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A chef drops a spoonful of Ajinomoto's namesake flavor enhancer into a pan in Bangkok. For decades, MSG has been dogged by suspicions that it is harmful to health. (Photo by Rie Ishii)
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RURIKA IMAHASHI, Nikkei staff writer | Japan

TOKYO -- Mothers may know best, and sometimes even Richard Nixon, but one homemaker near Tokyo ignores their advice when it comes to MSG.

"My mother used to tell me Ajinomoto is a chemical seasoning that's bad for your health," said the woman in her 60s, using the Japanese brand name of the flavor enhancer. "But Ajinomoto is a vital essence for my recipes. I just can't imagine how to cook without it."

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