Monsanto, GMOs and journalism ethics: Science writer Tamar Haspel responds to HuffPost attack on her work

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[On August 6], HuffPost published a hit piece about me. It was about conflicts of interest, and I think it’s an excellent opportunity to talk about ethics in journalism.

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Tamar Haspel

If you read the piece, you might not know that I have a conflict-of-interest policy that’s vetted by top media ethicists, and that I scrupulously follow their advice. You might also not know that you can read about my participation in the events the story mentions on my very own website, because there wasn’t a link to that page where I disclose every job I’m hired to do.

[Editor’s note: Tamar Haspel is a well-known and widely respected science journalist who covers food and biotechnology. She was the subject of a critical story published by the Huffington Post. This article is her response to the author’s criticism.]

The author [of the HuffPo piece], Paul Thacker, knew all of that …. but chose to mislead, mischaracterize, and omit, because what I actually do doesn’t suit his agenda. Sure, call a conference put on by a not-for-profit an “industry junket.” Call asking a question on an industry website “enthusiastically promoting” a PR campaign. Call a journalist one-sided and just leave out the other side. But that’s not even the problem.

Related article:  GMO Golden Rice lauded as one of the most important research projects over the past 50 years

The real problem is HuffPost. Executive editor Hillary Frey knows all that …. because I told her, but she’s content to let the piece stand as written.

[Editor’s note: Paul Thacker is part of the team at US Right to Know, which regularly attacks journalists and scientists who report in a balanced way on agricultural biotechnology. The GLP has a profile of USRTK here.]

Read full, original article: Let’s talk about journalism ethics — mine and HuffPost’s


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