Want a little herbicide in your honey? Study finds Roundup being spread by Kauai bees

Researchers found significant amounts of RoundUp in Kauai honey. (Image: Pixabay.com)
Researchers found significant amounts of RoundUp in Kauai honey. (Image: Pixabay.com)
Updated: Aug. 6, 2018 at 10:52 PM HST
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KAUAI (Hawaii News Now) - Significant quantities of honey in the Garden Isle have tested positive for RoundUp, a popular herbicide used to kill weeds and plants, according to a recent study.

A team of local researchers discovered a higher concentration of glyphosate residue in honey from Kauai's west side. High levels of the herbicide were also detected near Kauai golf courses and high ways.

The World Health Organization classified glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen back in 2015 due to evidence that it caused cancer in laboratory animals.

The synthetic compound is also used on Kauai on roadsides, irrigation ditches, home gardens, landscaping, and golf courses, according to the study.

Residential concern about the level of pesticide use five years ago led to the implementation of Kauai County Bill 2491 and Ordinance 960, which mandated the creation of a study on pesticide use by large agricultural businesses on Kauai.

The study compiled information on pesticide use by GMO seed corn and coffee crops, as well as any possible impacts to environmental and human health.

The discovery of glyphosate in honey was presented in the initial report, and led to the more extensive investigation released last month.

Of the 59 hives involved in the more recent study, researchers found glyphosate residue in 27 percent of Kauai hive samples, and 33 percent of the 15 store-bought samples of honey.

Researchers believe the bees may be bringing the popular herbicide with them as they migrate.

As part of the study, researchers suggested that Kauai's herbicide and pesticide management systems be revamped.

The study reads: "Best management practices in use for curtailing pesticide migration are not effective and must be carefully re-assessed."

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