Merriam-Webster has updated its entry on “Chinese restaurant syndrome,” a term many Asian Americans saw as antiquated and even racist.

The phrase was previously defined as a legitimate illness brought on by food seasoned with monosodium glutamate but “especially Chinese food.” Merriam-Webster.com said symptoms include numbness of the neck, arms and back as well as headaches and dizziness.

Now, the definition has a detailed disclaimer noting the term as “dated” and “offensive.” It also states research conducted since the so-called syndrome was reported in the 1960s has not found any link between MSG and those symptoms.

It also contains a link to another entry — the more clinical term, “MSG symptom complex.”

Peter Sokolowski, editor at large at Merriam-Webster, confirmed the changes.

“This process is always ongoing, and includes the gathering of evidence and drafting of revisions to be reviewed by specialized and senior editors before being added to a scheduled release of changes,” he said.

He did not say when the revisions were made.

The issue gained attention in January when Ajinomoto, a longtime Japanese producer of MSG seasonings, called on Merriam-Webster to alter its entry. The company hired restaurateur Eddie Huang and “The Real” TV co-host Jeannie Mai for a social media campaign.

MSG comes from glutamate, a common amino acid or protein building block found in food. The Food and Drug Administration says MSG is generally recognized as a safe addition to food. In previous studies with people identifying as sensitive to MSG, researchers found that neither MSG nor a placebo caused consistent reactions, the agency said.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

More from this section

When you have tried every pencil, powder, gel and stencil at the makeup counter and your brows are still not to your liking, microblading may be your next solution. Microblading has grown steadily in popularity over the past couple of years, but it has been around for decades. Microblading i…

Bill Bernstein is so confident the business community will bounce back from the COVID-19 outbreak that he’s preparing to open a new farmers market in Brunswick in July.

Judging from crowds at East Beach in recent days, Glynn County lifeguards expect the Memorial Day weekend to rival or exceed the Fourth of July on St. Simons Island.