14-year-girl stands up to Monsanto shill

[Video Link] Kevin O’Leary, co-host of the CBC business news program The Lang and O’Leary Exchange uses every dirty trick in the book to try to derail an articulate 14-year-old girl named Rachel Parent, who advocates for GMO food labeling. Every time, the girl keeps her cool and stays on track.

The conversation got ugly when O’Leary accused Parent of being a “lobbyist” against GMOs and then equated her position of questioning GMOs to somehow supporting malnutrition and the death of children. Remaining cool-headed and composed throughout his harangue, Parent countered that people have a basic right to know what’s in our food and explained she has no vested interest in honest food labeling. She then highlighted the most basic facts for O'Leary: genetically engineered crops don’t actually out-produce organic crops, GMOs are treating human beings as lab rats, and consumers have a right to know what they're buying or eating.

TV Host Bully Shot Down By Cool 14-Year-Old Activist

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  1. "She then highlighted the most basic facts for O'Leary: genetically engineered crops don’t actually out-produce organic crops,"

    This is factually wrong.

    Indeed, in some varieties and GM crops, organics perform better. But in crops like ringspot virus-resistant papayas, this is simply wrong. Very, very wrong. Papaya plants not affected by the vrius outperform wild types several times.

    This is a complex, delicate subject, please let's stay away from extreme simplifications and too general statements that are close to meaningless.

  2. At the end of the day, I think this is more about method than message. Is some of what she's saying not correct? Sure. You can argue that. What you can't argue is that the talking head debating her is having circles run around him by a 14-year-old girl who won't take his logical fallacies.

    I have never seen a more blatant attempt at just changing the subject to score points. She doesn't believe in GMO crops, but she doesn't state that she thinks they should be stopped. She believes they should be labeled, and yet, the host repeatedly attacks her with such appeals to emotion as "what do you say to a child your age who is going to die?"

    It was great to watch these methods fail so miserably against a kid. Speaks volumes to the level of discourse, and this is CANADA. The US level is so much below this it's not even funny. Bill O'Reilly would have yelled at her and cut off her mic.

    So, ultimately, she gets a 5/10 for facts but a 10/10 for debate & logic. At least she didn't resort to "when are you going to stop beating your wife" tactics.

  3. You know what's in GMO corn and soy? Corn and soy, plus a few additional proteins one would not expect to find in them without such technology; a variant EPSPS from Agrobacterium is a popular example. That is after all the whole reason people are interested in them. Would it really be so bad to acknowledge that, the way we mention citric acid or trisodium phosphate in other foods?

  4. Her argument seems to be that there should be labeling and long-term testing. He then dismisses her argument by drilling her on how far she wants to go with her "crazy anti-everything nuttiness."

    Sigh.

  5. Well, I'm not a single purpose account

    Didn't say you were. dancer

    I am more concerned about the outcomes than the process (aren't you?)

    Sure!

    my issues with GMO, such as they are, focus entirely on the idea that genes might be patented or otherwise unavailable to all of us

    I agree for the most part.

    However, I am concerned that most of the funding for GMO research appears to be from private, self-serving corporations (and universities that are also funded by these same corporations) as more public funding is cut for this type of research.

    Many keep comparing (over and over again like a mantra) GMO safety consensus with climate change consensus. The huge difference between the two for me (in regards to the actual consensus) is that you most often see self-serving corporations that are behind most of climate change denial and FUD, while solid research that supports climate change is often done by far less biased sources.

    On the other hand, study after study that supports GMO safety is very often linked to self-serving corporations (who have a very bad track record of lying to the public). That makes me uncomfortable especially when I see universities that research GMOs are also getting their funding from these same self-serving corporations like Dow chemical, Monsanto, etc.

    It seems like the science is mostly sound despite these uncomforable ties to industry, but I'm not willing to completely throw caution to the wind and agree that there's true consensus like we see with climate change.

    Is there true consensus or manufactured consensus when most everyone who's telling us that all GMOs are safe are plucking most of their data from research that was funded by the same industry that benefits from that same "consensus"? I'm worried that the data may be skewed to favor industry and there's very valid reasons to worry about that considering their track records.

    I'd like to see a list of all the research studies that aren't funded directly or indirectly by the industry and see how that matches up with all the other studies. What percentage of studies that support GMO safety are funded by industry? I'd like to see that too.

    This is one of the reasons I really think there should be labeling. I just don't trust an untrustworthy industry to do the right thing.

    This is not to say there isn't also industry that benefits from saying GMO are unsafe so that muddies the waters on the other side as well. But, if they're wrong, I'm not eating unsafe food, either.

    Anyway, my main concern with GMO's is Monsanto's ties to it. The GMO industry (and society) as a whole would benefit greatly if Monsanto wasn't in the mix. They've been proven liars over many years and they do a disservice to the industry just by being involved in it.

    To be honest I think the industry are sabotaging themselves with opposition to labeling.

    I agree.

    What I get tired of is all the hyperventilating about it.

    I think there's plenty of hyperventilating coming from both sides of the issue. Believe it or not, I don't have much of an issue with GMOs for the most part. I think if there was horrible, obvious problems with it, far more scientists and even whistleblowers would have come forward by now. But, at the same time I don't want to get a bunch of shit from sarcastic, pendantic people just because I ask questions about it either.

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