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Complete open access: This article is provided in complete "open access" format and can be reprinted and distributed

(preferably without significant modification) in any format whatsoever, including without attributing the original source.

Updates: The most complete version of this article is available at the following location

Citation: Anon. Review and open critique of Michael Shermer's article "Are Paleo Diets More Natural than GMOs?" published in

Scientific American

magazine, March 2015.

Int J Hum Nutr Funct Med


International Journal of Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine

Panorama of the National World War II Memorial in Washington DC, USA

Open Critique

• Public Health • Food/Water/Air Contamination • Neurotoxicity • Politics

Environmental Medicine • Reproductive Medicine • Mitochondrial Dysfunction

Review and open critique of Michael Shermer's article

"Are Paleo Diets More Natural than GMOs?"

published in

Scientific American

magazine, March 2015

Shermer M. Are Paleo Diets More Natural than GMOs?

Sci Am

2015 Mar; 312(4)


: As noted in

AMA (American Medical Association) Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors, 10th edition

, the

practice of publishing unsigned or anonymous articles/letters provides editorialists freedom of expression and "protection from

enemies." Many peer-reviewed journals have a long history of publishing non-attributed articles, and widely read publications such


The Lancet


Scientific American

commonly and currently publish anonymous articles under the pseudonym of "The Editors."

More importantly, any article should be able to stand on its own merit and not depend on support from affiliations nor buttressing

from authors' credentials. The authors of this paper wish for this information to stand on its own merit—unsupported by credentials

and affiliations, and they hope that the anonymous open-access format encourages wide and free distribution. This article is offered

in complete open-access format and can be reproduced freely, without citation. Importantly, because

Scientific American


has blocked reasonable commentary on this article (noted below*; all lead authors attempted communication directly with



, to no avail), authors therefore obviously need access to alternate routes for distribution of accurate information.


is pleased to provide a literate and literary forum for the reasoned and cited discussion of this and other important topics, especially

those—like the forced consumption of genetically manipulated foods and the global distribution of pesticides—that affect millions

of people. Readers should make use of the hyperlinks to additional information and full-text articles that are provided within the

body of this article and which—along with abstracts/summaries of research—are provided in the citations at the end of the article;

because of these included resources, this article also serves as a directory to additional pertinent scientific research and discussion.

Failing its readership, the public, and the scientific process


Scientific American

magazine describes itself as "the leading

source and authority for science, technology information and policy for a general audience", published in 14 language editions

worldwide, with a worldwide audience of more than 5 million people; "a third of

Scientific American

readers hold postgraduate

degrees." As such,

Scientific American

magazine has a social responsibility and moral obligation to provide accurate reporting at

a level consistent with its educated, aspiring, and influential readership.

Scientific American

has a responsibility to the public via

its influence on public discourse on topics of importance. Per the example below,

Scientific American

magazine has not simply

failed to provide accurate and meaningful information, but the magazine has intentionally confused several important topics and

then blocked scientific and scholarly dialog* on the topic, thereby ensuring that readers would be confused and misinformed.

Corrective comments and reasonable critiques of this

Scientific American

article were administratively blocked.* The blockade

of feedback, discussion, and correction is itself


; thus,

Scientific American

magazine has blocked the peer-review

process which underlies the integrity of the scientific process. This critique demonstrates the paradoxical





magazine, implicating poor leadership and demonstrating irresponsible behavior toward its readership and the public.


Critical analysis and effective editing

: Michael Shermer starts his article "Are Paleo Diets More Natural Than GMOs?"

published in March 2015 in

Scientific American

magazine with an irrelevant and irreverent review of his own poor judgment: "a

weeklong cleansing diet of water, cayenne pepper, lemon and honey, topped off with a 150-mile bicycle ride that left me puking

on the side of the road." Shermer's personal account provides evidence of his own poor judgment (thereby undermining his

credibility as a thinker) but is otherwise irrelevant to the discussion of GMO and paleology-referent nutritional science. His

anecdotes and misadventures serve to create confusion, to blur the conversation, and they are uninteresting to anyone who has

matured beyond their early teen years; the Editors of

Scientific American

should have respected their educated readership by

blocking this tabloid-level article.