August 24, 2018
While the state of Hawaii has been in the news for more visibly upsetting reasons in the past few months, a study conducted recently revealed something else to be concerned with in the Aloha State. Specifically, it’s been revealed that a significant amount of honey within Hawaii’s Garden Isle has tested positively for RoundUp, the popular herbicide that’s used for killing plants and weeds. A local team of researchers discovered honey from Kauai, Hawaii’s west side that contained higher concentrations of glyphosate residue. High amounts of RoundUp were detected near several Kauai highways and golf courses as well.
In 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) gave glyphosate the designation of a likely human carcinogen because of evidence of it causing cancer in lab animals. In Kauai, this compound is commonly used for irrigation ditches, roadsides, landscaping, golf courses, and home gardens, as stated by the study. Despite its relatively common use, Kauai residents did raise concern about pesticide use in 2013, which led to Kauai County Bill 2491 and Ordinance 960 being implemented, mandating Kauai’s larger agricultural businesses to take part in a study regarding their pesticide use.
The study collected information on the use of pesticides by GMO coffee and seed corn crops in addition to information on possible impacts on human health and the environment. The detection of glyphosate within honey samples was stated in the original report, and it led to a more widespread investigation last month. Out of the nearly 60 hives involved with the second study, researchers discovered glyphosate in roughly 27 percent of the Kauai beehive samples as well as in a third of 15 store-bought honey samples.
The researchers conducting these studies believe that the honey bees producing the contaminated honey could be carrying the herbicide on them while they migrate and move between plants, as is their standard practice while foraging for the nectar they need to produce their winter honey stores. In their published study, the researchers stated their belief that Kauai’s management systems for both pesticides and herbicides need to be overhauled due to their possible effects on pollinators as well as the food products that result from their efforts, which consists of roughly two thirds of the foods we consume.
The study officially reads as follows: "Best management practices in use for curtailing pesticide migration are not effective and must be carefully reassessed." Hopefully, these studies and their results have provided Kauai and the state of Hawaii with a sound understanding what needs to be done to ensure something like this doesn’t happen again.
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Photo By estivillml