Today's Newsmaker: Rachel Parent -

Today’s Newsmaker: Rachel Parent

Newsmaker: The 15-year-old anti-GMO activist gets her meeting with top Health Canada officials

Rachel Parent. (Photo by Emma McIntyre)

Rachel Parent. (Photo by Emma McIntyre)

First Kevin O’Leary, and now the very innards of the institution she’s facing down: Rachel Parent, a 15-year-old activist who rails against genetically modified organisms (GMOs), has turned a November sit-down with Canada’s health minister into another big meeting on Feb. 25, with top Health Canada officials.

Parent—who was inspired to take up the cause of the labelling of genetically modified foods in school and has become a speaker at TedTalk at TedxToronto, and at protests such as the March Against Monsanto after founding Kids Right to Know—first flitted across our radar in 2013. That’s when she took on the bloviating CBC host O’Leary on his own show and, by all accounts, won, parrying his condescending remarks with her own confident talking points.

In the following months, Parent lobbied to get an audience with the health minister and, after petitions and a campaign, she finally received a 45-minute chat in November. After that meeting, Rona Ambrose announced she would arrange a tête-à-tête between Parent and Health Canada’s top scientists who make the labelling decisions, “so that she can give them some of the information she gave me.” That happens today, after three months.

Parent was unavailable for an interview about her chat with Ambrose, or what she expects from Wednesday’s meeting with Health Canada officials. With good reason, of course: She was in school.


Today’s Newsmaker: Rachel Parent

  1. Don[‘t mollycoddle her….she’s not spending enough time in school…..especially science class.

  2. Everyone needs a cause to champion. However I believe that genetically modified food has been with us for decades…even the modified durum wheat that Canada is famous for. A little research will convince you that without modifications, the huge demands that an every growing world population puts on food production would never be met.

  3. Kevin; There was one question that you failed to ask, ‘Rachel, when was the last time that you ate non-GMO food?’ or ‘Rachel, how often do you eat non-GMO food?’ I have a feeling, because she is so adamant about her incorrect knowledge of GMO food, she would answer, either, ‘This morning.’ or ‘Very rarely.’

    In my view, unfortunately, 66% of our food is GMO-related. If we avoided all GMO-related food that was mandatorily labeled … we should probably starve.