Campaign Updates: Ajinomoto Conducts Deadly and Worthless Tests on Animals

Japan-based conglomerate Ajinomoto Co. Inc.—the world’s largest manufacturer of the controversial food flavor enhancer monosodium glutamate (MSG) and owner of packaged frozen-food brands Tai Pei, Ling Ling, and José Olé—has been tormenting thousands of pigs, dogs, rabbits, gerbils, guinea pigs, mice, rats, and fish in horrific and deadly tests for its ingredients since the 1950s. PETA is waging a campaign to end these worthless experiments—and you can help.

PETA Supporters Outside Ajinomoto Offices Demand a Ban on Cruel Animal Tests

July 22, 2023

PETA supporters protested outside Ajinomoto’s offices in Ontario, California, urging the company to stop tormenting animals in experiments that aren’t required by law and to switch to superior, animal-free research methods, which many food companies have already adopted.

Group of eight PETA supporters standing in a row with signs

PETA Asia’s ‘Stormtroopers’ Demand That Ajinomoto Ban Animal Testing

June 27, 2023

A battalion of PETA Asia supporters in Star Wars stormtrooper armor marched on Ajinomoto Co. Inc.’s annual shareholder meeting. While inside, a PETA Asia representative asked executives, “When will Ajinomoto follow the global trend and abolish all animal testing that is not explicitly required by law?”

The action and shareholder question address Ajinomoto’s animal testing policy, which allows for the continuation of nearly all the same cruel tests on animals it has been conducting and funding for decades. The company is violating its own “3R” policy to replace, reduce, and refine the use of animals in experiments. Instead, it remains on the dark side, continuing to green-light these tests even though animal-free research methods are readily available.

PETA Supporters Unfurl Massive Banner Urging Ajinomoto to End Animal Experiments

May 18, 2023

PETA supporters unfurled a massive banner over a highway less than a mile away from the North Carolina offices of Ajinomoto—the world’s largest manufacturer of the controversial food flavor enhancer monosodium glutamate (MSG)—urging it to end its use of dogs and other animals in needless and cruel experiments as the company celebrated its 114th anniversary.

‘Rats’ Demand Animal-Free Research at Ajinomoto’s Mexico City Office

May 11, 2023

PETA supporters dressed as rats took to the streets in Mexico City, staging a “rodent revolt” outside Ajinomoto’s office. The protesters demanded an end to the company’s cruel animal testing on rats, dogs, and others and called for the implementation of superior, animal-free research methods.

PETA Supporters Confront Ajinomoto Exec at Chicago Speaking Event

May 4, 2023

PETA supporters took to the stage at the Chicago Venture Summit to confront guest speaker Hiroshi Shiragami, a board member and the chief innovation officer of MSG giant Ajinomoto, in order to expose the company’s shameful refusal to ban animal testing and urge it to use superior, animal-free research methods.

PETA Slams Ajinomoto as ‘The Essence of Cruelty’ in Bold New Ad Campaign

March 20, 2023

PETA has launched a bold digital advertising campaign that slams Ajinomoto as “The Essence of Cruelty,” urging the company to abandon cruel and archaic animal testing in favor of modern, human-relevant research methods.

A rat drowning in a bowl of ramen noodle soup


PETA Activists Confront Ajinomoto North America CEO at Columbia Business School

February 23, 2023

PETA activists crashed an event titled “Selling Japanese Food in the World: Gyoza and Beyond” held at Columbia Business School, where they shouted down Ajinomoto Foods North America President and CEO Hiroshi Kaho. The activists exposed his parent company’s shameful refusal to ban animal testing and urged the MSG giant to instead use modern, human-relevant research methods.

‘Mouse’ Delivers Valentine’s Day Surprise to Ajinomoto Germany

February 14, 2023

Valentine’s Day is all about love and compassion—something Ajinomoto has failed to show thousands of animals used in its deadly experiments. PETA Germany’s life-size “mouse” decided to remind the company of the meaning of Valentine’s Day by delivering a card to the MSG giant’s Hamburg location. Activists brandishing signs that urged, “Ajinomoto: Stop Cruel Animal Testing,” joined in in calling on the company to ban its horrific and futile tests on animals and instead use modern, animal-free methods.

