Asians cringe at ‘Chinese restaurant syndrome’ in dictionary

National News

In this Nov. 22, 2019, photo provided by Ajinomoto, chef Eddie Huang is seen in New York filming a video for a campaign challenging Merriam-Webster’s dictionary entry of “Chinese restaurant syndrome.” Huang, a New York City-based chef and author (his memoir inspired the ABC sitcom “Fresh Off the Boat”), and TV’s “The Real” co-host Jeannie Mai are launching a social media effort Tuesday with Ajinomoto, the longtime Japanese producer of MSG seasonings. They plan to use the hashtag #RedefineCRS to challenge Merriam-Webster to rewrite the definition. (Courtesy of Ajinomoto via AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — A social media campaign backed by a Japanese seasonings company is targeting the persistent idea that Chinese food is packed with MSG and can make you sick.

So entrenched is the notion in American culture, it shows up in the dictionary: Merriam-Webster.com lists “Chinese restaurant syndrome” as a real illness.

Chef Eddie Huang and TV’s “The Real” co-host Jeannie Mai are teaming up with a longtime Japanese producer of MSG products in an online campaign calling for the term to be updated.

Merriam-Webster said it had not received complaints before about “Chinese restaurant syndrome” but would reconsider the term.

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