Currently, the EPA has approved a new crop spray called Auxigro, which contains 29.2% pharmaceutical grade glutamic acid (MSG), for use on crops in the US .  This is despite the fact that the FDA in 1995 proposed that free glutamic acid be labeled due to its potentially deadly affect on individuals with asthma.

Note also in the EPA's links above

"The Agency is not requiring information on the endocrine effects on these compounds at this time."

And also....

"Waivers have been requested for acute toxicity, genotoxicity, reproductive and developmental toxicity, subchronic toxicity, chronic toxicity, and acute toxicity to nontarget species based on GABA's ubiquity in nature, use as a pharmaceutical agent, favorable toxicological profile in chronic and other toxicology studies, and inconsequential exposure resulting from label-directed uses."

Those waivers were granted.

UPDATE: Apparently, Auxigro use was quietly stopped recently.

We believe that the reason is: it may have been responsible for Colony Collapse Disorder that has resulted been devastating bee hives in the US.  Our theory is simply this:  Bees use pheromones - chemical signals affect nearly all of their most important behaviors.  The one we suspect that is involved here is o-aminoacetophenone.  This particular pheromone is NATURALLY released by the Queen and repels the workers when she feels threatened.  Unfortunately, this compound is found in fermented dairy products as well.  Unfortunately, because dairy is high in MSG - casein was chosen as the food item used to MAKE Auxigro.  It contains hydrolysed casein.  We suspect since this is agricultural use - that there are probably traces of o-aminoacetophenone still present in Auxigro.  Basically spraying this stuff from airplanes has blanketed the country with the very pheromone that tells bees to abandon the queen.  Not very bright if you ask us. 

Shortly after the use of Auxigro was stopped, there have been new reports that bee hives are starting to increase again. Coincidence?  We think not.

How does Auxigro work?

Auxigro is used as a "growth enhancer".  Free glutamic acid present is converted to gamma amino butyric acid (GABA)  in vegetables much as it is in the human body.   GABA in humans prompts the pituitary to release growth hormone.   It apparently also increases growth in plants.  The company that makes Auxigro used state that Auxigro contains 29.2% glutamic acid.  Here is what they have to say about this issue:

While they argue that free glutamic acid is not MSG, the only difference is the sodium atom in terms of its effects on the human body.  Free glutamic acid is a neurotransmitter in the human body.  They are being disingenuous at best.

Regardless of the amount left in food, this spray can wind up in our water supply.

The EPA's  statements regarding  the safety of Auxigro sidestep the issue of endocrine safety, the crux of MSG and GABA toxicity.  

  • MSG - specifically the free glutamic acid in MSG - was proven to damage brain cells in the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that directs the  pituitary and the entire endocrine system.  
  • Many patients with diabetes have immune systems that directly attack the enzyme they use to handle excess glutamic acid.  Any benefit diabetics may get from eating more vegetables now may be negated by eating the very thing sprayed on those vegetables that may have caused their disease. 
  • 1 in 4 adults develop a pituitary tumor in their lifetime.  From pituitary tumors only, at least 25% of the American public may be at risk of affects on the pituitary gland from the GABA in this product.  For more info on pituitary tumors and the effects of excessive growth hormone see:
  • Farmers with asthma may be at particular risk of an attack by simply using this product in the field.

If you were already concerned about the use of growth enhancing hormones in your meat and milk, you may also be concerned that vegetables are now sprayed with drugs that stimulate your pituitary to make its own growth hormone.

It is also interesting to note that foods high in GABA and glutamate like tomato juice were used in the placebo of food safety studies paid for by the food industry.  It is not nice to spike your control with the test substance, yet it was done. 

Also, in the presence of vitamins B6 and C, MSG is converted to GABA - a substance with the opposite effect of MSG.  This is the whole premise of Auxigro.  However, juices containing Vitamin C and B6 were used as the carrying agent in several oft-sited studies.  Vitamins C and B6 would have a protective effect from an MSG reaction.   Again, it is a questionable scientific practice to dilute the effect of your test substance.

See the following link regarding research on ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) and protection from glutamate damage:

As for more reasons why food safety tests regarding MSG should not have been done with orange juice:   In addition to Vitamin C diluting the effect of MSG, untreated orange juice can actually act as a migraine trigger in some individuals.   Therefore, the "placebo" may cause some people to react with a headache, while the MSG spiked juice may have less of an MSG impact, because the glutamate would soon be converted to GABA.  Also, orange juice is also familiar to many as the quick way to help a diabetic who is having an insulin reaction.  Why does this matter?   MSG triggers the glutamate receptors in the pancreas - causing an insulin spike - orange juice provides quick available blood sugar to counteract it. 


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