PETA Germany Ajinomoto demo on Valentine's Day

Siouxsie Sioux Calls On Ajinomoto to End Cruel Animal Tests

February 2, 2023

Siouxsie and the Banshees’ historic final concert took place in Tokyo—and now, British post-punk icon Siouxsie Sioux has picked up a pen instead of a microphone to send a message to Ajinomoto Co. President and CEO Taro Fujie calling for an end to the company’s shameful and ineffective tests on animals:

Japan is a beautiful country, which I have visited many times, but these shameful experiments are a stain on its reputation. As a major manufacturer, [Ajinomoto] should be leading the way with compassion, not falling behind. Please, stop being spellbound by bad science and end these cruel tests immediately.

© Fiona Freund

‘Rabbits’ Plead for Their Lives Outside Ajinomoto Headquarters

January 20, 2023

PETA Asia’s giant masked “rabbits” brandished signs demanding, “Ajinomoto: Stop Animal Testing,” outside Ajinomoto’s Malaysia headquarters to protest the company’s deadly testing on rabbits, dogs, pigs, and other animals. PETA is calling on the MSG giant to join the growing food industry movement away from crude and flawed animal tests and toward modern, human-relevant research methods.

PETA ‘Mice’ Invade Ajinomoto Chef Demonstration

January 9, 2023

PETA supporters wearing mouse masks and brandishing signs proclaiming, “Starved, Killed, and Dissected,” gathered outside the U.S. headquarters of Japanese conglomerate Ajinomoto Co. Inc. ahead of a presentation by a chef to protest the company’s deadly testing on mice, dogs, pigs, and other animals. Ajinomoto currently lags behind dozens of other global food giants that have ended tests on animals and switched to superior, human-relevant research.

PETA Delivers Sack of Coal to Ajinomoto Vice President

December 21, 2022

Ryan Smith, executive vice president of Ajinomoto Health & Nutrition North America, is on PETA’s “naughty” list this year for continuing to allow vulnerable animals to be experimented on in Ajinomoto’s pointless tests. So just in time for the holidays, PETA teamed up with Santa to send him the perfect present: a sack of coal. Hopefully, he’ll use his position to extend a little peace on Earth to the animals being tormented by Ajinomoto this holiday season.

Caged ‘Mice’ Turn Heads at Ajinomoto Facility

November 30, 2022

PETA Asia supporters dressed as mice locked themselves inside cages to face off with Ajinomoto executives outside the company’s Osaka, Japan, branch in an effort to prevent the MSG giant from tormenting and killing more mice and other animals in tests that are neither required by law nor relevant to human health.

@petaasia_japan #味の素#動物実験 に檻の中の#マウス が立ち向かう#大阪 #PETAアジア ♬ Beat Automotivo Tan Tan Tan Viral – WZ Beat

PETA Compiles List of Ajinomoto’s Deadly Tests on Animals

November 2, 2022

Ajinomoto has conducted countless cruel experiments on thousands of dogs, monkeys, mice, and other animals since the 1950s. PETA has gathered a list of examples of these barbaric animal tests in Japan that involved monosodium glutamate (MSG) and other related substances.

This list outlines the horrific details of each study and proof of Ajinomoto’s involvement, including the following:

  • Experimenters repeatedly starved gerbils for a day, force-fed them pylori to induce gastritis and gastric cancer, repeatedly force-fed them glutamine, and killed and dissected them.
  • Experimenters starved dogs overnight, inserted tubes into their veins, cut out part of their stomachs and then inserted electrodes and tubes into them, repeatedly injected the animals with glutamine, repeatedly took their blood, repeatedly cut out part of their intestines, and then likely killed them.
  • Experimenters deprived hamsters of water for 23 hours, injected them with a chemical to induce nausea, cut out parts of their middle ears, cut off the nerve that controls their tongues and pharynges, inserted electrodes into the surrounding tissues, dripped MSG-related substances and amino acids onto their tongues, and then likely killed them.

Learn More

PETA Blasts Tohoku University’s Deadly Tests on Animals Funded by Ajinomoto

September 16, 2022

PETA sent an urgent letter to the dean of the Graduate School of Medicine at Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan, urging him to reject funds from Ajinomoto to conduct horrific junk-science experiments on animals. According to a recent paper, Ajinomoto paid the university to conduct an experiment that involved inserting tubes into the brains of mice and filling their cages with water for 48 hours to cause sleep deprivation. In another part of the experiment, rats were dissected after being force-fed a common supplement that has already been extensively studied in humans. So the study could have been safely conducted on human volunteers or been done using other animal-free methods. In our letter, we also urged the university to switch to superior, animal-free research.

