Instigator / Pro
Points: 6

Is MSG a problem?

Finished

The voting period has ended

After 7 votes the winner is ...
Virtuoso
Debate details
Publication date
Last update
Category
Health
Time for argument
One day
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
One week
Point system
Four points
Rating mode
Rated
Characters per argument
30,000
Contender / Con
Points: 49
Description
No information
Round 1
Published:
My reading of the literature is that MSG appears to be bad for one's health. Glutamate acts as a neurotransmitter (Source 1) and generally isn't part of our diet in the free form such as that found in MSG. As one would expect from ingesting neurotransmitters in free form, there appear to be negative effects. For example, in studies of mice, it appears to cause neuronal damage and have a negative effect on memory (Source 2,3,4). There also appear to be negative effects on the male reproductive systems of mice (Source 5), body weights (obesity) and thyroid function (Source 6) and oxidative damage to internal organs (Source 7).Now, it is important to note that these effects won't necessarily be the same for humans, however animal testing is used to give us a rough idea of how a given substance or stimulus will affect humans. Also human neurons are chemically no different than those of most other animals. Another issue to note is that all human research that I can find concerns MSG as a cause of headaches and "CRS": Chinese restaurant syndrome (and appears to, for the most part, reject this causation). Whether MSG causes headaches and "CRS" is completely aside from any of the effects suggested by the rodent literature.Sources:(1) http://jn.nutrition.org/content/130/4/1007.full.pdf(2) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10802387(3) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8085168(4) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29097195(5) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28962317(6) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26884820(7) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16758767
Published:
Thank you pro!

Since pro did not provide a definition for the word "problem." Based on my understanding of the resolution, it is my burden to show that MSG is generally safe for the general population.

That said, no one food or substance can provide all the necessary ingredients. 

What is MSG 

"Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a flavor enhancer commonly added to Chinese food, canned vegetables, soups and processed meats. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has classified MSG as a food ingredient that's "generally recognized as safe," but its use remains controversial. For this reason, when MSG is added to food, the FDA requires that it be listed on the label.

...[R]esearchers have found no definitive evidence of a link between MSG and these symptoms. Researchers acknowledge, though, that a small percentage of people may have short-term reactions to MSG. Symptoms are usually mild and don't require treatment. The only way to prevent a reaction is to avoid foods containing MSG. "


It should be pointed out that all foods will have some people who are allergic to that food. Prime example being gluten. While no evidence suggests that gluten is a problem or inherently dangerous, some people need to avoid it. 

What dose the evidence say?

The FDA writes;

"FDA considers the addition of MSG to foods to be “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS). Although many people identify themselves as sensitive to MSG, in studies with such individuals given MSG or a placebo, scientists have not been able to consistently trigger reactions.

Over the years, FDA has received reports of symptoms such as headache and nausea after eating foods containing MSG. However, we were never able to confirm that the MSG caused the reported effects.

These adverse event reports helped trigger FDA to ask the independent scientific group Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) to examine the safety of MSG in the 1990s. FASEB’s report concluded that MSG is safe. The FASEB report identified some short-term, transient, and generally mild symptoms, such as headache, numbness, flushing, tingling, palpitations, and drowsiness that may occur in some sensitive individuals who consume 3 grams or more of MSG without food. However, a typical serving of a food with added MSG contains less than 0.5 grams of MSG. Consuming more than 3 grams of MSG without food at one time is unlikely."


Conclusion

MSG is generally safe and is not a problem. Although there are people who should avoid it, that doesn't mean MSG is a problem. Gluten, nuts, milk, eggs, soy, and shellfish are safe to eat, but are common allergens and should be avoided by certain people. 

The resolution is negated. 

Onto pro's case....

It's kinda hard for me to understand exactly what pro is arguing here. 

"My reading of the literature is that MSG appears to be bad for one's health. Glutamate acts as a neurotransmitter (Source 1) and generally isn't part of our diet in the free form such as that found in MSG."

This is straight up false. Glutamate is an acid that is naturally present in foods and bodies (source: see the fda link provided above). Furthermore, glutamate is found naturally in other foods as well. For example, cow's milk, human mother's milk, corn, potatoes, broccoli, chicken, and beef all naturally contain a significant portion of glutamate. 


"As one would expect from ingesting neurotransmitters in free form, there appear to be negative effects. For example, in studies of mice, it appears to cause neuronal damage and have a negative effect on memory (Source 2,3,4). There also appear to be negative effects on the male reproductive systems of mice (Source 5), body weights (obesity) and thyroid function (Source 6) and oxidative damage to internal organs (Source 7)."

Except no one ingests neurotransmitters in free form. It's a strawman to connect free form of a neurotransmitter to MSG. 

