-GMO food for our families.

BIG FOOD and BIG ORGANIC won this round. They get to further taint and poison our food supply …and now we will be eating GMOs and not even know it.

Were we protected by the largest national organic trade association: the industry’s lobbying arm? Nope. The Organic Consumers Association is calling the Organic Trade Association the Organic Traitors Association for its support of The Dark Act.

A walk down the aisles of our food co-op with the list of members of the Organic Trade Association will reveal just how many “organic” corporations went over to the dark side.

Ethical moment: do you  want to give your family’s hard-earned food dollars to any of these “organic” corporations?

Consider boycotting members of the Organic Trade Association – don’t buy their food – and ask your food co-op to immediately drop out of the Organic Trade Association if it’s a member, as well. And make sure you tell the OTA why.

Food co-op Member-Owners, are United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI) and National Co-op Grocers (NCG) members of the Organic Trade Association? Don’t you think you’d better find out?

Read this U.S. Right to Know series of articles about GMOs, here, here and here and do a search on GMOs at the Organic Consumers Association, here.

DAY-TO-DAY FAMILY LIFE WITH THE DARK ACT

GMOs will start showing up everywhere.

Will it be safe now to eat out at a restaurant?

Nope.

Will  it be safe to buy food that is non-organic?

Nope.

Will eating dinner over at a friend’s home have to be politely declined …or prefaced with a question-list of the foods the host or hostess is using to prepare dinner?

Yup. Unless you (politely) simply act the good guest and eat the GMOs and be done with it.

Will the labels on “natural” and “organic” foods tell you more about what’s in your food so you can make wise and safe choices for your family?

Nope.

Will brightly colored boxes of cool-looking “natural” food – you know those enticing packages of crackers & cereal & cookies & soy or wheat protein products – screaming statements of health and vitality – offer a guarantee of non-GMO safety for our children, our families?

Nope.

Will your children be exposed to GMOs in the lunch food they buy at school?

Yup.

Ditto: play dates, Boy Scouts & Girl Scouts, summer camp, after school events, sports events…

Will buying food at a U.S. locally-owned food co-operative guarantee safe and GMO-free food?

Nope.

THE DARK ACT gives BIG FOOD and BIG ORGANIC carte blanche with labeling. Merriam-Webster defines carte blanche as “permission to do something in any way you choose to do it.” That’s the permission Congress gave to BIG FOOD and BIG ORGANIC…

…and we consumers and our families now have virtually no way to defend against GMOs entering our bodies, harming our biomes, killing (or mutating the genes of …this is the really scary part) our own symbiotic bacteria, harming our immune systems, putting glyphosate (Round-Up) in circulation (in our soil, in our food supply, in our water supply, and in our bodies – a lot like the “pink” in The Cat in the Hat) and causing autoimmune disease and cancer rates to further skyrocket in the U.S.

If you continue to eat any  (non-organic) wheat products whatsoever (bread, bagels, cookies, pasta, cereal, crackers… ), you are likely ingesting Round-Up:

Unbeknownst to most consumers is the fact that just before harvest, a vast majority of conventional wheat grown in the U.S. is doused in Roundup herbicide [as a desiccant], which ends up poisoning your favorite breads, cereals, cakes, and pastries. … The latest U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) figures show that, as of 2012, 99 percent of durum wheat, 97 percent of spring wheat, and 61 percent of winter wheat is doused in herbicides prior to harvest. [1]

And those who are vegetarians and vegans? Given the high percentage of processed vegetarian products and non-meat proteins which are made from processed (non-organic, GMO) soy and processed (non-organic, GMO) wheat, the only choice to make is to either eat 100% organic …or abandon being a vegetarian or vegan.

Let’s not even talk about the effect upon our seed supply…

They can now – legally – hide GMOs in our food supply and they don’t even have to tell us.

SMARTPHONES TO THE RESCUE…?

       The whole point of the DARK ACT was to keep the name “GMO” off of the packaging & list of ingredients of food products. GMOs are present – or they might be present – (there’s the kicker) – you  just won’t know it from reading the label.

But if you are among the lucky who own a Smartphone, you can find out – have the secret revealed to you. How? Have the Smartphone read the “QR code” printed on the label: that square, black & white, boxy, squiggly thing.

There will also be 1-800 numbers and websites …but none of this is required to even kick in for the next two years! Notice the information about the presence of GMOs has been handily separated & divorced from the actual food product, itself.

So, you have to own a Smartphone (a huge percentage of seniors, people with disabilities and low-income Americans do not own Smartphones) and have access to the Internet (a huge percentage of senior, disabled, rural and low-income Americans do not have access to the Internet). Furthermore, does the store or co-op you are shopping in have Internet …and what if the the connection is spotty throughout the store ..and what if your battery is about to die …and what if you forgot our Smartphone in the car…

And who the devil is going to have time to stop and check every single QR code for every single item we buy while we are busy shopping??

Can you just see a busy Mom or Dad with two kids, juggling the shopping cart after work, as well as the Smartphone …as s/he dutifully tries to read QR codes in a busy foodstore or food co-op aisle?

It almost appears that this DARK ACT / QR Code system of checking our food supply was designed to fail, doesn’t it? Fail consumers, that is.

It certainly does not fail the needs of BIG FOOD, BIG ORGANIC or BIG AG.

It is well-known among IT people that QR codes can be hacked, so will we even be able to trust what the QR codes reveal if we can get in and through the above labyrinth successfully? And, did they tell us that accessing the QR code could place Malware directly into our Smartphones …i.e. you could damage your Smartphone and need the paid services of a computer technician to repair the damage …if it can be repaired?

So we are supposed to use our $500 Smartphones to access their data  – about the stuff they put into their food product  – and risk our Smartphones in the process?

Huh?

Does this seem a lot to you like Alice in Wonderland down-the-rabbit-hole?

And just what are you supposed to do if you are one of those millions of American  who lives on a low or fixed income, who is a senior, who lives in a rural location, or who has a disability …and who does not own a Smartphone or have Internet (estimated to be 1/3 of the population)?

Doesn’t it seem like whole classes of people got left out in the “consumer protections” offered in the DARK ACT?

What should they do? Grin and bear it? Stop shopping for food? Or simply eat the stuff…

What Dark Act supporters do not reveal is that the Dark Act lacks any enforcement mechanisms or any penalties for violations, making the labeling clauses (effectively) voluntary. And, there is a two-year time period allowed for implementation. So, in the next two years, there will GMOs in your food, with nothing on the labels  …and absolutely nothing at the other end of that Smartphone, 1-800 number or website….

FOOD LABELS DO MORE TO OBSCURE THAN REVEAL

       The alert and aware organic food consumer and co-op Member-Owner knows that the modern function of food labels is to allow BIG FOOD and BIG ORGANIC to be able to successfully hide what is in the “natural” and “organic” food they are selling  to us.

“Revealing” is not the primary goal of a food label anymore.

Add the DARK ACT’s QR Codes – a work-around to actually placing the word GMO directly onto the food product packaging itself – to that long list of deceptive labeling …i.e. ways to hide the cheaply produced chemicals, invisible additives, flavor enhancers, preservatives, food coloring, inferior food, old food and – let’s call a spade a spade – poisons, which are added to the food we buy for our families.

You need to become a detective to uncover the invisible ingredients which modern “natural” and “organic” food labels cleverly obscure.

PROCESSED FREE GLUTAMIC ACID: aka MSG

       We all know that MSG no longer appears as an ingredientt in food because BIG FOOD and BIG ORGANIC know that we know that MSG is “bad.” That is, we consumers got wise! Therefore, we began carefully reading labels and avoided purchasing food with “MSG” listed as an ingredient.

MSG is a neuro-toxin or an excitotoxin, a class of chemicals / chemical messengers, which excite brain cells into such frenetic activity that they can die. It is classified as a “flavor enhancer,” which means BIG FOOD and BIG ORGANIC can use cheaper, inferior ingredients and the MSG “fools” your brain into perceiving more taste / flavor. MSG also instantly creates food cravings when it hits your mouth and, eventually, your gut: sending instant messages to your brain to desire more of the product. You will want to eat/buy more of that food product – not because it is healthy and your system needs it – but because they know how to chemically create craving (and addiction) in a human mouth/digestive/brain system.

How handy for the bottom line of your favorite BIG FOOD or BIG ORGANIC food corporation: a proven way to sell more product!

