Brilliant 14 y.o. anti-GMO activist smacks down TV host (video)

This girl, Rachel Parent, who is an advocate against genetically modified (GMO) food – we like to call it FrankenFood – is beyond brilliant.

She’s 14.

14!

Rachel-Parent-gmo-activist

While some people are calling the man questioning her a “bully,” I don’t agree. (The good stuff starts about 8 minutes into the interview.) He did his job. She was there to talk about GMO, and the hosts knew coming into the interview that this kid was SMART. It was a better interview for the hosts challenging the guest, even if she was just 14.

I will say, however, that the male host does get a little snippy about 14 minutes into the interview. Rachel clearly has gotten his goat at this point, and he asks her if she isn’t becoming an unwitting “shill.”  She slaps him down.

God she’s good. She just keeps bringing the conversation back to her main point, there ought to be labeling of food, identifying it as genetically modified.

What amazing girl. (The video starts with b-roll, then gets to her TV appearance.)


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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73 Responses to “Brilliant 14 y.o. anti-GMO activist smacks down TV host (video)”

  1. Maudie Bones says:

    Rachel Parent is Canadian.

  2. AnonymousUser says:

    Yeah, until the organic crops get cross pollinated with pollen from gmo crops. Then your organic food becomes a gmo hybrid. So much for that! If companies like Monsanto have their way, you really WON’t have a choice, whether you’re eating “organic” food or not, because one way or another, it’ll get slipped in there.

  3. Naja pallida says:

    *facepalm* Have you not been following the discussion at all? Monsanto has very specifically gone out of its way to make sure that its products are hidden, by not having any labeling requirements. Plus, they start lower in the food chain, by creating feed for cattle, chickens, etc. When was the last time you saw a package of meat the detailed exactly what the animal ate?

    Not to mention, the spread of their products into fields where they’re not supposed to be because of cross pollination and seed dispersal. So if you are growing a field of organic wheat near a field of GMO Monsanto wheat… what do you suppose will happen? Exactly what has happened. Monsanto wheat showing up where it isn’t supposed to be.

    The only way to have informed consumers is to have appropriate labeling, and corporate accountability. Things we’ve quite literally refused to allow, at the request of Monsanto. Why are we not allowed to know what is in our food? Why can’t they be held responsible for their mistakes? At this point, the only likely way to avoid Monsanto’s corporate touch is to grow all your own food, which simply isn’t possible for most of us.

  4. lucia says:

    if you are not happy with “monopolistic coporporation” dont buy from them…its up to youuu what you eat, not them.

  5. Naja pallida says:

    Sorry, but when a company writes legislation with the express purpose of obfuscating its products, and then also writes legislation explicitly protecting themselves from any liability with regards to their products, and their paid stooges in Congress pass it into law without any scrutiny at all… yes, they are the enemy. So far I’ve said nothing against GMOs, because I don’t think they are the problem. We’ve been genetically modifying our food sources since the day we first stopped hunting and gathering. The problem is monopolistic corporations creating problems within our food supply tinkering with things that they don’t really understand, don’t have any control of, and can’t be held liable for all in the name of nothing but profit.

  6. Dr. Roberts says:

    He is a blowhard, but she is completely ignorant. It is really, really scary when scientifically illiterate people start taking control of public policy debates.

    It already happened with the climate change denial movement, and now we are letting that same type of backwards thinking seep into discussions about our food supply.

  7. Dr. Roberts says:

    I beg of you, read a book on the topic by a credible scientist. You are falling into the same logical fallacies that the climate deniers on the right fall victim to.

    You don’t have to love Montsanto to understand that GMO’s are not the enemy — stupidity is.

    The debate in this country is being captured by angry, uninformed mobs on both sides of the political spectrum. Misinformation spreads like wildfire, and it is damaging this country. We cannot have a reasoned debate on anything, if we cannot agree on a set of basic, verifiable facts.

  8. Naja pallida says:

    Ignorance is Monsanto’s corporate policy.They want to make sure nobody knows what they’re actually consuming, and that their company is completely protected from any liability from their own failures. Plus, they don’t seem to have the scientific knowledge to control their own product. Not being allowed to know what they are doing is a very clear and specific reason not to trust them.

  9. Dr. Roberts says:

    This girl is a perfect spokesperson for the anti-GMO movement: Scientifically illiterate, full of illogical, emotional arguments, and completely lacking any understanding of the topic.