"Another issue to note is that all human research that I can find concerns MSG as a cause of headaches and "CRS": Chinese restaurant syndrome (and appears to, for the most part, reject this causation). Whether MSG causes headaches and "CRS" is completely aside from any of the effects suggested by the rodent literature." 

I found several studies that would disagree

"[C]ausal relationship between MSG and headache has not been proven. In addition, statistically significant differences in the incidence of headache were not observed when MSG was administered with food, except in one case of the female group where the blind integrity was questionable. It would seem premature to conclude that the MSG present in food causes headache."

"Despite a widespread belief that MSG can elicit a headache, among other symptoms, there are no consistent clinical data to support this claim. Findings from the literature indicate that there is no consistent evidence to suggest that individuals may be uniquely sensitive to MSG. Nurse practitioners should therefore concentrate their efforts on advising patients of the nutritional pitfalls of some Chinese restaurant meals and to seek more consistently documented etiologies for symptoms such as headache, xerostomia, or flushing."


I rest my case. Vote con! 

Round 2
Published:
1) The FDA is not a trustworthy source of information, they often base their decisions on faulty research which is funded by the very entities attempting to get their filth on the market. They are willing to take bribes and twist science to fit their financial incentives.

2) MSG is not safe for most people just because only some have a noticable reaction due to sensitivity. By the very nature of what it is, it should be obvious that it is harmful in the same way that processed sugar is harmful. Also, both sugar and MSG are addictive, so once again it's widespread use is thanks to the corruption inherent in capitalism. 
http://naturalsociety.com/the-real-reason-to-avoid-msg-industry-secret-ingredient-for-food-addiction/

3) You are a Janus-faced wanker appealing to authority with flawed government and corporate funded research which is deliberately designed to make products which are toxic and addictive appear safe so that capitalists can continue to make money with no concern for human health. The FDA and the US government take bribes constantly because the US government is just as much a corporation as it is a political institution.

Published:
1) My opponent begins to attack my source as unreliable, which is ironic as his source is a forum post from a site dedicated to magic mushrooms. Quite ironic. He provided absolutely no examples of the FDA being corrupt or taking bribes. Pro needs to provide examples and evidence within the debate for his argument to stand. Don't let a link argue your case for you.

2) His source provides absolutely no evidence for that assertion. There are no links to research papers regarding his "GARD" diet. While too much sugar is certainly bad for you, sugar is important in our diet. Sugar is naturally present in foods like fruit. 

3) Nothing but attacks without any evidence. "You are a Janus-faced wanker appealing to authority..." Pretty awful conduct if you ask me.

Furthermore, pro drops every single case regarding my rebuttals.

I strongly urge a con vote. Thank you and good night. 