Because there were enough alert consumers – who stopped buying foods labeled as containing MSG – they deep-sixed using the term “MSG.” Gone. Erased. Vanished.

They did not, however, stop using MSG in food.

They devised a work-around. They devised a method to add MSG to processed food – which they are under no obligation to disclose to you – by including it as a component of an ingredient, which require no disclosure on the label (in other words, the MSG remains hidden to the consumer). BTW, MSG should properly be referred to as ‘processed free glutamic acid.’ The term ‘MSG,’ in the US, refers specifically to the chemical which is 99% pure; most processed food manufacturers utilize MSG at less than 99% purity, so they cannot call it MSG. MSG, or monosodium glutamate, was developed in 1908 and patented by the Ajinomoto company. (Ajinomto currently holds the patent on another excitotoxin, aspartame, and is the world’s largest producer of both aspartame and MSG.)

There is now a list of about 50 food additives which can legally contain processed free glutamic acid, which can be added to the food you buy – and you won’t even ever know about it, unless it makes you subsequently ill. (BTW, its effects are now recognized as possibly being cumulative, and even if you don’t appear to get sick, processed free glutamic acid can still harm you.) See this research, this research, this research, this research, this research, this research, this research, this review of flawed research, which supports MSG’s safety and which was funded by the the International Glutamate Technical Committee, this research, and this brand new, February 2016 research …for starters.

Let me reframe this for you: BIG FOOD and BIG ORGANIC have over 50 different ways to label processed free glutamic acid – without using the term “MSG” – or without having to disclose on the label that there is processed free glutamic acid present.

Only if MSG is 99% purity or greater is an ingredient required to be labeled as MSG.  Any ingredient that has less than 99% MSG purity is labeled something else. [2]

They have developed 50 very effective means of camouflage, especially useful in processed foods labeled as “organic,” where we – especially – don’t expect to find added chemicals and poisonous ingredients. In fact, most of us are even willingly to pay more for that “organic” guarantee.

That list of, roughly, 50 names keeps changing & enlarging; a smart & savvy family simply must stay on top of information about the newest & latest industry additives – and their labels – which are being developed with the purpose of hiding the presence of processed free glutamic acid from consumers.

BIG FOOD and BIG ORGANIC don’t even have to break a sweat with over 50 ways …to leave your lover…

…oops! whoa nelly! – I got carried away there by Paul Simon’s music, for just a second… Sorry. What I meant to type was:

BIG FOOD and BIG ORGANIC have created 50 ways to hide a poisonous chemical in the food you buy: 50 innocent & innocuous-sounding ingredient names, which disarm you into opening your wallet and giving them your hard-earned family food dollars...

Food co-op shoppers, be on the alert for this anonymous MSG, camouflaged in your family’s favorite natural and organic ice cream, soups & stocks, crackers, cookies, chips, pasta sauce, cereals, juices, milk & dairy products, heavy cream, non-dairy drinks, processed soy & wheat protein products… …virtually anything with a label is fair game.

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       For decades, I knew to avoid the following – even at my food co-op – because they always contained processed free glutamic acid: soups, soup stocks (including “organic” soups & stocks), gravies, salad dressings, soy sauce, mayonnaise, mustard & catsup, and anything which had in its list of ingredients:

artificial flavoring
spices
seasonings
organic flavoring, spices, seasonings
natural flavoring, spices, seasonings
bar-b-cue or teriyaki sauce

If these terms are listed in the ingredients I never purchase or eat that food; years of bad experiences taught me that lesson.

If a food label boasts that the food is “MSG free!” it’s pretty much a dead giveaway that it has processed free glutamic acid in it: less than 99% sleight-of-hand in the labeling business covers that base for the industry, and it is one sure way I know to avoid that food.

The practice of industry stating “MSG Free!,” “No MSG,” or “No Added MSG” is illegal if that product actually contains ingredients with glutamate. Unfortunately, the US FDA has a poor track record of enforcement.

In the last decade, many more processed foods – including foods labeled as “organic” – have had hidden processed free glutamic acid added in. Eating out at restaurants has become virtually impossible; shopping (only) the perimeter of our food co-op was our family’s only option.

My family’s solutions …our “work-arounds?”

  1. Stop buying processed food: 100%
  2. Eat organic: 100%
  3. Cook from scratch: 100%
  4. Eat out: hardly ever
  5. Read labels: 100% of the time
  6. Periodically re-research organic food industry MSG labeling practices

SO WHAT ARE THOSE 50 NAMES FOR MSG?

       Before you dig into the excellent consumer sites I have researched, familiarize yourself with this cleverly-worded U.S. FDA Q & A about MSG here and this Wikipedia entry about monosodium glutamate. These are two really good examples of what I consider industry-friendly spin & propaganda about MSG. [3]

Leaves you feeling warm & fuzzy about MSG doesn’t it?

This section wouldn’t be complete without hearing the industry spin from The Glutamate Association, “…an association of manufacturers, national marketers, and processed food users of glutamic acid…” Here are The Glutamate Association’s Benefits of MSG. You decide: fact… …or propaganda?

The International Food Information Council Foundation (IFIC) – another influential industry rep – describes the benefits of MSG here in, Monosodium Glutamate (MSG): From A to Umami. Here is the list of the companies from the food, beverage and ag industries which support the work of the IFIC.

Now, onto the consumer & family-friendly sites!

This very reliable American list of hidden sources of processed free glutamic acid and the types of processing which create processed free glutamic acid, is put out by an incredible consumer website, the Truth in Labeling Campaign, their FB Page and their series of very informative blogs about MSG, aspartame, and excitotoxins (Truth in  Labeling Campaign, “the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about MSG”).

The Truth in Labeling Campaign blogsite states:

…[Truth in Labeling is] a non-profit, all volunteer organization dedicated to the proposition that in the United States of America, every consumer has the right to know what is in or on his/her food, drink, pharmaceuticals, dietary supplements, cosmetics, protein drinks, and vaccines. [4]

The Truth in Labeling Campaign (TLC) is the dedicated work of Jack and Adrienne Samuels, the TLC founders. Thank you, Jack and Adrienne, for your decades of hard work, research & advocacy on our behalf!

Highly recommended are the 2013 books by Adrienne Samuels, The Man Who Sued the FDA and It Wasn’t Alzheimer’s. It Was MSG. Adrienne details her late husband, Jack’s and her powerful crusade to uncover and publicize the toxic effects of MSG. The Samuels’ have, for decades, also: maintained an accurate, up-to-date list of the names of ingredients which contain  hidden MSG; alerted others to the scandalous lack of peer-reviewed research on its effects upon the human body; attempted to compel the FDA to require the labeling of this excitotoxin hidden in processed foods, protein powders & shakes, pharmaceuticals, vitamins & supplements, bodycare products, toothpaste, suncscreen & insect repellents, pet foods, in vaccines, in enteral feeding materials, and some fluids administered intravenously in hospitals (!), and in sprays used on farms on fruits and vegetables… …and pervasively found in the U.S. organic food supply.

This Australian organization, the Food Intolerance Network, has a crystal clear listing of – not 50 – but 129 ways to add MSG (and claim ‘no added MSG’ to fool consumers). This down under list – which I found on Truth in Labeling’s FB page – seems to work just as well here in the states. Somebody took some time in organizing the data, so as to make what is confusing, easy to understand. Thank you to the 10,200 families from Australia and New Zealand who are members of the Food Intolerance Network!

Cross-check the Truth in Labeling and Food Intolerance Network lists with this list from Battling the MSG Myth.

Read author, Debby Anglesey’s MSG story, at Battling the MSG Myth.

Be prepared to be shocked at the long list of additives which contain hidden processed free glutamic acid, as well as the modern food processing techniques which release processed free glutamic acid as a result of that processing.

(For example, perhaps you already knew that the ubiquitous guar gum, xanthan gum, and carrageenan (here, here and here) contain processed free glutamic acid? These ingredients often show up in milk & dairy products… Go ahead, go check the ORGANIC yogurt, heavy cream, sour cream, milk, and ice cream which you buy… Just recently I noticed at our co-op that Organic Valley milk products had eliminated “carrageenan” in their heavy cream and substituted it with “gellan gum.” Both have unknown levels of processed free glutmaic acid in them; however, gellan gum is a term unfamiliar to many people, whereas carrageenan has been receiving bad PR in the news lately. Out with the old (and tainted term), in with the new!