    She would fit right in with the climate change deniers, who think that 99% of the world’s scientists are involved in a conspiracy to fool the planet about global climate change.

  10. Dr. Roberts says:

    Countries are banning GMO the same reason why no one is taking action on climate change — scientifically illiterate people are spreading misinformation.

    We are allowing the ignorant to dictate public policy.

  11. Skepacabra says:

    What happens when your movement is too idiotic to even draw a marginal celebrity like Jenny McCarthy to be your spokesperson? You indoctrinate ignorant children who don’t know anything to just parrot your inane talking points. Bravo. What do all those thousands of researchers who have actually done their homework know? This kid has the internet. Checkmate science!

  12. Chris Mak says:

    This male interviewer is a complete asshole. He is an ignorant jerk and he is trying to brainwash this girl, who has obviously done HER homework. Go to hell, Kevin O.

  13. Christopher Rant says:

    And to bring back one of your points: you claim “inadequately tested GMOs” yet you ally yourself with someone (and, presumably, a movement) who are actively trying to prevent that testing. Assuming you accomplish that silly goal, it is a self-fulfilling prophecy that I am sure you will congratulate yourself for, even as people starve because the food they need have been banned because of your ignorance. Your entire stance hinges on one thing: that you are right before any vetting has been done. That, sir, is the embodiment of arrogance, and people die because of it. You have nothing to congratulate yourself for, though I am sure you will do that anyway.

  14. Christopher Rant says:

    I am still waiting for you to detail your contempt for people who give to charity. Is it because they achieved and you did not? Do you hate people who feed the people you will not?

  15. GeorgeMokray says:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beware_of_Pity

    Used to love that movie. Someday I might read the book.

    Farewell, troll.

  16. Christopher Rant says:

    You are proving my point.

    You can’t even mis-quote cleverly. Another reason to pity you.

  17. Kim says:

    According to him, if you’re against GMOs, you want little Asian kids to die. This type of logic obviously makes no sense and has so many holes in it, which this little lady is pointing out. It’s the kind of piss-poor logic that he displays that contributes to uninformed people only taking 1 thing into consideration to form an opinion. “I don’t want people to die…so go Monsanto!” Ugh.

  18. GeorgeMokray says:

    Projection ain’t just a river in Egypt is it, brother?

  19. Christopher Rant says:

    They fact that you think saying “news corpse” is clever shows how limited your “open mindedness” is. In fact, your diatribe just exposes you as this bitter person who thinks that complaint is accomplishment. Oh, and I derived my judgement of you, but nice to see that you have validated it.

    I am sorry you are so jealous. It really has crippled you.

    On, and by the way in 1924 a Rockefeller dime could buy an entire meal. So why on earth would you complain about people feeding those who need it? Your hatred has just made you very, very sad.

  20. GeorgeMokray says:

    Coulda fooled me with his hateful, small-minded TV appearances. He proudly portrays himself as a plutocratic @$$hole whenever I’ve seen him. If he’s giving away dimes to the poor, the way Ivy Lee advised John D Rockefeller to do, good for him but he might want to rethink his public presentation.

    Glad to know somebody like you is monitoring everything about my life. Well, you and the NSA and News Corpse and any other person or group with too much technology and time on their hands.

  21. Naja pallida says:

    The starvation argument doesn’t really hold water when you consider that many other countries are banning imports of GMO wheat from the US now, and giving our other imports extra scrutiny to make sure they are not receiving GMO products on the sly. Simply put, people don’t want it. But that’s not going to stop Monsanto from shoving it down as many throats as they can. I too don’t understand why they just can’t label their products as what they are… but they know that people would shun GMO products, so are scared of losing money because of it.

  22. Christopher Rant says:

    I obviously know a lot more than you, dude.

    And your whiny attempt to split hairs actually reinforces my statement: most of the anti-GMO crowd want to so subscribe to a definition that equates “hybridization” to GMO. In application, hybridization IS GMO. Both by definition are “the insertion of non-descentant DNA into an organism.” That is the exact definition that the anti-GMO – who also could be considered the delusional Monsanto conspiracy paranoiacs – attempted to have codified into US labeling laws. In five nations in Europe (Norway, Germany, France, Denmark and Portugal), they succeeded and then immediately realized that it then required 99% of all food to be labelled.