Added:
--> @Ragnar
I'm not really presenting anything. I thought it was hilarious when I followed your link in the votes tab and before I had a laugh about it I wanted to be reasonably insured against an "oh yeah well that was me numnuts" retort from T1.
#14
Added:
--> @Castin, @Ragnar
Actually it was partly plagiarism purely because I know that Pro was the guy who made the debate that Ragnar linked to and went by the name FactMachine (he's since been banned on the site and has ravaged it with alts) whereas the person he copied from was not him.
#13
Added:
--> @Castin
It's a nice hypothetical you present, but ultimately lacking in meaning.
Were they the same person, it would be on him to clarify (make a post to the original that he has changed his name...) and request a reevaluation. As of this moment, there is absolutely nothing to suggest they are the same person; plus he chose to present the arguments in the form of plagiarism, it would be an outright disrespect to his intellectual integrity to judge him otherwise.
That is aside from the obvious sloppy copy/paste job. That it's broken infers lack of access to the original writing (fresh copy/paste from the original writing, as opposed to how it was displayed on a random website, would lack the preponderance of errors).
#12
Added:
--> @Ragnar
Re: Plagiarism: How do we know Type1 isn't this WinstonC from createdebate?
#11
Added:
Maybe I misread 'rodent literature' but the Janus faced wanker is still direct abuse.
#10
Added:
I will vote on this as Drafterman's may well be taken down if the admin gets serious about vote moderation. I will be voting for Virtuoso and just need to word the justification properly.
I am posting this to confirm I will be voting as someone asked me on PM to vote here and I said I'd do so and want to be held to be a man of my word.
#9
Added:
--> @Type1
Very cool, and I just saw your argument. This will be a fun debate :D
#8
Added:
--> @Smithereens
I am a rapper, a lyricist and vocalist specifically. I wouldn't call myself a musician because I don't make instrumentals or anything like that.
Instigator
#7
Added:
--> @Type1
Why? Are you a musician? Because I'm a musician too lol. It's why I accepted it. I'm looking forward to it now.
#6
Added:
--> @Smithereens
Interesting. Too bad you didn't take this debate. I'm afraid the odds will not be in your favour though in the lyrics debate, because I am an expert on the subject just as you are an expert in this.
Instigator
#5
Added:
--> @Type1
I'm aware of the mouse studying you're referencing. You think that mice were treated with MSG and toxicity was observed. That's not what they did. They used neurons from mice in a cell culture and treated those cells with large amounts of MSG until they got a toxic effect. You can eat MSG all you want, but the amount that amount that will get into your brain is so small you literally have to inject it directly into your blood to get the effects you are suggesting.
#4
Added:
--> @Smithereens
Wow, so you're telling me MSG doesn't effect the brain at all?
Instigator
#3
Added:
I'm not a big fan of how the science was handled in this debate. Especially from you Pro. Your science is completely off. Glutamate in MSG is metabolised to glucose, lactate and aspartate when you digest it. Even if you directly injected it into your blood, the molecule is an anion and thus cannot enter the brain. Your entire case is based on the actions of glutamate as a neurotransmitter in the CNS, and that entire basis is completely false to begin with. You don't actually have case in this debate and Con has engaged your material under the assumption that it's underlying premises were true when he didn't have to.
If you'd like to do this topic again in future, please send me an invite. This is my field of study and I'm quite confident I could prove unequivocally that none of what you said here is correct.
#2
Added:
Virtuoso is currently in the lead with the preponderance of evidence via credible sources both private and federal. Type1, your links are broken.
#1
#7
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
PLAGIARISM: http://www.createdebate.com/debate/show/Is_MSG_bad_for_you
With pro's R1 dropped for that reason, combined with one third of the remainder getting into cons masturbatory habits, this really was a case of no contest.
#6
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
Arguments: This goes to Con, as he had more thought out arguments and shown that MSG was never proven to have averse effects on people.
Sources: Con.
Conduct: Pro had a very interesting vocabulary and Con remained professional.
#5
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
Pro's sources ranged from weak to disreputable. Pro pushed weaker arguments and claims. Pro failed to convincingly undermine Con's sources. It is unsound to suggest that because the FDA is capable of fault, pseudoscientific misconception should be given free reign. Pro resorted to needless personal attacks.
"I always think it's a sign of victory when they move on to the ad hominem." -- Hitchens
Con consistently cited more credible and authoritative sources, Con's arguments and scientific information were consistently more on point, Con did not call anyone a Janus-faced wanker. Full points.
#4
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
I prefer to avoid casting my opinion on any matter which mainstream scientific experts have already deeply investigated except by directly citing relevant professional sources, for doing so arrogantly implies that I am as qualified as those experts to independently evaluate the issue.
In terms of who presented superior content, Con immensely outgunned his opponent on all battlefields except perhaps spelling and grammar. They made heavy usage of trustworthy sources and treated the opponent with relative respect, despite opposing accusations of being a "Janus-faced wanker." Con furthermore relentlessly dissected and refuted his opponent's arguments through better-formatted and thus more readable text.
#3
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
I am quite sure that the issue with the links from Pro are due to tech illiteracy and not due to actually unreliable links. For instance the first URL he posts is broken and this is because I am sure he tried to type out an ending that would make it into a pdf. He meant to link to this: https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/130/4/1007S/4686662 on top of that his second link is impossible to get more than the abstract of as the study is private to non-registered university students. I am not going to give a 'more reliable sources vote' to Pro but what I will do is say they had worse source formatting and choice despite the sources being reliable.
Pro is actually correct, just like lactose, MSG has been very harmful to people with such food intolerances and the harms of it to people with an intolerance to it are severe and life-quality-reducing by significant margins. They will have constant diarrhoea among many other issues. The issue is that to those lacking Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or MSG-specific intolerance, MSG is actually not that much of an issue to them (and Con focused entirely on this group in a cunning manner).
I will say this: I agree 100% with Pro and predict MSG to be removed from all foods by the year 2300 but for now not enough anti-MSG articles are mainstream and the harms are hidden especially in MSG-heavy nations like China and South Korea where government-party-sponsoring corporations sell products covered in the stuff.
Pro loses conduct for not only unnecessarily claiming that Con used fallacious sources but saying the following:
"You are a Janus-faced wanker"
" the rodent literature."
The rodent literature is almost ad hominem and the first quote is verbal abuse of Con.
#2
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
Con far and away had better arguments showing that MSG for the most part is safe, and that people who claim to have sensitivity towards MSG in actual trials have indicated that they mostly do not. The sources con uses for their arguments are also strongly recognized as reliable and fair sources, pro failing abysmally to challenge the sources as unreliable when given the opportunity. Pro's conduct was also quite poor towards the end of the debate, spelling and grammar not much of an issue. Easy win.
#1
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
Con provided the most reliable sources with respect to MSG's affects on humans.
Con couched their arguments in a more organized and relevant fashion, making them more convincing.
Con's formatting and grammar were better.
Con automatically has better conduct, as Pro devolved to hurling unwarranted insults.
Con wins on all points.