Giant ‘Mouse’ Demands Ajinomoto End Animal Torture

September 13, 2022

A giant “mouse” flanked by PETA U.K. supporters appeared outside Jacuna Kitchens in Leeds in the U.K. to protest Ajinomoto, which showcased its new products at the site. Holding signs reading, “Ajinomoto: Stop Tormenting Animals,” “Starved, Killed, and Dissected,” and “Ajinomoto: Ban Cruel Animal Tests Now,” activists challenged the MSG giant’s use of mice, rats, dogs, and other animals in cruel and deadly experiments that aren’t required by law and don’t advance human health.

Giant ‘Mouse’ Demands Japanese MSG Giant End Tests on Animals

PETA Asia Pushes Ajinomoto to End Useless Animal Tests at Annual Meeting

 June 23, 2022

 In 2020, PETA purchased stock in Ajinomoto in order to attend the company’s annual meetings and directly pressure it to ban animal tests. We submitted the following question to be read during this year’s meeting: “When will Ajinomoto follow the global trend and ban all animal tests that are not explicitly required by law?” Ajinomoto ignored our question, but that didn’t stop us from letting shareholders know about the company’s cruel and deadly tests on dogs and other animals.

Outside the meeting, blindfolded PETA Asia activists lined the street to send a powerful message: Ajinomoto must not remain blind to the suffering of animals in its experiments—none of which are required by law—and must open its eyes to superior, animal-free research methods, which many food companies have already adopted.

PETA Asia Delivers a Funeral Wreath to Ajinomoto

May 20, 2022

On the anniversary of Ajinomoto’s founding, PETA Asia delivered a somber funeral wreath to the company’s headquarters with the message “Let this anniversary mark an end to animal testing.” The wreath commemorates the countless animals who have been killed in experiments conducted or funded by the company, despite not being required by law.

PETA Asia’s Mobile Billboard Delivers a Message to Ajinomoto

April 7, 2022

Because other companies throughout Japan are running circles around Ajinomoto by dropping cruel animal tests not required by law, PETA Asia encircled the company’s headquarters and other offices with a mobile billboard featuring an outspoken mouse, repeatedly blasting the message, “Ajinomoto! Stop Testing on Animals!” (in Japanese). PETA Asia’s campaigners also gave leaflets to staff at their offices and warehouses across Tokyo as they entered work, a strategy designed to pressure executives to explain to their own staff why they’re testing on animals.

A ‘Rat’ in Downtown Tokyo Urges Ajinomoto to End Animal Testing

March 23, 2022

A video of a “rat” who stood in a busy Tokyo crosswalk holding a sign that read, “Ajinomoto: Stop Animal Testing” (in Japanese), has gone viral, with more than 1 million views so far! The “rat” was part of a PETA Asia protest against MSG giant Ajinomoto’s use of mice and other animals in cruel and deadly experiments to make dubious health claims for marketing its products.


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A post shared by PETA Asia (@petaasia)

Ajinomoto Misleads About Deadly Animal Tests, Unlike Competitors

November 18, 2021

In response to Ajinomoto’s statement made during its recent annual meeting that it would not test on animals, PETA issued the following statement:

Despite assurances that Ajinomoto Co., Inc., the world’s leading maker of MSG, made during a recent annual meeting that it would not test on animals for nonmedicinal foods, three new studies prove that it continues to support horrific, animal-killing experiments indiscriminately.

The company conducted an experiment testing essential amino acids—which are present in just about any food, medicinal or not—in which experimenters drilled holes into the skulls of genetically altered mice, injected viral substances into their brains, force-fed them amino acids, took their blood, and killed and dissected them. Ajinomoto also contributed materials to another test in which experimenters repeatedly deprived mice of water overnight, fed them common food substances such as miso and MSG, cut open their faces to expose a nerve, inserted electrodes into their faces, killed them, and cut off their tongues. In yet another test to which Ajinomoto donated materials, experimenters mated pigs, fed the mothers common amino acids, cut them open and took their uteri and babies, and then killed and dissected the babies.

