Rachel Parent is 14 and strongly believes that GMOs should be labeled in food. She founded the group Kids Right to Know, to create mass awareness about the risks of GMOs and to push for their mandatory labeling.
In a recent appearance on the Canadian show “The Lang and O’Leary Exchange” last week, she held her own against Kevin O’Leary, who challenged her position on GMOs.
O’Leary suggested that Parent was essentially a lobbyist for anti-GMO groups and took the position that changes to the DNA of crops will save lives.
“Let’s say you weren’t as lucky as you are, you were born in an Asian country, you’re 14 years old, your only food was rice that had no Vitamin A in it, you’re going blind and then you died,” said O’Leary . “Five-hundred-and-fifty-thousand people your age die that way every year. And a company like Monsanto could come along and offer you a genetically-modified rice that includes Vitamin A that could save your eyesight and your life.”
Parent calmly responded by saying “Golden rice was scrapped because it didn’t work. And in order for the average 11-year-old boy to get enough Vitamin A from rice he would have to eat 27 bowls of rice per day,” she said. “The reason there is blindness isn’t because there is a lack of Vitamin A in the rice, it’s because their diets are simply rice.”
Overall, Parent came across as calm and articulate, while O’Leary appeared extremely agitated. Further, Parent acknowledged that we shouldn’t completely ban companies from growing GMO crops, but insisted that we needed mandatory labeling laws so consumers can choose for themselves and non-industry groups and government need to do more testing, rather than what happens today, where most testing is currently done by the very corporations that stand to profit from using GMOs.
Watch the video below. The fun begins at around 00:35 seconds in.