MSG Flavor Giant Misleads Customers Over Its Cruel Animal Experiments

Ajinomoto Has Cut Open Dogs' Stomachs, Drugged and Killed Mice, and More, but U.S. Subsidiary Denies Testing on Animals

For Immediate Release:
December 17, 2019

Contact:
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Itasca, Ill. – The U.S. subsidiary of Japanese conglomerate Ajinomoto Co., Inc.—the world’s largest manufacturer of controversial food flavor enhancer monosodium glutamate (MSG) and the owner of popular packaged frozen food brands Tai Pei, Ling Ling, and José Olé—appears to be lying about its animal testing policy. Correspondence forwarded to PETA by a concerned customer reveals that a representative of Ajinomoto North America recently stated, “[O]ur company and products are not tested on animals and haven’t been in over 20 years”—even though its parent company conducts cruel and deadly animal tests.

Ajinomoto Co., Inc., has conducted and funded numerous experiments on dogs, fish, gerbils, guinea pigs, mice, pigs, rabbits, and rats since the 1950s. It has used and killed more than 600 animals since 2016.  It even states on its own website that it will test on animals in attempts to establish health claims used to market products and ingredients, and it has published studies on animal experiments that are publicly available.

In one study published this year, experimenters fed mice a low-protein diet with soy and MSG, injected them with a drug, starved them overnight, took their blood straight from their hearts, cut off their heads, and dissected them. In a previous experiment, Ajinomoto experimenters cut open dogs’ stomachs and inserted tubes, starved them for 18 hours, gave them liquid diets with MSG and common amino acids, took their stomach fluid, and injected them with drugs.

“Ajinomoto seems to realize that consumers don’t support the poisoning and killing of dogs and mice in crude MSG product tests—but instead of banning these experiments, the company’s subsidiary has apparently decided to mislead customers,” says PETA Vice President Shalin Gala. “PETA is calling on Ajinomoto to make good on its word and join the dozens of food-industry leaders that have prohibited cruel animal tests in favor of modern, non-animal research.”

Experiments using common food ingredients can easily be conducted on humans—and the results would be directly relevant to human health. Numerous studies of this kind, as well as those using in vitro and other sophisticated, non-animal methods, have already been conducted and published.

Numerous food-industry leaders—including General Mills, The Coca-Cola Company, PepsiCo, House Foods, Yakult Honsha, Meiji Holdings, Toyo Suisan Kaisha, Nissin Foods, and dozens of others—have ended animal tests after discussions with PETA.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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