Misinformation has a habit of spreading like a virus, jumping from one person to another until it finally loses all its strength and dies out. However, if people took the time to analyze what information is given to them misinformation would never spread at all. It spreads based on people’s ignorance, blindly accepting vague information as fact and that is why articles like the one I found today on MSG ,http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/harmful-effects-of-monosodium-glutamate-msg/?gclid=CJuIuqDltdICFUSBswodB68Eww, can rouse so many people.
The article is called, “The Harmful Effects of Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)” and is very straightforward. It states that MSG has perpetrated almost all of our food and that the food companies have used clever labeling practices to disguise its presence in their products. Then, all of a sudden it just asks us to consider three statistics seemingly pulled out of thin air. First, in the past 30 years, the incidence of Type II Diabetes has doubled. Second, obesity in children has skyrocketed. Third, MSG is injected into lab animals to induce obesity so that pharmaceutical companies can test their drugs. It then accuses MSG of being toxic and that it causes diabetes, adrenal gland malfunction, seizures, high blood pressure, excessive weight gain, stroke and other health problems. Finally, it concludes by giving us four ways to “cleanse our bodies” of toxins from MSG and then ironically ends with a deceptive disclosure that basically undermines the whole article from being truthful but words it in such a way that it would be easily overlooked.
The first thing I noticed when I found this article is that I kept getting pop ups asking for me to sign up to receive a monthly newsletter from, “The Global Healing Center” which is the organization under which the article was published. So right off the bat I was skeptical of the article’s legitimacy and once I actually read the page I became even more so. The article was published in 2011 and hasn’t been updated in six years so clearly it does not have relevant or modern information about MSG. Also, the three statistics I mentioned earlier have no data to support them. There is no description of an experiment that concluded these statistics or any real data that even links MSG to them. It just states that, “in the last 30 years, the incidence of Type II Diabetes has doubled and obesity in children has skyrocketed.” What does that have to do with MSG? Even if those statistics are true is could be because of so many different reasons. It is scientifically impossible to solely blame MSG for those statistics without any concrete evidence to back it up. Something that also really threw me off was one of the ways the article gave us to cleanse out bodies of MSG toxins. It said, “Consuming MSG causes swelling of the mucus membranes in the gastrointestinal tract. Cleanse your colon regularly to prevent this swelling.” First our all, causation can only be proven through experimentation for which there is none provided so this statement is void. But, can you even believe this? It is saying that a product that is in a vast majority of the food we eat is causing our colons to swell and them we need to cleanse them. What does that even mean? I don’t know but I certainly won’t be heeding that advice. The final straw for me was the disclosure at the end. “Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Global Healing Center does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by Global Healing Center are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.” This shows that the Global Healing Center has no authority to be posting medical advice and that the whole article is just the author’s unsupported and illegitimate opinion!
It was at this point that I decided to look into the author, Dr. Edward Group. Dr. Group is a firm believer in an all natural approach to medicine. His first step towards preventing illness and disease is cleansing your body on a regular basis and eliminating toxins from your environment. He has spoken at several seminars and public events about the dangers of GMOs and toxins in our food and environment. Therefore, it would be nearly impossible to say that Dr. Group and his Global Healing Center aren’t at all biased towards MSG, which is an artificial additive and flavor enhancer. It seems to me like his website is using the negative stereotype of artificial products to make money. The site is full of advertisements for thing like vegan health supplements, natural thyroid support made from iodine, and cleansing kits for your liver and colon. By using this controversial topic (MSG) of which there is close to no concrete information known about its health effects, he can get away with all of this unsupported information and many people will soak it up because they are scared and because Global Healing Center is a vast network that make reach out to a large population.
Therefore, Dr. Group benefits from this misinformation because he makes money off of it and in the process he hurts the food companies and restaurants that use MSG because he is spreading these wild accusation about the detrimental health effects of MSG while offering no support for his claims.