Tara gum and tracaganth gum are newer gums which are now showing up in processed foods. (Breyers ice cream’s use of tara gum is exposed in this consumer blog Breyers Natural Ice Cream and Tara Gum: Unilever’s Response.)

Read this fascinating 2012 Organic Consumers Association article, detailing organic milk industry shenanigans, entitled Stonyfield Farm & Organic Valley Respond to Consumer Concerns About Carrageenan and this June 2016 Cornucopia Institute article Will Carrageenan Remain in Organic Food? Removal of Carcinogenic Substance Uncertain Due to Industry Lobbying.)

According to the Truth in Labeling Campaign, these are the Names of ingredients that always contain processed free glutamic acid (last updated March, 2014):

 Glutamic acid (E 620)2
 Glutamate (E 620)
 Monosodium glutamate (E 621)
 Monopotassium glutamate (E 622)
 Calcium glutamate (E 623)
 Monoammonium glutamate (E 624)
 Magnesium glutamate (E 625)
 Natrium glutamate
 Anything “hydrolyzed”
 Any “hydrolyzed protein”
 Calcium caseinate,  Sodium caseinate
 Yeast extract, Torula yeast
 Yeast food, Yeast nutrient
 Autolyzed yeast
 Gelatin
 Textured protein
 Whey protein
 Whey protein concentrate
 Whey protein isolate
 Soy protein
 Soy protein concentrate
 Soy protein isolate
 Anything “protein”
 Anything “protein fortified”
 Soy sauce
 Soy sauce extract
 Anything “enzyme modified”
 Anything containing “enzymes”
 Anything “fermented”
 Anything containing “protease”
 Vetsin
 Ajinomoto
 Umami

(1) Glutamic acid found in unadulterated protein does not cause adverse reactions. To cause adverse reactions, the glutamic acid must have been processed/manufactured or come from protein that has been fermented.

(2) E numbers are used in Europe in place of food additive names.

These are the Names of ingredients that often contain or produce processed free glutamic acid during processing:

 Carrageenan (E 407)
 Bouillon and broth
 Stock
 Any “flavors” or “flavoring”
 Natural flavor
 Maltodextrin
 Oligodextrin
 Citric acid, Citrate (E 330)
 Anything “ultra-pasteurized”
 Barley malt
 Malted barley
 Brewer’s yeast
 Pectin (E 440)
 Malt extract
 Seasonings

The following are ingredients suspected of containing or creating sufficient processed free glutamic acid to serve as MSG-reaction triggers in HIGHLY SENSITIVE people:

 Corn starch
 Corn syrup
 Modified food starch
 Lipolyzed butter fat
 Dextrose
 Rice syrup
 Brown rice syrup
 Milk powder
 Reduced fat milk (skim; 1%; 2%)
 most things “low fat” or “no fat”
 anything “enriched”
 anything “vitamin enriched”
 anything “pasteurized”
 Annatto
 Vinegar
 Balsamic vinegar
 certain amino acid chelates (Citrate, aspartate, and glutamate are used as chelating agents with mineral supplements.)

The Truth in Labeling Campaign list, above, states:

MSG reactions have been reported from soaps, shampoos, hair conditioners, and cosmetics, where MSG is hidden in ingredients with names that include the words “hydrolyzed,” “amino acids,” and/or “protein.” Most sun block creams and insect repellents also contain MSG… …Binders and fillers for medications, nutrients, and supplements, both prescription and non-prescription, enteral feeding materials, and some fluids administered intravenously in hospitals, may contain MSG.

Truth in Labeling also states:

The term organic offers no protection: “There are a number of ingredients identified as organic that, organic or not, will contain processed free glutamic acid (MSG). Autolyzed yeast, yeast extract, textured soy protein, and anything hydrolyzed are examples of ingredients that may be made from organic produce, but will never-the-less contain MSG…”

And vegetarians and vegans, please do not fall for the Public Relations / Marketing game that has created all the media hype about “umami,” the so-called fifth taste. The Truth in Labeling Campaign states:

Is umami a fifth taste? Ponder the question if you like. But remember as you do so that fifth taste or not, umami is also a clever contrivance/device/public relations effort to draw attention away from the fact that MSG is toxic. [5]

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       Several years ago, after eating an “organic,” vegetarian lunch salad at my food co-op, I was almost instantly struck down with MSG poisoning: a highly unusual, shocking reaction. I had carefully read the label and thought I was safe! Which ingredient was it? It was the fake bacon bits, which, it turned out, were listed on the label as “hydrolyzed vegetable protein” (aka “texturized vegetable protein” or TVP), an excitotoxin:

The innocuous sounding “hydrolyzed vegetable protein” is even more dangerous than MSG; it contains three excitotoxins (glutamate, aspartate and cysteic acid) and several known carcinogens. [6]

These days, we eat real bacon, which we process ourselves, a hogbelly which comes from our food co-op, the Honest Weight Food Co-op (HWFC); the source is a local farm in Vermont, which has pastured animals, from farmers we know and trust. (I’ll track down the name  of the farm and post it… …we plan to visit that farm in the near future and thank the family for feeding our family.)

WAS IT THE CITRIC ACID, THE CALCIUM CHLORIDE OR THE SEA SALT …OR ALL THREE?

       The ingredients which I, personally, most recently discovered may now contain hidden processed free glutamic acid include non-organic calcium chloride, and/or non-organic citric acid and/or non-organic sea salt.

How did I find this out? Well, for dinner one day, we purchased a bottle of Muir Glen Organic Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce at our co-op – the Honest Weight Food Co-op – after carefully reading the label. There were only three non-organic ingredients listed on the label: calcium chloride, sea salt and citric acid (it is assumed water need not be “organic”).

muirglena

A bottle of General Mills’ Muir Glen organic pasta sauce with the industry-coveted green, white & brown “USDA Organic” National Organic Program (NOP) Seal

 Here is the list of ingredients of this organic pasta sauce:

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Ingredients in this Muir Glen “Organic Pasta Sauce” which are not organic: (water), Sea Salt, Citric Acid, and Calcium Chloride

After ingesting this Muir Glen Organic product – and after recovering from processed free glutamic acid poisoning – I sent Muir Glen, which is owned by General Mills, BTW – an email. [7] A long-delayed response (Sales & Marketing and Product Liability must have agonized over my explicitly clear & accurate questions) from SmallPlanetFoods@smallplanetfoods.com – which, instead of answering my questions about the presence of processed free glutamic acid in either or both the non-organic “calcium chloride” and the non-organic “citric acid” – cheerfully invited me to call their 800 number to discuss my concerns.

Note the absence of any reference to MSG, processed free glutamic acid, or  …an answer:

Dear Valued Consumer:

Thank you for taking the time to contact us. Food quality is a primary focus at our company.

Please call us at 1-866-896-0829 between the hours of 7:30am - 5:30pm CST, Monday - Friday.

We ask that you please have the following information available when you call:

Reference Number: ...

I look forward to hearing from you. As a valued consumer I hope you will continue to use and enjoy our products.

Sincerely,

Norma Stone
Consumer Services

Not a thing in there in print from Muir Glen that: a.) gave me the answers I needed or b.) could attach any liability, whatsoever, to this corporation.

In other words: we’ll do our level best to protect our corporation and the devil be damned about your family’s needs.

So, I did my own research. I now know that modern, industrial citric acid is being produced from GMO corn and an end result of its production is the presence of processed free glutamic acid. No, modern, industrial citric acid does not come from grapefruits, lemons or limes. I bet you thought it did, too!

What about the non-organic “calcium chloride?” I thought calcium chloride is the “safer” salt they tell gardeners to use on their icy, winter sidewalks? What in the world is this stuff doing in tomato sauce? I leave it to you, intrepid researcher, to begin your search here and here, with a quote from Wikipedia …as a hint:

The extremely salty taste of calcium chloride is used to flavor pickles while not increasing the food’s sodium content.

So, my alert reader, did you now start wondering if non-organic “sea salt” –  as an added ingredient to organic foods – can legally contain processed free glutamic acid, aka MSG? Better start your research. Sea salt is added to virtually every processed, organic product I looked at.

I only thought of that possibility after I had dashed off my email to General Mills’ Muir Glen.