These animals endured horrendous torment so that Ajinomoto could enhance its bottom line. They suffered and died for nothing more than profit, in tests not even required by law. Ajinomoto, a company with a long history of harming dogs and other animals, must immediately get on the right side of history and listen to the more than 230,000 people who have called on it to join the dozens of global food companies—including MSG competitors like McCormick & Company and B&G Foods—that have banned animal tests after discussions with PETA.

PETA Protests Tokyo Olympics Sponsor Ajinomoto Over Animal Testing

August 3, 2021

Shockingly, Ajinomoto Co. Inc. not only still conducts horrific and worthless tests on animals but also is an official partner of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and a regular sponsor of the Tokyo Stadium, also known as the Ajinomoto Stadium. That’s why PETA Asia’s “rat” mascot, Rei, stood outside the facility today to call for Ajinomoto’s name to be kept off it.

PETA’s rat mascot Rei stood outside Tokyo Stadium to call for Ajinomoto’s name to be kept off the stadium

Olympics Composer’s Bullying Is Not the Only Abuse Scandal Plaguing the Games

July 19, 2021

In response to an additional abuse allegation plaguing the Tokyo Olympic Games in the wake of Keigo Oyamada’s resignation over bullying, PETA issued the following statement:

While the world reels from the bizarre news that Keigo Oyamada, a composer working on the opening ceremonies of the Tokyo Olympics, once forced a classmate to eat his own feces and masturbate in front of others, it is not the only abuse scandal plaguing the games.

Ajinomoto Co., Inc., sponsor of the Olympic National Training Center and the world’s leading maker of MSG, forces animals to run on treadmills at high speeds until they become exhausted, swim for their lives in near-drowning tests, fight strangers, and leap away from electric shocks in pseudo-scientific tests that resemble nothing so much as a depraved version of Olympic Trials. But in Ajinomoto’s “games,” all the participants are killed and dissected in the end—simply so that the company can make dubious marketing claims about the human health effects of its products.

Similar in offensiveness to Oyamada’s apparent abuse of vulnerable individuals, Ajinomoto has force-fed mice bacteria isolated from the feces of other diseased mice and sexually abused cows by repeatedly poking their anuses and vulvae.

There is no excuse for Ajinomoto to continue these misguided animal tests, which are curiosity-driven and not required by law. More than 144,000 people have called on the company to join the ranks of the dozens of global food companies that have banned animal tests after discussions with PETA.

MSG Maker’s Deadly Tests on Animals to Bring Heat From PETA at Annual Meeting

June 22, 2021

“Will Ajinomoto commit to banning all animal testing that is not explicitly required by law, as dozens of other global food and beverage companies have already done?” That’s the question a PETA representative asked executives of Japanese conglomerate Ajinomoto Co. Inc. at its annual meeting. PETA purchased stock in the company last year to urge shareholders to end its experiments on animals.

Sexually Abusing and Bleeding Cows in Milk Test: Penn State, MSG Giant Slammed by PETA

June 9, 2021

In response to an animal experiment coauthored by Ajinomoto and Pennsylvania State University, PETA issued the following statement:

The world’s leading maker of MSG has harmed dogs and other animals for years—and now it’s using cows in experiments that are more like sexual abuse than science. In a recently published experiment at The Pennsylvania State University, sensitive cows were subjected to cruel tests to determine whether they could produce more milk if fed an Ajinomoto product. Specifically, experimenters fed cows feathers, blood, and the company’s test amino acid product; repeatedly milked them; repeatedly poked their anuses and vulvae; and repeatedly took their blood. There is no excuse for Ajinomoto to continue these misguided animal tests, which are curiosity-driven and not required by law. More than 144,000 people have called on Ajinomoto to join the ranks of the dozens of global food companies that have banned animal tests after discussions with PETA.

