After reading Jessica Else’s “Honey Expose” in The Garden Island on Aug. 6, I am disappointed that you omitted the most salient details. Even more so, I am appalled that the editor of The Garden Island has published this substandard piece of reporting. A conclusion without supporting evidence is more than worthless. In this era of deception, you are sliding your way into “fake news.”
In your report, where do you tell us the credentials of the “Kauai scientists?” Not every scientist is qualified to conduct such a study. Nor do you cite a source of the “peer-reviewed study.” A reasonable thinker would want to see the report herself. As a scientist, I certainly want to see the hypothesis, the methods and materials, the data and the results. I am interested in reading the authors’ conclusions, but as a scientist, I would make my own conclusions based on the information presented.
(My credentials include bachelor’s degree cum laude in microbiology and public health, 1977, Michigan State University; bachelor’s degree summa cum laude, medical technology, 1981, Michigan State University; clinical laboratory scientist certificate, 1998, California State University at San Francisco; clinical laboratory scientist license, 1998 to present, state of California; medical technologist license, 1998 to present, state of Hawaii.)
Asking your readers to accept the conclusions of these six “Kauai scientists” without supporting data is equivalent to using the infamous “people say …” in order to defend a personal belief.
In transparency, I state that Monsanto Company was one of my several employers in a 36-year career of research and analysis. I have also worked for a state university and several hospitals. In all of those positions I regularly conducted laboratory tests looking for many different substances from many different sources. One of those substances was glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup.
The most important fact I learned from my research on Roundup is that the source being tested can interfere with the chemistry of the test, frequently resulting in “false positives.” I am not aware that any test for glyphosate has been developed, validated and calibrated with honey as the source.
The omission of a link to the “study” you cite prevents the public from knowing the facts. Rather, you and The Garden Island, at best, have been duped by these “Kauai scientists.” Or worse, you and The Garden Island have given front-page, above-the-fold status to a shoddy piece of reporting that could, in fact, contain false information.
In this sensational “exposé” you ignore the controversy regarding the safety of glyphosate. A simple internet search reveals that the single agency (IARC) that classified glyphosate as a probable carcinogen was tainted by a leader who withheld data from the reviewers because of his own personal bias (https://www.forbes.com/sites/geoffreykabat/ 2017/10/23/iarcs-glyphosate- gate-scandal/).
I would hope that, in accordance with the highest standards of journalism and investigative reporting, you will publish a clarification of this issue.
Janet Nelsen is a resident of Kapaa.