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Era Keys
  • Era Keys
  • Ormond Beach, FL
  • United States

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The recent uproar on the letter from TEDx about GMO's, 'food as medicine', and natural healing.

Recently on facebook, articles and other social networks has been a mind boggling debate on letter TEDx sent out after a conversation started on reddit about TEDx's view on bad science/pseudoscience (found here:http://blog.tedx.com/post/37405280671/a-letter-to-the-tedx-community-on-tedx-and-bad-science) Many people are going on the rampage of saying "TED is Dead" and others are applauding TED for banning such ideas. What everyone seems to be missing is this part of the letter:

"Red flag topics

These are not “banned” topics by any means — but they are topics that tend to attract pseudo-scientists. If your speaker proposes a topic like this, use extra scrutiny. An expanding, depressing list follows:

Food science, including:

GMO food and anti-GMO foodists
Food as medicine, especially to treat a specific condition: Autism and ADHD, especially causes of and cures for autism
Because of the sad history of hoaxes with deadly consequences in the field of autism research, really look into the background of any autism-related talk. If you hear anything that sounds remotely like, “Vaccines are related to autism,” — RUN AWAY. Another non-legitimate argument: “We don’t know what works, so we have to try everything.” Pretty much all the time, this argument is designed to cause guilt in suffering parents so they’ll spend money on unproven treatments."


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  • Sep 20 2013: I have read the letter to the TEDx community on TEDx and bad science. While I feel the majority of the letter was diplomatic some unnecessary adjectives found their way into the email which may have offended the sensibilities of the "food as medicine" crowd. Unfortunately, instead of taking this as a cue to develop a rigorous argument in favor of their views they have chosen a smear campaign which is now getting some traction on social media. GMO's are a hot topic right now and many feel strongly about them one way or another. The headline "TED aligns with Monsanto" has really struck a chord. Personally I am in favor of labeling GMO's however, that doesn't mean I think TED should be a platform for "soft science". I think this is a classic false dichotomy of "embrace food as medicine" or "TED is in league with Monsanto". The real merit of science is being able to revise your point of view as new information is presented. Perhaps there is no danger in GMO's, maybe they cause cancer, maybe autism has nothing to do with vaccines...we'll never know unless all hypothesis are examined and given equal scrutiny. And perhaps once there are published results with statistically significant findings TED will host talks on them!
    • Sep 21 2013: I'm having trouble following, you seem to understand whats going on with this. so i hope i can trouble you with my confusion.
      1. I thought originally that Monsanto had entered TED and was pushing pseudo science charlatans into the spot light to try and of course make themselves appear to be less insane (yes GMO is neither evil nor good, just a tool but we both know how monsanto is with this tool) so i thought TED was becoming obliging for this.
      2. is TED not giving into all their demands for spotlight and now a smear campaign has been put in motion by monsanto to try and cause TED problems?
      3. Is TED allowing Monsanto into the spot light but keeping a close eye on them like any other voice?

      sorry to bug you, can you help a random internet brother out here on this?
      • Sep 23 2013: I don't have any information on the relationship between Monsanto and TED, and I have never had any cause to believe there is a relationship between them. Where have you heard otherwise, I would be interested to read your source.

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