PETA Criticizes Monell Center and Ajinomoto for Cruel Experiment on Mice

May 10, 2021

In response to a recent animal experiment coauthored by Ajinomoto, PETA issued the following statement:

The world’s leading MSG maker, Ajinomoto, has been tormenting thousands of dogs and other animals in laboratories since the 1950s. In a recently published experiment in collaboration with the Monell Center, sensitive mice were subjected to cruel and deadly tests simply to determine whether they prefer sugar water or regular water. Specifically, experimenters dripped sugar water on the animals’ tongues and measured electrical responses from their nerves, which the experimenters cut open and exposed. They also repeatedly injected the mice with glucose and insulin, took their blood, and killed and dissected them. There is no excuse for Ajinomoto to continue these misguided animal tests, which are curiosity-driven, not required by law, and irrelevant to the company’s business. Ajinomoto should join the ranks of the dozens of global food companies that have banned animal tests after discussions with PETA, including Takasago International Corporation and McCormick & Company, Inc., which are corporate sponsors of the Monell Center but have prohibited their funding from being used for animal tests.

PETA Supporters Hound Ajinomoto With ‘Dog’ Delivery

April 29, 2021

PETA demonstrators carted a life-size dog statue—bearing more than 142,000 petition signatures—to an Ajinomoto office in Raleigh, North Carolina, in order to protest the MSG giant’s use of dogs and other animals in cruel, unnecessary experiments.

PETA Carts Life-Sized Dog Statue to Ajinomoto to Urge them to Stop Animal Tests

PETA supporters are ‘hounding’ Ajinomoto to stop experiments on animals! We’re at their door trying to deliver this life-sized dog statue covered in the names of more than 142,000 people who are demanding that the company end its cruel and wasteful animal experiments.

Posted by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) on Thursday, April 29, 2021

Ajinomoto—MSG Giant That Tortures Dogs and Others in Lethal Tests—Has a New Shareholder

October 9, 2020

PETA announced its recent purchase of stock in Japanese conglomerate Ajinomoto Co. Inc. in order to ask a question at its 2021 annual meeting. We’ll urge shareholders to end the company’s cruel and deadly tests, in which thousands of dogs and other animals have been used to make dubious health claims for marketing its food products and ingredients.

PETA to Ajinomoto: Misleading AGAIN About Your Horrific Animal Tests

May 29, 2020

It appears that Ajinomoto continues to have a problem telling anything that resembles the truth. In the U.S., the company’s products are sold in Kroger stores. So we asked that grocery chain to suspend its business relationship with Ajinomoto until the MSG giant 1) agrees to prohibit the commissioning, funding, and conducting of all tests on animals, and 2) informs PETA before pursuing any tests on animals that the company believes a government agency explicitly requires so that our international team of scientists can help the company to avoid such tests. Kroger responded by telling us that, “We have confirmed with Ajinomoto that the products they produce for Kroger have never had animal testing conducted on them.”

Nice try, Ajinomoto.

It may not have poured Tai Pei Sweet & Sour Chicken, Ling Ling Grilled Chicken Vietnamese Style Pho, or Jose Ole Beef & Cheese Chimichanga down the throats of rats and mice, but it did test many ingredients in those products (and others) on these animals – and on dogs, pigs, and rabbits – in cruel and deadly laboratory experiments that have zero relevance to human health and are not required by law.

For instance, Ajinomoto experimenters fed rats cornmeal with casein and soy protein, repeatedly took their blood, starved them overnight, then killed and dissected them. In another test, experimenters killed mice who had colitis, injected cells from the dead animals to another group of mice, fed them soybeans, corn, wheat, fish meal, or milk, and then killed and dissected them.

PETA to Ajinomoto: Stop Misleading People About Your Animal Tests

December 16, 2019

Ajinomoto North America—the U.S. subsidiary of Japan-based Ajinomoto—has misleadingly and publicly claimed that its “products are not tested on animals and haven’t been in over 20 years,” despite its parent company actively pursuing cruel and deadly animal tests. For example, in an experiment published in 2018 that was conducted and co-authored by Ajinomoto, experimenters fed mice a high-fat diet with and without an amino acid mixture, starved them, injected them with glucose, repeatedly took their blood, forced them to run uphill on treadmills with increasing speeds until exhausted, and killed and dissected them.

‘Rats’ Descend on Ajinomoto HQ to Protest Animal Testing

November 28, 2019

A group of “rats” protested Ajinomoto’s cruel tests on animals outside the company’s Malaysia offices in Kuala Lumpur.

PETA ‘Rats’ hit Ajinomoto’s offices in Malaysia to tell company to end horrific tests on animals

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind