According to Russell L. Blaylock MD, author of Excitotoxins, the Taste that Kills, the Japanese taste-enhancer monosodium glutamate has been added to American foods since the late 1940's and its use has doubled every decade since. (MSG was voluntarily removed from baby food in America in 1969 due to concerns about the potentially negative impact to developing brains.) MSG is often added to foods in disguised form (e.g., hydrolyzed vegetable protein, natural flavorings, spices, vegetable protein) that may contain from 12%-40% MSG. These substances contains three powerful brain-cell toxins (glutamate, aspartate, and cysteic acid) as well as several known carcinogens. Glutamate and aspartate are neurotransmitters that are needed for effective brain function but when they get out of balance brain cells can die. The more I learn about neurotoxins, the more carefully I read labels! For example, Campbell's cream of mushroom soup used to be a staple in our pantry. No more because the contents include one or more substances that contain MSG. I am also very pleased when I find a restaurant that states right up front: No MSG used.