Addressing a press conference held in Colombo on March 8th Dr. Palitha Mahipala, the Director General of Health Services in Sri Lanka stated that the government is to take steps to remove all Monosodium Glutamate stocks from the local markets within next two weeks.
Monosodium Glutamate or MSG is used in the food industry as a flavor enhancer with an umami taste that intensifies the meaty, savory flavor of food, as naturally occurring glutamate does in foods such as stews and meat soups. It was first prepared by Japanese biochemist Kikunae Ikeda, who was seeking to isolate and duplicate the savory taste of kombu, an edible seaweed used as a base for many Japanese soups. MSG as a flavor enhancer balances, blends, and rounds the perception of other tastes and particularly popular all around Sri Lanka from roadside stalls to star hotels.
And also MSG occurs naturally in many foods, such as tomatoes and cheeses.
Even though there’s no any scientific evidence in Sri Lanka MSG it is widely believed to be causing many adverse health problems. In some recent reports, this chemical is said to be very much effective as a weedkiller and becoming popular among local farmers.
After years of research U.S. Food and Drug Administration also recognizes MSG as safe.
Resources – US FDA QA article on MSG