NEWLY-ADDED INFORMATION: Who knew that there was a “Tomato Sauce Scam?” According to the Food Identity Theft website, the first ingredient on your tomato or pasta sauce label should simply be “tomatoes.” If not, look to see if the product contains

…reconstituted industrial tomato concentrate – tomato paste and added water. Tomato sauce remanufactured from concentrate is a highly processed food that’s cheaper to make and more profitable for companies who are trying to pass off the stuff as the real thing. [8]

The National Consumers League has been watch-dogging the deception in tomato and pasta sauce labeling for years. Read their April 14, 2011 Press Release, NCL calls on FDA to crack down on misleading claims for tomato sauces made from concentrate.

Well, let’s go back and re-examine that Muir Glen organic pasta sauce label. First ingredient, we don’t find “tomatoes” listed, but rather

Tomatoes in Juice∗, Tomato Puree∗ (tomato paste∗, water)…

What does “Tomatoes in Juice∗really mean? Is it just tomatoes? Who knows, I don’t have a clue! But that second ingredient states explicitly that it is tomato paste and water, that is, “reconstituted industrial tomato concentrate.”

Lovely.

Who knew.

All these years of being “Valued Consumers” of Muir Glen, all these years of buying their organic pasta sauce …and we’ve been eating a slurry of reconstituted industrial tomato concentrate.

Can these two products  – “Tomatoes in Juice” and “Tomato Puree” – contain hidden processed free glutamic acid? Who knows? I’d say let’s email Muir Glen and find out …except they are already known for their email non-answers to their “Valued Consumers.”

Now, carefully read what the label says on the back of this “organic” product:

muirglen1

“At Muir Glen we’re all about delicious, wholesome food grown naturally and without synthetic chemicals…”

This label states “At Muir Glen we’re all about … food grown naturally and without synthetic chemicals…

Note, it does not assert: All the ingredients in this organic pasta sauce were grown organically or All the ingredients in this organic pasta sauce were grown without use of synthetic chemicals.

Just what, exactly, does “grown naturally” mean? It simply asserts, vaguely, “At Muir Glen we’re all about” What does “all about” mean? We’re “all about” what, exactly?

And it certainly does not and cannot state that there are no synthetic chemicals added to this product …because there is at least one synthetic chemical added to it: citric acid is manufactured in a lab, it is definitely not organic, it is from a GMO source (!) and it contains processed free glutamic acid.

Just what does this information on the Muir Glen label reveal to you – the “Valued Consumer,” as to the safety of this “organic” processed food and the ingredients contained in it? …about the reasons that it gets to have the coveted USDA National Organic Program (NOP) label? …about those three innocuous-sounding ingredients – citric acid, calcium chloride and sea salt – which are clearly (not) starred as being “organic?”

Nada. Rien. Bubkes.

If this is an example of what’s hidden in foods with the USDA Organic “National Organic Program (NOP) Seal” label (which we consumers pay more money for!), imagine what’s in the non-organic foods which do not have the benefit of the NOP protections!

General Mills’ Muir Glen adroitly danced around the processed free glutamic acid issue. Obscured labeling… …obscured email response… …obscured processed free glutamic acid in so-called organic pasta sauce.

And as to their label’s statement: “We welcome your questions…”? Sure they may welcome your questions. That does not at all mean that they will answer your questions…

…’cause I still don’t know if it was the non-organic citric acid, calcium chloride, sea salt – all three – or some combination thereof, which contain(s) processed free glutamic acid. And now I have the new information about “Tomatoes in Juice∗” and “Tomato Puree∗ (tomato paste∗, water)” – aka “reconstituted industrial tomato concentrate” – to research: just what in the world is in these two processed (“organic?”) ingredients used in Muir Glen’s processed “organic” pasta sauce?

You see how labels have been carefully crafted to not serve the needs of us consumers and families? …to, rather, hide, obfuscate and keep invisible?

I had better start growing my own (organic) tomatoes, canning them, and making my Aunt Dotty’s authentic, family-recipe, tomato sauce which comes directly from her mother’s family in Italy…

BIG ORGANIC corporations, like General Mills’ Muir Glen, which adroitly demonstrate that they care more about hiding their products’ ingredients – by attempting to fool & deceive with both labels and email replies – than about truthfully disclosing those ingredients to their “Valued Consumers…will lose that “industry-coveted” spot in my fridge, on the shelves of my kitchen pantry, and on my dining room table.

THE ORGANIC FIREWALL HAS BEEN BREACHED

usda-organic

       Here is the familiar (and BIG ORGANIC industry-coveted) green, white & brown USDA NOP Seal you see on the labels of U.S. organic foods

       Has General Mills’ Muir Glen breached the firewall of the federally-recognized term “organic”as defined in the USDA National Organic Program (NOP)? Can foods labeled as “organic” contain non-organic citric acid, which contains processed free glutamic acid, an excitotoxin? Can they also contain GMO’s? (For if the citric acid being used in a product labeled as “organic” is sourced from GMO corn, that organically-labeled food now contains a GMO product …which is also an excitotoxin.)

And just what, exactly, is in “reconstituted industrial tomato concentrate?” Does its processing create processed free glutamic acid, and / or is processed free glutamic acid added to this highly processed “organic” ingredient?

As best I can ascertain, many of the material facts which families need are not required to be disclosed on that “consumer-friendly” label, with the green, white & brown NOP Seal, and Muir Glen’s oh-so-carefully spelled-out list of ingredients.

How many other BIG FOOD and BIG ORGANIC corporations follow these same consumer-deceiving labeling practices?

Visit Dr. Philip H. Howard’s infographic, Who Owns OrganicOrganic Industry Structure: Acquisitions & Alliances, Top 100 Food Processors in North America (which has been updated as of July 2016), to understand the magnitude of the problem for US families which value organic food. (See Dr. Howard’s brand new book, published in February 2016, Concentration and Power in the Food System: Who Controls What We Eat?)

How many other processed foods labeled as “organic” contain additives sourced from GMOs …and/or contain processed free glutamic acid?

…and, heaven help us, is sea salt now in that list of additives allowed to have processed free glutamic acid added to it, without disclosure of that fact?

It’s well-known that common table sale contains hidden MSG in the anti-caking agents. But sea salt?

This becomes mind-boggling, especially if you are a Mom or Dad with a child or children who have auto-immune diseases or any sort of disability, or if you, yourself, have chronic health issues, a disability or are highly sensitive to processed free glutamic acid and need to take care when sourcing your food.

Now, I admit, I have not yet studied the federally-designated categories used for labeling organic food. I am quite sure there are tiers and layers… …but why should a family have to study U.S. federal organic regulations on labeling of GMOs, MSG and the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances in foods labeled “organic,” just to be able to safely purchase the ingredients for that night’s dinner?

