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:  Ghana moves to stop illegal import of GMOs, biotech experts say country's food supply is safe

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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