I recieved a response from Google, the provider of the advertisement on the sidebar of the site.
“In evaluating your web pages, www.rfidnews.org and
www.radiofrequencyidentification.org., I found that www.rfidnews.org is
currently displaying Public Service Announcements. At this time, in order
to protect our advertisers we do not run paid AdWords ads on web pages
that contain potentially sensitive or negative. Some examples of words or
words used in context that will be considered negative are: dying, drugs,
addiction, disease, car accident, terrorism, poisoning etc. Because our
system automatically classifies web pages based on the type of content in
all webpage’s, if your content contains words such as the examples above
or the alike, the ads appearing on those pages may be public service ads,
for which you do not receive earnings.”
Apparently this article on the food supply triggered the system. Further, in a reply to a question about exactly what terms might be flagged,
“We do not have a list of potentially sensitive words. Our system uses a very complicated algorithm to assess the content and context of a web page to determine the sensitivity of the content or subject matter.”
Henceforth articles containing these words will no longer be on the front page. RFID News hopes Google will reconsider this policy but will continue to report on issues that may be deemed contriversial. In the meantime if Google is unable to target ads, Amazon.com links for RFID studies will be automatically served in their place.