~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~

~~~~End result of this story: we are taking our business elsewhere. If Muir Glen does not feel it has to fully disclose ingredients in its products nor answer our questions, we don’t have to buy those products. My family will no longer buy products made by General Mills’ Muir Glen.

We are also considering x’ing off any and all General Mills’ organic products (forget Cascadian Farms and those Paleo-friendly Lärabar fruit & nut bars; General Mills owns ’em both: thank you Dr. Howard for your research, Who Owns Organic.)

We will find a local source of organic tomato sauce at our food co-op, the Honest Weight Food Co-op, HWFC, which does not promote deceptive labeling with theirValued Consumers.” (Thank you to the HWFC Nutrition and Education Committee for being aware of and sensitive to these labeling issues and for beginning work on updating our Food and Product Manual as re. MSG.)

Such nice sounding names, too: Muir GlenSmall Planet Foods …Lärabar with that continental & oh-so-clever-looking umlaut above the a.

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→ → →CONSUMER ALERT← ← ←

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       Well, I went and studied the National Organic Program’s National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances for processed products labeled as organic. At first, I could not find citric acid on the “allowed” lists, nor could I find sea salt. I found calcium chloride. Scan §205.605 and §205.606:

§205.605 is the list of “Nonagricultural (nonorganic) substances allowed as ingredients in or on processed products labeled as “organic” or ‘made with organic (specified ingredients or food group(s)).'”

§205.606 is the list of “Nonorganically produced agricultural products allowed as ingredients in or on processed products labeled as ‘organic.'”

Ah ha, correction, I did miss something; I just found citric acid. It wasn’t listed under the “c’s” but under the “a’s”  for acid. It says:

Acids (Alginic; Citric—produced by microbial fermentation of carbohydrate substances; and Lactic).”

It even specifies that the citric acid is “produced by microbial fermentation,” so it is clearly not allowing the natural citric acid, with which we are all familiar, which comes from citrus fruits like grapefruits, lemons, limes, & pineapples. This is the industrial, produced-in-a-lab kind of citric acid.

So, this is the citric acid which contains processed free glutamic acid. And it is allowed in products labeled as organic.

There is a second, allowable use for citric acid, as well, under §205.605:

(b) Synthetics allowed:

Acidified sodium chlorite—Secondary direct antimicrobial food treatment and indirect food contact surface sanitizing. Acidified with citric acid only.

So, in addition to allowing citric acid to be added to organic foods, it can also be used, secondarily, as “direct … food treatment.”

What, exactly, is “direct antimicrobial food treatment?” Is citric acid sprayed on organic foods?  Are organic foods, say vegetables and fruits, washed or soaked in citric acid?

Is that “direct … food treatment” use of citric acid required to be listed on the label? Or are all of our organic foods – our fruits and vegetables – potentially, being treated with citric acid, with no requirement to disclose that fact to consumers?

Now that you’re over there, look at how many ingredients – found on our processed free glutamic acid lists – are also found as “allowed” ingredients in “organic” food!!!

WHAT?!

OMG. WE ARE IN TROUBLE. BIG FOOD AND BIG ORGANIC ALREADY GOT TO THE FEDERAL REGS. WHEN DID THAT HAPPEN? IT IS CONFIRMED here and here: PROCESSED FREE GLUTAMIC ACID IS CONSIDERED AS “ALLOWED” IN U.S. FOODS LABELED AS ORGANIC.

Confirmed: I found carrageenan, xanthan gum and guar gum. There are more ingredients – on  these two USDA NOP lists – which are also found on our lists of ingredients containing processed free glutamic acid!

These are the names of ingredients which likely contain hidden (unknown amounts of) processed free glutamic acid which are allowed to be used in foods labeled as organic, under the USDA National Organic Program or NOP. This list was cross-referenced with available lists of 40+ ingredients which contain hidden processed free glutamic acid:

-Acidified sodium chlorite - Secondary direct antimicrobial food treatment and indirect food contact surface sanitizing. Acidified with citric acid only.
 -Acids (Alginic; Citric - produced by microbial fermentation of carbohydrate substances; and Lactic)
 -Calcium citrate
 -Carrageenan
 -Enzymes - must be derived from edible, nontoxic plants, nonpathogenic fungi, or nonpathogenic bacteria
 -Flavors, nonsynthetic sources only and must not be produced using synthetic solvents and carrier systems or any artificial preservative
 -Gelatin (CAS # 9000-70-8)
 -Gellan gum (CAS # 71010-52-1) - high-acyl form only
 -Gums - water extracted only (Arabic; Guar; Locust bean; and Carob bean)
 -Starches. Cornstarch (native).
 -Whey protein concentrate
 -Xanthan gum
 -Yeast - When used as food or a fermentation agent in products labeled as “organic,” yeast must be organic if its end use is for human consumption; nonorganic yeast may be used when organic yeast is not commercially available. Growth on petrochemical substrate and sulfite waste liquor is prohibited. For smoked yeast, nonsynthetic smoke flavoring process must be documented.

The category of “yeast” is very, very troubling. According to the Truth in Labeling Campaign, it can include (but is not limited to): brewer’s yeast, nutritional yeast, yeast extract and autolyzed yeast. These ingredients are very common in foods labeled organic, especially yeast extract and autolyzed yeast, which  are quite common in vegetarian/vegan plant-based protein sources. In fact, these same plant-based protein sources are highly processed and often  contain multiple sources of hidden MSG.

As for that non-organic sea salt: I couldn’t find it on the federal USDA NOP non-organically produced “allowed” lists anywhere …it shows up everywhere in processed “organic” foods …and we don’t, for a fact, know its source, how it is processed, or if anything is being added to it, like processed free glutamic acid.

Maybe there is some other list where sea salt shows up as safe for human consumption, like the GRAS list (generally regarded as safe)? More research is needed.

Is General Mills’ Muir Glen out of compliance with federal USDA organic labeling standards with this “non-organic sea salt” ingredient?

Somebody needs to send General Mills’ Muir Glen an email…

SUGAR BEETS, THE FOOD USED TO “GROW / FERMENT” MSG IN A LAB, ARE ROUND-UP READY® and GENETICALLY-MODIFIED

        I am currently researching the U.S. sugar beet industry because one method of producing MSG is to use sugar beets in a lab as the sub-strata to grow processed free glutamic acid through a process of bacterial fermentation.

According to this article at The Organic and Non-GMO Report website, Sugar beet industry converts to 100% GMO, disallows non-GMO option, 100% of sugar beet production in the U.S. is now genetically modified (one-half of the U.S. supply of table sugar comes from sugar beets):

Three years ago [that would be in 2005], these processors decided to convert the entire US sugar beet production to Roundup Ready genetically modified varieties, developed by Monsanto Company. [9]

According to Mike Adams, the Health Ranger’s (see below for more information) website, in a 2013 article, MSG and aspartame are the two leading causes of central nervous system damage in the United States, by S.D. Wells, Monsanto has a monopoly on sugar beet production. (BTW, PLEASE. DO. READ. THIS. ARTICLE.: MSG and aspartame are the two leading causes of central nervous system damage in the United States.)

And, according to the Truth in Labeling website,

…since 1957, MSG has also been produced using genetically modified bacteria (genetically modified organisms or GMO’s), that secrete glutamic acid through their cell walls. [9a]

So, processed free glutamic acid (MSG) is being created by industrial fermentation, using genetically modified bacteria being fed Round-Up Ready®, genetically-modified sugar beets.

One must assume this fermentation process must be creating an especially potent and toxic chemical!

In fact, according to this Truth in Labeling article, How are monosodium glutamate and the other ingredients that contain MSG manufactured?, it is.

Yet, I could find no reports on the internet of any testing being done on the effects of this brand new chemical MSG brew  – a byproduct of GMO bacteria ‘eating’ GMO Round-Up Ready® food – upon either lab rats …or humans, their central nervous systems, glutamate receptors/systems, their guts & their biomes.

Just what does this stuff do to your own gut bacteria which are a large part of your immune system? I would like to know.

This – the use of GMO Round-Up Ready® sugar beets – may explain why there are thousands and thousands of anecdotal reports on the internet – over the last ten years – of people reacting even more severely to the hidden processed free glutamic acid (MSG) in our food supply.

As I learn more, I will post about this alarming issue.

FAMILIES, HERE’S YOUR ASSIGNMENT:

“To avoid eating foods enriched with free glutamate requires that the consumer is aware and understands all the precursors to MSG, the food processes that generate MSG, and the many different ingredient labels that contain MSG.” [10]

We are going to specifically zero in processed free glutamic acid contained in foods labeled as “organic.”

1. Print out – or archive on your Smartphone – (after all, we won’t need those Smartphones for reading GMO QR codes for at least another two years) these lists of ingredients which contain processed free glutamic acid. Bring with you when you shop and don’t buy any foods which contain any of these ingredients:

Truth in Labeling Campaign Printable Brochure and List updated as of March, 2014

Unblind My Mind

Battling the MSG Myth

MSG Truth

Say No to MSG

Food Intolerance Network (AU, not US, source)

