MSG, Cancer, and Misinformation


Summary: This article states that MSG is a widespread and silent killer that has been hiding in our food destroying millions of people’s health. It goes on to say that MSG has been poisoning us hidden behind the names of other additives and that it acts as a toxin, exciting our brain cells to death. It claims that MSG has been linked to brain lesions, leptin insensitivity, obesity, sudden cardiac death, strokes, and that it promotes cancer growth. It concludes by saying that MSG is likely in almost all the food we have in our pantries and that we to only eat foods that are unprocessed.

Evaluation: This article contains misinformation because according to the FDA, “MSG in foods is generally recognized as safe and although many people identify themselves as sensitive to MSG, in studies with such individuals given MSG or a placebo, scientists have not been able to consistently trigger reactions.” The FDA also has received reports of symptoms such as headache and nausea after eating foods containing MSG. However, they were never able to confirm that the MSG caused the reported effects. Therefore, Mr. Bollinger’s article would appear to be full of misinformation.

Attribution: The author of this article, Ty Bollinger,  is an author, medical researcher, talk radio host, and health freedom advocate. After he lost several family members to cancer, he decided that chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery were not the most effective treatments available for cancer patients. He then started to learn all about alternative cancer treatments and the medical industry. He now believes that the majority of diseases, including cancer, can be prevented and even cured without drugs or surgery.

Spread: This misinformation spreads really fast because of the dramatic nature in which it is written. By saying that MSG causes cancer Bollinger invokes fear in his readers which is a powerful tool in relaying his message and spreading his misinformation. Being eccentric and exaggerating the health effects of MSG makes his message spread based on the fact that people are especially frightened of what they don’t know.

Benefit: It would appear that the only party benefiting from this article is the author. Ty Bollinger has more subliminal messages in this article than it would appear. By using this misinformation to grab people’s attention and getting them to read his work he is working towards building an audience in which he can spread his overall message about alternative medicine and how he believes that cancer can be prevented without drugs or surgery.

Harm: Once again, the people being hurt by this misinformation are the food companies and restaurants that utilize MSG as an additive in their food. Their profits will drop as they lose customers and their overall image will hurt since they will appear as if their product was inflicting thousands of people. Now while I don’t think Bollinger attacked these enterprises on purpose he did exploit them for his own personal gain.


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