New Era University
Diliman, Quezon City
Natural Science I
Submitted to: Sir Michael Flores
Submitted by: Miranda, Nixieline Babes C.
AB Mass Communication
Some scientists carry out well-designed and properly executed research; but when data do not come out as "needed," the numbers are changed. Others don't conduct studies at all; but submit fabricated details and results of their choosing to peers for publication. When exposed, they may be punished with fines and imprisonment, and may be noted by the press. In addition, those who use money of the United States government are subject to investigation by the U.S. Office of Research Integrity. Researchers who deceive by falsifying data seem to be few, even if growing in number; (Slind-Flor, 1993) and if suspected of devious practices, can be fairly easily challenged. There seem to be others, however, who use more subtle methods to influence public opinion-- with great success. Although more difficult to execute than simple fabrication of data, any question of propriety can be passed off as an error of judgement or an honest mistake; and penalties for getting caught are non-existent or less severe. This paper will describe how easily truth can be hidden; and how seemingly isolated incidents actually can be badly flawed research, direct suppression of information, and dissemination of biased information orchestrated by one group or industry. Using the safety/toxicity of MSG as the subject, I will demonstrate how the glutamate industry has selectively collected and reported research data in a way that presents glutamate in a favorable fashion. In the following, the case against the safety of processed free glutamic acid (MSG) will be presented first, with particular attention given to the nature of the chemical whose safety/toxicity is being disputed; the first evidence of its toxicity; confirmation of toxicity; and my personal involvement. The second section will focus on the defenders of the safety of MSG: 1) the structure of their organization -- the International Glutamate Technical Committee (IGTC); The Glutamate Association; researchers; agents; people and organizations influenced by them; 2) an overview of their research -- animal research; umami; the epidemiologic study; and double-blind studies; 3) suppression of information; 4) dissemination of misinformation; 5) dirty tricks; and 6) the special role of agencies of the United States government. Monosodium glutamate , or MSG, has long been at the center of health debates, with the Food and Drug Administration saying the product is "generally regarded as safe" (GRAS) on one side and many scientific studies demonstrating the ill effects of MSG on the other. (1) In fact, MSG has been shown in several studies to have neurotoxic effects, and although the FDA claims that problems associated with MSG affect only about 2 percent of the population, many health experts say that number is significantly higher. (2) Moreover, they aver that MSG is at the root of many health problems for tens of millions of people. But while other substances known to cause sensitivity or unwanted health effects can be clearly identified -- and avoided -- simply by reading food labels, MSG can be called by many different names and is used in many different substances, making it extremely difficult to identify monosodium glutamate and all its hidden forms by packaging alone. For instance, according to the site HYPERLINK...
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