2. Print out – or archive on your Smartphone – the two lists of USDA National Organic Program’s “substances allowed as ingredients in or on processed products labeled as “organic:” §205.605 and §205.606

3. Compare the lists from #1 and #2, above. Don’t buy organic foods which contain any ingredients with processed free glutamic acid in them.

DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH!

       I already mentioned my favorite, top-notch consumer websites to go to, to find out about, not only GMOs, but MSG – processed free glutamic acid – and how they hide it: Truth in Labeling, their FB Page and blogs about MSG, aspartame, and excitotoxins   (here is Jack Samuels from Truth in Labeling, presenting at a 2008 Weston A. Price Foundation event), Battling the MSG Myth, and a new (to me) list from Australia, the Food Intolerance Network.

Add to this list this incredible Ted-X Santa Cruz Talk by a mom and biochemist, Katherine L. Reid, Ph.D. entitled, Your Ecosystem on MSG. She documents how she began healing her daughter’s autism behaviors by carefully weeding out the processed free glutamic acid in her family’s food.

Could that be read another way? Did the presence of processed free glutamic acid in processed food cause autistic behaviors …and did the removal of processed free glutamic acid return her daughter to health? Go watch the YouTube video of this Mom’s compelling story…

…please take the time right now – it’s only 9 minutes long – and watch Your Ecosystem on MSG.

View a 16 minute, more detailed version, here.

And visit the website of the brand new nonprofit Dr. Reid founded, Unblind My Mind, where “We believe every healing journey begins with a closer look at what we are eating!” Boy, is that right up my alley!

You’ll find Dr. Reid’s blog at Unblind My Mind, here, extremely informative. And here is her list of ingredients containing processed free glutamic acid, which you can cross-check with the lists at the the Truth in Labeling Campaign, Battling the MSG Myth and the Australia Food Intolerance Network.

MSG Truth is another very reputable website founded by former food process engineer and food scientist, Carol Hoernlein. Top notch scientific information! See their list of research about the toxic effects of MSG. MSG Truth also recommends these food & health-related movies to watch: The Beautiful Truth, Food Inc., Fast Food Nation, Sweet Misery, Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe? and Vaxxed. Here is MSG Truth’s FB page, for breaking news’ updates about MSG.

Here is MSG Truth’s list of foods to avoid.

Here is an example of an MSG Truth Alert, from their May 4, 2016 FB page:

I’d like to warn you all about a product called Umamix. It is a blatant attempt to mislead the consumer. The product is basically straight glutamate taken from the sources of glutamate I am always warning you about = seaweed (the food MSG was first isolated from) plus concentrated tomato, mushroom and sea salt. They are trying to sell this as a substitute for MSG, but basically it is MSG without the sodium part. [11]

(So, my suspicions about sea salt were right!!! I will read MSG Truth’s FB page and report back what I learn about innocent-sounding “sea salt.”)

Dr. Russell Blaylock, a board certified neurosurgeon, is an acknowledged expert on issues of MSG, aspartame, and excitoxins. Listen to Mike Adams, the Health Ranger interview Dr. Blaylock on MSG and brain-damaging excitotoxins. (Read the text of that March 14, 2012 interview at Truth in Labeling or at Mike Adams’ Natural News.) Read this article by Dr. Blaylock entitled Aspartame, MSG, Excitotoxins and the Hypothalamus and this interview about aspartame, another excitotoxin. Although it was written in 1996, I would still read his book Excitoxins: The taste That Kills. And, I would check out his newsletter, here.

Did you know they are now spraying processed free glutamic acid on growing crops? [12] Is it allowed to be sprayed on certified organic crops? Truth in Labeling and their FB Page will inform you about “AuxiGro.”

Is MSG included as an ingredient used in those sprays of water all the supermarkets and food co-ops use to keep their produce hydrated? Better find out. You have to keep ahead of industry as an alert, informed consumer of organic food.

Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, who hosts a very reputable website, has a 2012 article / video about MSG in vaccines, entitled “New Health Ranger video exposes the truth about MSG, mercury and formaldehyde in vaccines,” here. He has a very recent article, June 17, 2016, entitled “Gluten-free food FRAUD exposed in new Health Ranger video: They’re loaded with MSG and GMO,” here.

BTW, add the Health Ranger to your list of go-to places:

Mike Adams, “known as the “Health Ranger,” is an outspoken consumer health advocate, award-winning investigative journalist, internet activist and science lab director.

He is the founder and editor of NaturalNews.com, the internet’s most-trafficked natural health news website. He is also the creator of CounterThink.com, FoodInvestigations.com, HealingFoodReference.com, HonestFoodGuide.org and several other websites covering natural health topics.

Adams is a prolific writer and has been called “the best health and natural products writer on the scene today.” (by Ronnie Cummins, founder, Organic Consumers Association)

Adams’ new book, Food Forensics, The Hidden Toxins Lurking in Your Food and How You Can Avoid Them for Lifelong Health, just published in July, 2016, appears to be just the ticket for those of us concerned about those invisible, non-labeled ingredients in our food supply, which can harm us. His book promo states:

This book, Food Forensics, is Big Food’s worst nightmare. It exposes the toxic chemicals and heavy metals that Big Food manufacturers are using to POISON you … this breakthrough book is such an important victory for grassroots food consumers (and why Big Food is terrified that this book might succeed…)

Mike Adams has created a website, Science.NaturalNews.com, which archives scientific articles & studies (the food industry won’t willingly publicize); he has made it extremely easy to search.

See these studies about MSG:

2010 Effect of systemic monosodium glutamate (MSG) on headache and pericranial muscle sensitivity
2008 Association of monosodium glutamate intake with overweight in Chinese adults: the INTERMAP Study
2008 Monosodium glutamate (MSG): a villain and promoter of liver inflammation and dysplasia
1991 MSG and hydrolyzed vegetable protein induced headache: review and case studies

Look what I found when I searched!:
2009 Neuroprotective evaluation of extract of ginger (Zingiber officinale) root in monosodium glutamate-induced toxicity in different brain areas male albino rats
2015 Attenuating effect of Lactobacillus brevis G101 on the MSG symptom complex in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study (Aha, L. brevis, one of those “good” bacteria / probiotics!)
2006 Monosodium glutamate-induced oxidative damage and genotoxicity in the rat: modulatory role of vitamin C, vitamin E and quercetin
2012 Quercetin ameliorates glucose and lipid metabolism and improves antioxidant status in postnatally monosodium glutamate-induced metabolic alterations

Buy this book, Food Forensics! Buy Dr. Philip Howard’s, Concentration and Power in the Food System: Who Controls What We Eat? Buy Adrienne Samuals’ The Man Who Sued the FDA and It Wasn’t Alzheimer’s. It Was MSG.  Don’t forget Dr. Russell Blaylock’s Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills; an interview with the ‘Health Ranger’ Mike Adams (audio or print); and The Blaylock Report. And while you’re at it, buy Wenohah Hauter’s new book Foodopoly. Ask your food co-op to stock these books on its shelves. Get a food co-op reading group started – discuss together – and bring your information to the Committee which oversees your co-op’s food buying policies and to your Board of Directors.

Knowledge is power. First step: get the knowledge.

LABELING: BIG ORGANIC’S 21st CENTURY CORPORATE “WORK-AROUNDS”

       Let’s take a minute and recap. How do the labeling strategies for MSG compare to the brand new labeling strategies for GMOs?

Well, in both cases, BIG ORGANIC is the worst offender – moreso than BIG FOOD – because it grabbed the coveted term “organic,” knowingly added dangerous chemicals to those foods – a fact which it is desperate to hide – and then it slapped on a higher price tag, to boot.

Boy are we suckers, or what? (No, by way of kindness to us, we are honest & trusting people who have been taught to simply believe what we read on food labels):

  • With MSG, their corporate labeling divisions devised a slick strategy of removing the “offending” term “MSG” from food labels and replacing it with (anywhere from 50 -129) terms that serve to keep families in the dark as to the presence of MSG. There is still information on the label – it’s just anonymous, camouflaged, in code.
  • With GMOs and the Dark Act, BIG ORGANIC was complicit in taking the “offending” term, “GMOs” right off of the label! Being anonymous and camouflaged wasn’t good enough …GMOs are outright gone from the label – utterly invisible, in fact, non-existent. Gone. Erased. Vanished. (“Out of Sight, Out of Mind:” is that the name of that particular spin doctor campaign or multi million dollar PR, Marketing and Lobbying Plan?)
  • What’s next? Let’s just get rid of labels entirely, they’re in the way?

So, BIG ORGANIC didn’t work to create more healthy, nutritious organic food; rather, it put its corporate energy into becoming more adept at hiding what it doesn’t want you to know.

So, add GMOs to that list of “since it’s invisible and not listed on the food label / product it must be ok to eat and my family is safe.”

Not.

You – my alert, vigilant, they-can’t-pull-the-wool-over-my-eyes family food guardians & watchdogs – are forewarned! What are your family’s “work-arounds” to BIG ORGANIC going to be?

ARE WE ARE ALL BEING DOSED WITH MSG 24 / 7?

