"Allow me to be the first to announce that TED is dead," says Mike Adams of Natural News. But Mr. Adams is a little late to the funeral, having only just noticed TED's "bad science" letter of December 7, 2012, previously discussed here. Natural News has observed that among the many areas of inquiry proscribed from the TED brand is any health topic not sanctioned by mainstream science, aka. pharmaceutical and chemical companies.
In that letter, TED says that people who talk about GMOs are engaged in "pseudoscience." Those who discuss the healing potential of foods are spreading "health hoaxes."
The letter also advises TEDx organizers to, "reject bad science, pseudoscience and health hoaxes," meaning anyone who talks about GMOs, "food as medicine" or similar topics.
Natural News overstates TED's policy guidelines. The letter does not say these subjects are banned outright. What it says is that these topic areas are "red flags" that should alert TEDx event planners to likely "health hoaxes" and other "pseudo-science."
That letter sets a bar that few natural health advocates are likely to meet. As stated, not even Einstein's groundbreaking work would have met TED's criteria.
TED has also let TEDx organizers know what it finds distasteful with this letter -- and what could put their affiliation on the chopping block. What organizer would want to test those limits by hosting a "red flag" topic, no matter how well-sourced? TED has made it very clear with its high profile actions against Graham Hancock, Rupert Sheldrake, and TEDx Hollywood that they will silence speakers and pull sponsorship without reasonable notice and without explanation. I repeat: without explanation. Note that Chris Anderson has never bothered to justify the decision to quarantine Hancock's and Sheldrake's talks even when directly asked to do so. What TEDx organizer would want to risk having their fate quietly decided in TED's star chamber?
There is no question that last December's letter and TED's subsequent actions can only have a chilling effect on anything but its nice, corporate-friendly, mainstream science -- no matter how poorly sourced, blatantly incorrect, or incredibly dull.