Did Animal Testing Malign MSG? Ajinomoto Says Yes but Continues Tests Anyway

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3 min read

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) isn’t really all that bad, is it?

Nah, says Ajinomoto, the world’s largest producer of MSG. And the multimillion-dollar conglomerate is on a crusade to convince you that its prized, number one product has simply been maligned with an undeserved bad reputation stemming from—in a cruelly ironic twist—pointless animal testing.

Even though Ajinomoto—which also owns frozen-food brands Tai Pei, Ling Ling, and José Olé—continues to torment and kill animals in pointless tests to promote its products, it has deployed a phalanx of dietitians to criticize the results of the old animal tests that contributed to MSG’s bad name in the first place.

Ajinomoto: Stop deadly tests on animals for food products.

Dietitian Mary Lee Chin, a consultant for Ajinomoto, blasts critics of MSG in a blog post, saying the company’s product has an “undeserved reputation” that’s “entirely unfounded,” partly because the methods used in the animal experiments that contributed to MSG’s bad reputation simply don’t reflect real-world situations with humans. Her takedown of MSG critics includes links to more reading and a list of references to add further heft to her argument.

Another dietitian, Abby Langer, posted a recipe titled “The Best Vegan Mac and Cheese Recipe (With a Secret Ingredient!).” Can you guess what the “secret ingredient” is? Here’s a hint: The post was sponsored by Ajinomoto. How she can critique the animal tests that contributed to MSG’s bad reputation as misleading while simultaneously promoting MSG, which continues to be tested on animals by Ajinomoto, is beyond us. Using the word “vegan” in her recipe is just adding insalt to injury.

The dietitian list also includes Sammi Brondo, whose blog post claiming that the MSG animal tests “cannot be related to humans” was sponsored by Ajinomoto, and Carlene Thomas, whose recipes show up on Ajinomoto websites and whose blog post referring to the tests as “junk” was fact-checked by the company. Both of the dietitians even went on a trip to Japan with Ajinomoto reps. Must be nice to have that kind of PR budget.

There are many more examples like this, but you get the idea.

Hypocrisy in Action

Ajinomoto’s moral flexibility on animal testing borders on the ridiculous. While the company is blasting previous animal testing for its inaccuracies when it affects its star product, it’s also promoting the same type of testing in attempts to boost it.

The company has tormented thousands of dogs, fish, gerbils, guinea pigs, mice, pigs, rabbits, and rats in horrific and deadly experiments since the 1950s. And it has refused to end worthless animal testing.

What You Can Do

It’s time that Ajinomoto joined the dozens of other food and beverage companies throughout the world that, following talks with PETA, have stopped funding or conducting shocking animal tests that aren’t even required by law.

Please take action today by telling Ajinomoto to stop being hypocrites and end all animal testing immediately.

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