       You now understand that MSG aka processed free glutamic acid is present in virtually all processed foods, including processed organic foods. If we eat these processed products, we are being dosed – daily – with an excitotoxin which – in the tiny amounts present in whole, unprocessed, unadulterated foods – our bodies are designed to process; however, when confronted with the toxic levels of “free,” unbound glutamate (“manufactured free amino acid produced in food and/or chemical manufacturing plants[13]) – ingested cumulatively at breakfast, lunch and dinner – our systems cannot cope.

Alarmingly, data compiled in 2010 by Dr. Adrienne Samuels at Truth in Labeling, informs us that The Young are Particularly at Risk for Brain Damage from Ingestion of MSG. [13]

BIG ORGANIC, especially, needs to be exposed for this practice of secretly including MSG aka processed free glutamic acid in its products labeled as “organic.” It is deceptive and harmful to us, our children and our families. Since they won’t stop… …WE NEED TO STOP BUYING THEIR PRODUCTS.

SENOMYX: “YOU THOUGHT MSG WAS BAD?”

       While you are over at Truth in Labeling and their FB Page, look up the American bio-tech company, Senomyx …the newest way to introduce chemicals (via taste) into our food supply. Senomyx is busy getting a bunch of patents on human taste. Yes, you read that correctly!

Senomyx seeks patent protection to cover our discoveries, including:

  • Receptors, and nucleic acid sequences encoding receptors, that are involved in taste
  • The use of taste receptors to identify flavor ingredients
  • New compositions and uses of these compositions as flavor ingredients

As of December 31, 2015, Senomyx is the owner or exclusive licensee of 530 issued patents and several hundred pending patent applications in the U.S., Europe, and elsewhere related to proprietary taste science technologies. We intend to continue to pursue comprehensive intellectual property protection for our evolving technologies. [14]

Mike Adams’ website, Natural News, has an article about Senomyx – ‘Secretive’ Chemicals Being Hidden in Food Under ‘Artificial Flavors’ Label – which ominously begins:

You Thought MSG Was Bad? [15]

Check out the Senomyx website here and their “roster of collaborators,” here. Why am I not surprised that the Ajinomoto company – you know, the one which invented MSG back in 1908 – is one of Senomyx’s “collaborators,” as well as PepsiCo, Firmenich and Nestlé.

A 2005 NY Times article by Melanie Warner reveals additional BIG FOOD involvement:

Kraft, Nestlé, Coca-Cola and Campbell Soup have contracted with Senomyx for exclusive rights to use the ingredients in certain types of food and beverages, although the companies declined to identify those categories. [16]

How many of those Senomyx “collaborators” have “natural” and “organic” corporate arms or subsidiaries? How many of those are utilizing Senomyx proprietary products in their “natural and/or “organic” lines? How would you know?

You know what one (just one) of the side effects of these group of chemicals is purported to be? Temporarily shutting down or disabling your body’s innate ability to perceive bitter / poison through taste.

WHAT?!

Our human system was designed with an innate alert system to warn us if something we are about to eat could poison us. Lifesaving measure! Senomyx products can possibly disable this in a human body?

Doesn’t this warrant further investigation?

Here ya go: Senomyx’s latest Press Release dated August 31, 2016: SENOMYX ANNOUNCES APPROVAL OF BITTERMYX® BB68 AND SWEETMYX® SR96 FLAVOR INGREDIENTS IN CHINA.

Vegetarians and vegans, I’d be alert – their sights are set on you:

Bittermyx BB68 is used to reduce the bitterness of certain ingredients and can be used to reduce bitter taste associated with hydrolyzed soy and whey proteins… [17]

Hydrolyzed soy and whey proteins are on all the consumer ‘hidden MSG lists’ I consulted. A chemical used to cover the bitter taste of another chemical? Do I have that right?

What about all the “organic” foodstuffs our food co-ops are getting from wholesalers like United Natural Foods, Inc. (NASDAQ: UNFI) , which are sourced from China?

…This regulatory approval allows Senomyx to pursue commercialization of these flavor ingredients in China in a wide range of foods and beverages.  These ingredients are available to flavor houses through Senomyx’s direct sales Complimyx® line and can also be commercialized by two Senomyx collaborators in certain product categories… [17]

After reading this Press Release, are you still going to buy any “organic” foods for your family which are sourced from China?

If this sounds way too sci-fi for you – shades of Robert Heinlein, who would advise it’s time to get off the planet, time to find a new one – just go read what Dr. Mercola has to say about Senomyx here and here, and, as well, the take of Truth in Labeling and their FB Page, and Mike Adams’ Natural News.

And don’t expect to find a lot of information on the Web about Senomyx (NASDAQ: SNMX). There appears to be – what is, in this day and age – a virtual news blackout on the Internet relating to this corporation and its patented products …the corporation which is pursuing “comprehensive intellectual property protection for our evolving technologies.”

One day, will a farmer selling an apple have to pay a fee to this corporation because their patent on the taste of “apple” is owned by them?

“CLEAN LABELS” – THAT’S ALL BIG FOOD & BIG ORGANIC CARE ABOUT

       This quote, from Natural News’ ‘Secretive’ Chemicals Being Hidden in Food Under ‘Artificial Flavors’ Label, says it all:

“We are helping companies clean up their labels,” said Kent Snyder, chief executive of Senomyx.

I bet you you thought I was kidding when I said “Revealing” is not the primary goal of a food label anymore.”

Score 1 for the GRASSROOTS ACTION blog!

If you care about “clean food” you’d better get cracking and start researching ’cause this stuff – GMOs, processed free glutamic acid, Senomyx patents – ain’t going away, in fact, it only aims to get worse.

Protect your family.

HERE’S WHAT TO DO: CAVEAT EMPTOR

       The ethical question an alert and informed consumer, family member and food co-op Member-Owner will be compelled to ask is: will I park my family’s food dollars with these “natural” and “organic” corporations which are silently and invisibly putting GMOs, processed free glutamic acid, Senomyx patents, and a host of other additives, preservatives and chemicals into my family’s food?

Buyer beware.

Quite simply, and because you are a Member-Owner of a food co-operative, you will intuitively resonate with these answers:

  1.  Know the source of your food …and stay tightly connected to it.
  2.  Buy local.
  3.  Buy organic.
  4.  Buy fresh.
  5. Eat whole, nutrient-dense foods.
  6.  Support local organic farmers and organic farm families as much as possible.
  7. Don’t buy any foods with more than 5 ingredients. Read ALL labels.
  8. Carry those lists of ingredients containing processed free glutamic acid with you and don’t buy food which contain any of those ingredients.
  9.  Limit or eliminate your purchase of all processed foods: i.e. cook “from scratch.”
  10.  Insist on the fresh produce / meat / cheese which you buy being labelled with its  place or origin (i.e. is the “organic” vegetable from China (non-trusted source) …or is it from a local, truly organic farm 30 miles away?)
  11.  Ask your co-op to develop a policy of doing farm visits: that is, a team of co-op Member-Owners/employees actually conducts regular farm visits to verify the quality of the food.
  12. Grow your own organic foods.
  13. Read the Weston A. Price Foundation website and join WAPF for top-notch food information.
  14. Join NOFA-NY: the Northeast Organic Farmers’ Association.
  15. Finally, get back to being active at your locally-owned food co-operative.
  16. BTW, HWFC Member-Owners, do your research: does the newly-revised, proposed HWFC Food & Product Manual (coming up for a vote very soon) contain adequate language about our buying policies on processed free glutamic acid? …GMOs?

HWFC MEMBER-OWNERS GET INVOLVED!!

       Honest Weight Food Co-op Member-Owners, attendance at Board meetings has fallen off dramatically! We are not out of the woods by any means. You need to stay active, stay current with what is going on in governance and participate in governance.

For example, do you have any idea what has been going on with current bylaws’ revisions? Do you know that you are going to be asked to vote on new bylaws at the October 23, 2016 Membership Meeting? Are you aware that there are important changes being proposed to our bylaws? Do you know what they are? Do you agree with them? Do you have questions …suggestions?

All the 720 people who showed up at our emergency Special membership Meeting on November 30, 2015 need to get re-involved! A co-operative’s backbone is its Member-Owner participation.

Without our Member-Owners’ participation we will become just another one of those nice, cool, über-hip, friendly, natural foods’ grocery stores …and not remain a vibrant, locally-owned, locally-operated and active, grassroots food co-operative …which is tightly connected to its regional organic farming community.

Seriously, folks, the quality of your food is at stake and HWFC is one place we, as consumers, can effect change and can exert control over buying practices, sourcing and the quality of the food we buy. And we can demand that more local, organic food show up  on our co-op’s shelves and in our bins …and we will be listened to! Why? Because WE are the ones in control of the sourcing & quality of food our co-op buys …all of us, together.

And, seriously, there are some undercurrents at HWFC on our Board which need attention. Member-Owners, you are needed to keep balance, add your energy and viewpoints and contribute your time, effort and reason!

Get back up on the HWFC horse! See you at the next Board meeting, Tuesday, September 20, 2016 at 5:45pm at HWFC.

(NOTE: All information provided by this blog is intended solely for consumer educational purposes only and is not intended to offer medical advice, nor substitute for professional diagnosis or treatment of any disease or condition by your doctors and health care providers. Discuss any information with your doctors and health care providers, first.)

© Laura Hagen