    If you are not aware of evidence about organic farming diseases, it is because you are ignorant. What remains to be seen is if you are willingly ignorant or just plain misinformed.

    Just to start, take a look:

    http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2010/02/organic-meat-dairy-safer/#.UgQoahaT8mw

    So now please, go find one instance of GMO grown by GMO standards food causing death of a person, and count how many people who have been killed by “organic” foods raised by organic standards. The information might be eye-opening.

    But we both know you won’t educate yourself on the matter.

  23. wlipman says:

    You’re are confusing hybridization with GMO, which is a very common error. And where is your evidence about organic foods with hepatitis A, listeria, e.coli, et al?

    I think that if you listen to the clip again, you’ll find that, far from knowing “her lines” as you so quaintly put it, this 14 year old knows a lot more than do you, sir.

  24. Christopher Rant says:

    The girl knows her lines. But she doesn’t know the reality. GMO foods are going to save the world. In fact, it is the only hope. And pretty much ALL foods have been GMO since Mendel; Romans themselves had their own GMO wheat called “winter wheat” that fed the Empire in multiple climates.

    The single biggest problem with labeling is that the anti-GMO crowd applies such ridiculous labels to what “GMO” is that is means everything.

    And no one in the world has been killed by GMO foods. The same cannot be said for “organic” foods with the Hep A, listeria, e.coli, etc…

  25. Christopher Rant says:

    His “phony sympathy” has already given more food, nutrition and care to children he is not related to than you will in your entire life with hateful, small-minded posts.

  26. vrygees says:

    seriously?!! so this multimillion dollar companies are genetically modifying all our food so they can help with starvation???!!! REALLY? if they are so concerned about kids in asia how about acctually sending then and feeding with other grains that have way more natural nutrients. companies should just stop trying to pull this bi bringing up starvation, because the only interest that they have is in mass production and money!!!!! this world has turned out to be a place on who makes the most money, no matter what, and yes we have been rat labs since who knows when, unfortunately. This is a topic that can go in so many directions and this girl is just trying to make a stand for her and many others i am sure so give us the choice and cut the crap, stop being so selfish about the insane ammounts of money that the a company will bring by feeding ghost to the people, if they really care and are concerned about stavation , then why is it such a big issue to label your flipping products!!!!! you are still keeping your money!!!!

  27. pushtoshove says:

    Oh yeah….everyone is now a Judge in our society….armchair philosophers and lawmakers…..we are doomed

  28. pushtoshove says:

    Uh…why does everyone here refer to people in the past and resort to name calling to make ( what? ) point?…. Please be articulate and stay on point..in the present …and without sounding like ghetto 7th graders( whites,blacks,Latino, Asian etc…ghetto ). Fortunately for Monsanto we as a society have already regressed into hateful,bitter name callers who rely on TV to tell us how to think ( reality tv anyone? ). I think they are just accelerating the inevitable,,,,Don’t get me wrong …the implications are enormous and not just for profit,,,,,( scary…terrifying actually ) but sitting around and acting and sounding like low rent humans is arguably counter productive. Thank you.

  29. lucia says:

    you ALL should really study what this guys are taking about. The world is not as it was 50-60-90-100-200 years ago, food has to evolve because its demand today es wayyyyy bigger than it was before. If you guys are sooo agains all this then remove all the food that you are eating right now cause you are eating your words, literary.

  30. Butch1 says:

    It’s the way our government works. It’s the same way they pulled the Patriot Act on us to take away our Constitutional Rights. We didn’t ask for that either.

  31. splashy79 says:

    Yes, he’s one of the producers and on Shark Tank. He’s not a nice person, and is full of himself.

  32. splashy79 says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised. This guy is a money hungry creep.

  33. splashy79 says:

    No, we didn’t. It was snuck in, like thieves in the night.

  34. splashy79 says:

    To bad no one brought up that eating organic is a way to avoid the GM foods.

    Yes, they actually admitted that we are ALL the lab rats if we eat anything with GM products in it.

  35. splashy79 says:

    The point is that we should HAVE A LABEL on the food. Why should corporations take away our ability to choose?

    Kevin is a creep. He’s trying to help to force these products on us.

  36. cole3244 says:

    the interviewers lost me since they think the environmentalists have as many resources as the corps.
    no labeling, they are covering up something.

    we are looking at a future leader here, the leader on the left side of the picture.

