Fourteen-year-old Rachel Parent founded the organization The Kids Right To Know, which advocates for mandatory labeling of genetically modified (GMO) foods. The Canadian teen’s group and mission were lambasted on the billionaire pundit Kevin O’Leary’s talk show, so Parent challenged O’Leary to an on-air debate.
In the 13-minute segment, Parent comported herself with a level of maturity and intelligence, even in the face of O’Leary’s condescension. Parent wasn’t arguing that GMO shouldn’t exist, only that consumers should be able to make informed decisions about the food that we eat. To counter her, O’Leary brought up the incredibly scientific fact that his daughter was once anti-GMO and is no longer. That’s convincing right? Ten minutes in, O’Leary finally admitted that Parent had a point about labeling — “I think everybody gets that,” he said. But not before he spent much of the previous 10 minutes telling her that children were going to starve if they didn’t have GMO foods.
O’Leary closed out his diatribe by telling her how “articulate” she was but that he “worried” she would become a shill for a special interest group. “You know what a lobbyist is, right?” he asked. But that didn’t deter her; Parent stood her ground and stuck to her talking points, proving that you can be small and mighty. Whatever your feeling on genetically modified foods, you’ve got to hand it to Parent for standing her ground with such grace and dignity. [Ragan]