~~~

The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt.

John Philpot Curran [18]

==================================

[1] Huff, Ethan A. Are you sensitive to gluten, or just Roundup? American wheat often doused with toxic herbicide before harvest. Natural News, December 04, 2014. See: http://www.naturalnews.com/047962_Roundup_glyphosate_wheat.html

[2] Reid, Dr. Katherine. Reading Labels: “No MSG Added.” Unblind My Mind blog post, January 21, 2014. See: http://unblindmymind.org/2014/01/reading-labels-no-msg-added/

See also: http://www.truthinlabeling.org/V.RegulatoryHistory.html

[3] This 2011 article, MSG For You And A Coffin, Too! Ajinomoto Bribes US Dept of Agriculture and University Professors to Sanctify Poisons, by Dr. Betty Martini, details her concerns about a joint research project carried out by a partnership between Ajinomoto, the creator of MSG, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Listen to this 2013 YouTube clip interviewing Dr. Betty Martini on Sanitas Radio – The Truth About Aspartame, MSG, and Excitotoxins – Segment 1, here, and see her website Mission Possible World Health International and her data about MSG, here.

[4] See the Truth in Labeling Campaign blogsite, unknown date. See: https://www.blogger.com/profile/02130039743339790651.

[5] Truth in Labeling Campaign. Umami: the “fifth taste” that MSG-sensitive people can’t taste. Truth in Labeling Campaign webpage, unknown date. See: http://www.truthinlabeling.org/The%20special%20case%20of%20Umami.htm

[6] Meyers, Ronald L., CNC. EXCITOTOXINS Death by Profit Margin. 2004. See: http://www.wnho.net/excitotoxins_death_by_profit_margin.pdf

[7] Here is the complete text of my email to General Mills’ Muir Glen:

Dear Sir or madam:

     I would be very appreciative if you would answer the following questions for me. We have been longtime customers of your products, particularly because they are organic. My questions pertain to the ingredients in your product “Muir Glen Organic Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce:”

1. Why do you include two products (aside from sea salt) which are NOT organic? Those two products are: citric acid and calcium chloride.

2. Why don’t you include organic citric acid and organic calcium chloride?

3. Do you add any MSG to this product? Do you add any monosodium glutamate to this product?

4. Do any of the individual ingredients used in this product contain MSG or monosodium glutamate?

5. Does this product contain any processed free glutamic acid and/or free glutamic acid?

6. Does the citric acid contain any processed free glutamic acid?

7. Does the calcium chloride contain any processed free glutamic acid?

8. What, if any, is the percentage of processed free glutamic acid in this product?

9. Why do federal organic regulations, as they pertain to food, allow your company to add non-organic citric acid and non-organic calcium chloride to a product labeled as organic?

10. Why does Muir Glen add citric acid and calcium chloride to this product?

11. Would Muir Glen consider making a line of organic tomato sauce which contains no citric acid?

12. Would Muir Glen consider making a line of tomato sauce which contains no calcium chloride?

Thank you for your time. It is my hope that your responses will continue to allow me to purchase your organic products as we have used them for years.

Yours,

[8] Food Identity Theft website. Tomato Sauce Scam webpage. Food Identity Theft Powered by Citizens for Health, unknown date. See: http://foodidentitytheft.com/culprits/tomato-sauce-scam/

[9] The Organic and Non-GMO Report. Sugar Beet Industry Converts to 100% GMO, Disallows Non-GMO Option, June 2008. See: http://www.non-gmoreport.com/articles/jun08/sugar_beet_industry_converts_to_gmo.php

[9a] Truth in Labeling Campaign. What is MSG?  Truth in Labeling Campaign webpage, unknown date. See: http://www.truthinlabeling.org/WhatIsMSG.html.

[10] Reid, Dr. Katherine. Reading Labels: “No MSG Added.” Unblind My Mind blog post, January 21, 2014. See: http://unblindmymind.org/2014/01/reading-labels-no-msg-added/

[11] Hoernlein, Carol. MSG Truth Facebook Page post. May 4, 2016. See: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Msg-Truth/133593600016325

[12] Fassa, Paul. MSG Now Used to Spray Crops. Natural News, April 29, 2009. See: http://www.naturalnews.com/026157.html

[13] Samuels, Adrienne, Ph.D. The Young are Particularly at Risk for Brain Damage from Ingestion of MSG: Data. Truth in Labeling website, accessed September 15, 2016. See: http://www.truthinlabeling.org/Proof_TheYoung_TY.html

[14] http://www.senomyx.com/our-expertise/intellectual-property/

[15]  McKinley, Jennifer. ‘Secretive’ Chemicals Being Hidden in Food Under ‘Artificial Flavors’ Label.  Natural News, April 10, 2008. See: http://www.naturalnews.com/022982.html

[16] Warner, Melanie. Food Companies Test Flavorings That Can Mimic Sugar, Salt or MSG. New York Times, April 7, 2005. See: http://www.nytimes.com/learning/teachers/featured_articles/20050407thursday.html as posted to the New York Times’ Learning Network, “a blog for parents, teachers and students that is freely available outside of the New York Times digital subscription service, and does not require registration.”

[17] Senomyx, Inc. Senomyx Announces Approval of Bittermyx® BB68 and Sweetmyx® SR96 Flavor Ingredients in China. Press Release, August 31, 2106. See:  http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/senomyx-announces-approval-of-bittermyx-bb68-and-sweetmyx-sr96-flavor-ingredients-in-china-300320418.html

[18] See the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Inc. and Suzy Platt, ed., Respectfully Quoted, p. 200, #1054.

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6 thoughts on “GRASSROOTS ACTION: “They Added WHAT To My Food?! No, dude!” No. 1: GMOs, MSG & Senomyx

  1. Adam Baldwin

    Please stop talking about people with autism as being diseased and needing to be cured. It’s demeaning and ableist.

    Also please cite where you are getting your data on MSG. There’s a lot of pseuscientific and anecdotal data out there that has been debunked. Only peer-reviewed scientific studies are credible.

    Like

  2. Joan

    Laura, thanks so much for taking the time to write yet another thoughtful blog post. Your information is quite helpful to everyone who is trying to make wise food choices. Even though I do not experience any obvious symptoms after eating the various sources of MSG, it is good to know that it is almost ubiquitous in prepared foods, so that those who may be negatively affected now know what to avoid.

    I stopped buying Muir Glen products when they sold out to General Mills, a company who contributed millions to defeat the GMO labeling initiative in California. They really can’t be concerned with ingredient quality when their bottom line is profit over people’s health.

    Like

  3. Bob

    Thanks for adding all of the links to research on this article.

    Your information will enable families with children on the autism spectrum to remove possible excitotoxins from their children’s diets.

    Like

  4. What is happening at La Montanita Co-Op in Albuquerque is not at all similar to the HWFC. La Montaninta is a large, six store operation. It serves thousands of local farmers across New Mexico and has established a big community in it’s 40Years. None of the Board members have proposed changes to the By Laws in a manner that happened at HWFC. Decisions to carry Clean 15 are misguided but the take back movement is proposing to remove all board members though they have done nothing that violates their legal responsibility as stated in by the By Laws. No petition has been brought to the Membership at large to Remove Clean fifteen and I believe that would garner full member support. They use your store as an example against La Montanita’s expansion yet your store did expand and now it appears to be serving you even better. They have no substantiated evidence of any financial “misdoings or misrepresentations” and have not called for an independent audit of the finances before suggesting that their take back is the only method for La Montanita to become better. The biggest issue for customers is pricing and the management has continually responded to that, actually they have done such a good job to lower pricing and expand the mission to lower income brackets that now they are under attack. We all love La Montanita and want it to progress but what is proposed has no substantial bases except for disagreement in how things should be approached. There are more responsible ways to address the issues that are being presented and I have been calling on them to be transparent and have discussion as a community and have only been answered in silence by the future leadership.

    Like

  5. Pingback: GRASSROOTS ACTION: “My Food Comes From WHERE?! Oh, there!” No. 2: Who Owns Organic – hwfcinfohub

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