  37. One Mad Citizen says:

    Ugg! So much wrong in this discussion and Rachel handled it all so well!

    1) We Are The Lab Rats

    This IS the problem! The general population should never ever be the testing ground for anything. That is what real, long-term, scientific, independent testing is supposed to do. That testing is supposed to protect the general populace from unknown/unexpected hazards and side effects of any new product.

    2) We’ve Been Eating it for Decades

    Also a problem! A) We were never informed we’ve been eating adulterated foods. Nor have we been given a choice NOT to eat these foods because they are not labeled. B) There has been a rise in so many diseases/disorders in the last few decades (obesity, infertility, autism, food allergies, etc). Who can honestly and scientifically prove that this increase is not linked to unavoidable GM foods? True independent scientists are beginning the process of proving that this correlation does show causation in many cases.

    3) You Can’t Avoid GM Corn

    You can buy organic – but it costs more and is hard to come by. But true conventional (non-GMO, non-organic) corn is a thing of the past. Also, because of pollen drift GM genes are contaminating non-GM crops – thanks Monsanto, thanks FDA.

    4) GM Foods Are Higher Yielding, Easier to Grow And More Nutritional

    Rachel tried (mildly) to try and set Kevin straight on this but he persists through the entire interview with these assumptions. Having done the research myself, like Rachel, I can tell you that these are flat out wrong. GM crops have the same yields as conventional and organic crops. They become more difficult (and often more expensive) to grow over time as weeds become tolerant of the chemicals used to kill them, forcing farmers to hand pull weeds. (Can you imagine having hundreds of acres and hand pulling weeds?!) GM foods have no nutritional difference that regular foods. However, you are now ingesting pesticides (applied and genetic), herbicides (applied and genetic), and unspecified DNA from other species. Imagine being allergic to, let’s say, shellfish and eating tomatoes only to get mysteriously sick.

    5) Open-mindedness

    Gotta love how Kevin keeps insisting Rachel is the one with the closed mind while he staunchly refuses to even consider anything this intelligent and informed girl is saying. I REALLY wish she had turned the tables on him and asked him why he feels consumers don’t have the right to know what they are consuming. Honestly, how is GMO labeling really any different that requiring ingredient labels?

  38. GeorgeMokray says:

    Kevin O’Leary is a professional @$$hole, accent on the $$$. He’s made his pile and, on Shark Tank, is concerned only about the dollars. His phony sympathy for vitamin A deficient children is exactly that, phony. He doesn’t give a damn about anyone starving.

    All through the interview he was conflating research on GMO with all scientific research on agriculture. Does he think Luther Burbank was anti-science because he did traditional cross-breeding of plants? Opposition to the wholesale release of untested or inadequately tested GMOs is not an anti-science stance. It is a careful application of the scientific method – controlled experimentation.

    O’Leary is a know-nothing ignoramus who believes he is brilliant because he made a pile of filthy lucre once upon a time. He’s so foolish he doesn’t even realize he’s a fool or that a 14 year old girl just handed him his head in an argument. He thought he won.

  39. Doug Shields says:

    The man is really condescending to a girl who has run circles around his logic.

  40. Sandy C says:

    But the thing is, it isn’t working. People are starving.

  41. Butch1 says:

    Exactly. And attacking a fourteen year old; the fool finally found someone he thought he could bully but she handed his head back to him on a platter without him even knowing it had been sliced off.

  42. Butch1 says:

    He thought she was going to magically transform to his side of thinking any moment once she started “growing up” and seeing things “his way.” What a pompous ass.”

  43. Butch1 says:

    He was projecting throughout the “interview.”

  44. Butch1 says:

    Whether we like it or not and whether we gave them permission to use us as lab rats or not.

  45. Butch1 says:

    I wish she would have brought that up; it would have been nice to see the look on his face and to see him try and dismiss it like he did the twenty bowels of rice. ;-)

  46. Butch1 says:

    What a condescending ass he was. She held her own end of this debate against two adults quite well even when they tried to gang up on her. Many times they tried to dismiss her answers or just would not accept them. If she was an adult they would have treated her with more respect. Him calling her a “shill” at one time and asking if she considered herself a lobbyist was insulting. Lobbyists generally are well paid and he knew that. As I said before; what an ass.

