Audio & Visual Proof of MSG Fear Mongering Caused by Xenophobia
There is extremely limited audio and visual evidence of Monosodium glutamate (MSG) fear mongering caused by xenophobia, given the amount of time that has elapsed since this phenomenon first began. Whatever is available is behind paywalls or is not accessible any longer.
We did find the original 1968 letter written to the New England Journal of Medicine, a 1975 research abstract on the relationship between MSG and brain damage among fowl and an image of the cover page of the book 'In bad taste the MSG syndrome' by George R. Schwartz. To supplement, we have included other more recent references in advertisements and popular culture to No MSG.
Below you'll find an outline of our research methodology to better understand why there is a lack of audio and visual evidence, as well as a deep dive into our findings.
We searched extensively for old handwritten letters or scripts on the topic, however such information is only available through paid subscriptions. What made this a particularly tough topic to research was the fact that Google restricts image and media searches earlier than 1990. We found some old journals but they carry reframed citations related to this phenomenon and not the original content.
Using WayBack machine, we checked the internet archive to locate early websites carrying vintage cartoons, pictures, audio or other content related to the topic but met with little success. We tried to search the old archive pages for the Chinese search engine Baidu but found that all information is in Chinese and there was no online translator that could translate it to English.
All newspaper clippings from the era are behind paywalls. TV commercials around the phenomenon did exist but they are no longer available within the sources we found. We also checked free content from Reed Elsevier and Factiva but both sources only gave us journal articles critical of the Chinese Restaurant Syndrome (CRS).
Since we could not find enough audio and visual examples dating back to the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, we have included some recent sources from advertisements and popular culture.
1. The original page containing a letter to the editor written in 1968 and published in the New England Journal of Medicine on CRS.
2. An old research abstract from 1975 that establishes the relation between MSG and brain damage in fowl.
3. An original image of the book cover 'In bad taste the MSG syndrome' by George R. Schwartz.
4. A visual from 2003 on the harmful effects of MSG.
5. An image stating "Say No to MSG" with an unspecified date.
6. An article and image on MSG as the cause of headaches.
7. An advertisement for Lee's Garden Restaurant stating No MSG added.
8. A newer cartoon on CRS.
9. An advertisement by Campbell soup that specifically advertises No MSG though we were unable to establish the date.
In conclusion, we found three examples (the letter, the research abstract and an image of the book cover) that is direct visual evidence of MSG fear mongering caused by xenophobia. In the absence of older material related to this phenomenon, we have included newer sources that provide images and advertisements around No MSG.