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In the News
Apr 14, 2010
An April 13, 2010 "Intelligence Squared" debate in New York City focused on the motion -- Organic food is marketing hype. Three panelists argued for the motion, and three against.
The three individuals arguing against the motion were Jeffrey Steingarten, food critic for Vogue magazine, Urvashi Rangan of Consumers Union, and the Center's Chief Scientist, Chuck Benbrook (see picture).
Prior to the beginning of the Oxford-style debate, the 500+ people in the audience voted 21% for the motion, 45% against, and 34% were undecided.
At the end of the debate, the audience voted again and the results were --
21% for the motion, 64% against, and 10% undecided.
In post-debate commentary, one of the organizers of the event said that he had attended about 30 of the 50 Intelligence Squared debates over the last five years. He could not remember such a decisive victory for one side, nor a debate during which one side failed to persuade even 1% of the undecided to vote their way.
Of course, the panel arguing against the motion had science on their side.
Bloomberg TV, which reaches hundreds of millions of households worldwide, will broadcast a 60 minute version of the two-hour debate beginning Monday, April 19th at 9:00 pm EST. It will be rebroadcast about 15 times over the week.
Some 200 NPR stations will play the debate multiple times in the next two weeks, consult your local station for times.