While academics warn of health risks from consuming monosodium glutamate and urge consumers to avoid using it as a food additive, the Food and Drug Administration insists MSG is not dangerous, the Bangkok Post reported yesterday. Pichai Tovirich, president of the Bangkok Vegetarian Association, said MSG was not made from natural products as advertised, but included chemicals like sulphuric acid and urea. Mr Pichai, former head of the chemistry department of Chulalongkorn University, said apart from causing allergies, excess consumption of MSG could lead to risks for people suffering from kidney, high blood pressure or heart problems. He said over-indulgence in MSG could also affect pregnant women and lead to brain clots in children. On the other hand, FDA deputy secretary-general Siriwat Tiptharadol said the internationally agreed food standard Codex of the World Health Organisation and the Food and Agriculture Organisation assured that MSG was safe for daily consumption. No controls have been applied to its sale.