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Ajinomoto Co., Inc. (味の素株式会社 ,Ajinomoto Kabushiki-gaisha?) (TYO: 2802), is a Japanese company that produces food seasonings, cooking oils, foods and pharmaceuticals. The literal translation of Aji no Moto is “Essence of Taste,” used as a trademark for the company’s monosodium glutamate (MSG). Ajinomoto currently (as of Feb 2009?) produces around 33% of the world’s MSG
Aspartame accounts for over 75 percent of the adverse reactions to food additives reported to the FDA. Many of these reactions are very serious including seizures and death.(1) A few of the 90 different documented symptoms listed in the report as being caused by aspartame include: Headaches/migraines, dizziness, seizures, nausea, numbness, muscle spasms, weight gain, rashes, depression, fatigue, irritability, tachycardia, insomnia, vision problems, hearing loss, heart palpitations, breathing difficulties, anxiety attacks, slurred speech, loss of taste, tinnitus, vertigo, memory loss, and joint pain.
According to researchers and physicians studying the adverse effects of aspartame, the following chronic illnesses can be triggered or worsened by ingesting of aspartame2) Brain tumors, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, chronic fatigue syndrome, parkinson's disease, alzheimer's, mental retardation, lymphoma, birth defects, fibromyalgia, and diabetes.
Aspartate and glutamate act as neurotransmitters in the brain by facilitating the transmission of information from neuron to neuron. Too much aspartate or glutamate in the brain kills certain neurons by allowing the influx of too much calcium into the cells. This influx triggers excessive amounts of free radicals, which kill the cells. The neural cell damage that can be caused by excessive aspartate and glutamate is why they are referred to as "excitotoxins." They "excite" or stimulate the neural cells to death.
The risk to infants, children, pregnant women, the elderly and persons with certain chronic health problems from excitotoxins are great. Even the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), which usually understates problems and mimics the FDA party-line, recently stated in a review that:
"It is prudent to avoid the use of dietary supplements of L-glutamic acid by pregnant women, infants, and children. The existence of evidence of potential endocrine responses, i.e., elevated cortisol and prolactin, and differential responses between males and females, would also suggest a neuroendocrine link and that supplemental L-glutamic acid should be avoided by women of childbearing age and individuals with affective disorders."(4)
The world's largest Aspartame maker, Ajinomoto of Japan, hired slick and powerful lobbyists, who in 2005 and in 2006 knocked down and prevented both the Board of Pharmacy and the Environmental Improvement Board from considering getting rid of aspartame in medicines and food products, respectively.
Ajinomoto manipulated the Governor by hiring two of his good friends (one of these was Michael Stratton, who has subsequently been tied to the pay for play grand jury investigation that unfortunately caused Richardson to step down from being Obama's first choice for Commerce Secretary) as lobbyists to influence him to renege on his prior strong support for the EIB hearings