  47. TomTO says:

    The host is Kevin O’Leary. He’s the CBC’s version of Lou Dobbs. He’s on Dragon’s Den and I think Shark Tank in the US. He is always a dick on any subject.

  48. logicpolice says:

    Yes… anyone who asks a rhetorical question is making a statement of fact. Fantastic logic.

  49. navyvet50 says:

    This is what an intelligent informed person sounds like…compare her to Failing Palin who sounds like a 2nd grader who has repeated the grade several times compared to this young woman.

  50. MikeC says:

    Yet every time I get into a discussion or debate about GMOs, I get bombarded with “you must be a shill or on their Monsanto’s payroll.” Not only is that boring but it adds intellectual dishonesty to the debate. That is the mantra of many who are against GMOs and frankly it’s snooze worthy.

  51. TheOriginalLiz says:

    She was definitely the classiest one in the room

  52. Shlomo Abrin says:

    The hosts equivocate the two opposing ‘lobbyists’. The anti-GMO lobby is concerned for human health and the environment. The anti GMOers, like myself, don’t get paid and share no monetary dividend in labeling or prohibition of GMO products.

    Monsanto and agri-chemical, however, stand to make/lose TRILLIONS.

    This point cannot be stressed enough.

  53. MikeC says:

    Yes….. anyone who argues in favor for GMO is on the payroll for Monsanto. Fantastic logic.

  54. KLMB says:

    He calls himself a journalist? Is he a Monsanto board member?

  55. wlipman says:

    The woman is just fine. The bald-headed douche is just that. This kid knows her stuff, and is perhaps the finest spokesperson for the Anti-GMO bunch that I have ever heard.

  56. Moderator3 says:

    For future reference – after you make a post, an edit button appears below your comment.

  57. RyansTake says:

    The best way to win a debate is to let the other side hang their own rope. It’s nice that the host did this for her, though certainly not necessary. Given her intelligence and poise, even at a young age, she had him from the start.

  58. ninah says:

    long term studies were done in france and studies in rats over a period of 4 months showed rats having tumors. that’s why monsanto stops at 3 months. Moreover, growing GMO doesn’t save the world as with gmo seeds u have to buy them each year from monsanto and they don’t regrow on their own… so all of humanity would be their slave in other words.

  59. ninah says:

    long term studies were done in france and studies in rats over a period of 4 months showed rats having tumors. that’s why monsanto stops at 3 months.

  60. FLL says:

    She kept pushing him with her statements that a long-term study on GMOs was needed. He took the bait and committed intellectual suicide at the 9:04 mark:

    Kevin O’Leary: “Rachel, we’re in a long-term study. You’re eating genetically modified food whether you like it or not.”

    Lang (show co-host): “We’re the lab rats.”

    Rachel: “Exactly.”

    What breathtaking stupidity. O’Leary doesn’t even realize that with that brief exchange at the 9:04 mark, he’s handing his debate opponent an unqualified victory.

  61. Dakota Calhoon says:

    she is much smarter than those anchors…. talk about ‘uneducated’ – they should should look for a new job… maybe Monsanto is hiring in other departments. it’s sad to see they are using the program in favor of GMO. Controlled media – it would be interesting to connect the dots to see who owns CBC News and their connection with biotech.

  62. Max_1 says:

    Devel’s advocate devolves into personal attacks of character?

  63. Max_1 says:

    Shill?
    WHO?

    It appears that he was the shill…
    I especially appreciated how Rachel didn’t go there and get ‘personal’ on his azz (aka ad homonym)

    .

  64. mark_in_toronto says:

    He is the shill for bad journalism and must own stock in Monsanto.
    He should quit this job a become a House Republican.

  65. HolyMoly says:

    Maybe he was just being a devil’s advocate, but it sure sounded like HE was the shill.

  66. Tony T says:

    tool.

  67. Tony T says:

    The tools asked her if she thought she was being used as a toll.

  68. Jhyder says:

    WOW. Just. AWESOME. Very bright future.

  69. Thanks Danny, yep, just posted it as well.

  70. Danny in Michigan says:

    This’ll get you there (starts with b-roll, then the studio):

    http://youtu.be/HIXER_yZUBg

  71. Oops, sorry, it’s there now!

  72. JudyinFL says:

    How can I see the video?

  73. Joelfreak says:

    Is there a link to the video somewhere?

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