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Rachel Parent

Food Safety Activist

This is not your average teenaged girl. She’s not drawn to designer labels. She’s drawn to GMO labels. At 12 years old, Rachel began researching a school project and became alarmed by what she learned about GMOs (genetically modified organisms). This gave her the spark to become an activist fighting for our right to know what’s in our food by making GMO labelling a law in Canada. When CBC’s Kevin O’Leary famously suggested on the Lang and O’Leary Exchange that people who stand against GMOs should "stop eating" so we can "get rid of them," Parent became outraged, and challenged him to a debate during one of her events. It was posted on YouTube, and hundreds of people contacted CBC requesting that O’Leary accept the challenge. The debate was also posted on YouTube – over 2 million views in less than 2 months later, she became a hit.

A Toronto high school student, she is now the veteran of many television, radio and online interviews, and has been a keynote speaker at a variety of rallies and events, including March Against Monsanto and WE Day. She is part of the United Nations Youth Leaders Educational Program which educates and motivates youth globally. http://www.kidsrighttoknow.com/ is a foundation she started to inform the public, especially other children, about food safety.
Jerry Lampen / Reuters

I Listened To The Stories Of Those Impacted By Monsanto's Greed

It was a chance to hear from some of the many victims of Monsanto and how that company has affected every level of our lives: from the food we put into our bodies and the issues associated with genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and the glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup, to the adverse impacts its corporate greed has on poverty and food security.
12/06/2016 12:47 EST
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Tell Health Canada You Want GMO Foods To Be Labelled

With the topic of labelling GMOs such a priority elsewhere and something which the majority of Canadians want, why has Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency been denying this information to the public? Why do the same companies that manufacture GM food for the Canadian market supply non-GM food to other parts of the world? 
11/15/2016 07:50 EST
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GMO Propaganda Has No Place In Your Child's Classroom

Informed insight and open minds are key to education, but there are forces in modern society that seek to create narrow, one-dimensional mindsets and thinking. And this affects us all, including educators. For example, extremely well-funded PR machines are working behind the scenes with agritech/chemical companies and food manufacturers to develop effective techniques, educational material and TV advertising to get kids hooked on harmful food and to misrepresent certain issues.
08/29/2016 12:13 EDT
Shutterstock / Kary1974

Where Does Your Candidate Stand on GMO Labelling?

Attend an all candidate's meeting in your area, and ask what his or her stance is on GMOs. If enough people ask, they'll know that this is important to Canadians, and that their chances of getting elected will depend on where they stand on this issue! Together, we can make GMO labelling an election issue.
08/01/2015 10:01 EDT
Shutterstock / Kary1974

Where Does Your Candidate Stand on GMO Labelling?

Attend an all candidate's meeting in your area, and ask what his or her stance is on GMOs. If enough people ask, they'll know that this is important to Canadians, and that their chances of getting elected will depend on where they stand on this issue! Together, we can make GMO labelling an election issue.
08/01/2015 10:01 EDT
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Is Health Canada Doing Enough to Keep Our Food Healthy and Safe?

After my meeting with the Health Minister Rona Ambrose in November, 2014, I was under the impression that labelling genetically modified foods was up to the scientists at Health Canada. But when I asked two of Health Canada's senior officials about it, I was told that it's not a health and safety issue; therefore it is not within their mandate. Shouldn't the Ministry of Health and Health Canada be looking for conclusive proof that GMOs are safe? I think that is a better way to look out for the health of Canadians.
04/09/2015 12:23 EDT
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A Year of Fighting for Food Rights Around the World

I can't help but look back on 2014 with such gratitude. For Kids Right To Know, it's been our biggest and busiest year so far. I could fill many pages telling you about all the things we've accomplished, but I'll settle for the following highlights...
01/13/2015 12:32 EST
Shutterstock / victoriaKh

How the Candy Witch Can Revolutionize Halloween

Candy can also have a darker side for parents who are trying to keep their kids as healthy as possible, or protect them from allergic reactions by restricting what candy their kids can have. Imagine how the kid feels when they have a food allergy and can't have candy -- seeing other kids reaping the benefits of their trick-or-treating, dumping out their huge bags of candy and sorting through what they got -- it's both sad and frustrating.
10/29/2014 01:20 EDT
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The Government Needs to Get Serious About GMOs

As you may already know, I've been on a mission to meet Canada's Health Minister, Rona Ambrose in person to discuss the important and urgent issue of GMO labeling. To date, I've sent her three letters via courier, and received absolutely no response. Below is the third letter that I sent her.
08/25/2014 06:35 EDT
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Canada's New Nutrition Labels Are Still Missing GMO Labels

The topic of genetically engineered crops is not new. They were first introduced into Canada 15 years ago, with four crops -- canola, corn, soy and sugar beets -- which now dominate the food industry. Today it's estimated that more than 70 per cent of the products you purchase at your local grocery store contain genetically modified ingredients.
08/21/2014 05:43 EDT
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Across Canada Things Are Happening in the Anti-GMO World

Being in such a beautiful country, filled with diversity makes me want to fight even harder for the health of our planet and all of who live on it. We should honour and protect what Mother Earth has given us, not abuse it and leave a big problem for the next generation.
06/08/2014 11:02 EDT
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How I Was Uplifted By World Visionaries Fighting Against GMOs

Recently I had an awesome opportunity to go to Australia and speak about GMOs for the Uplift Festival. After our 23-hour flight, it finally hit me. We're really here. My life may be changed forever. It was so refreshing to be around other like-minded youth who believe you are never too young to change the world!
01/22/2014 12:14 EST
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My Uphill Battle Against the Government for Kids' Food Safety

I've been a vegetarian my whole life, so the thought of eating GMO foods that contained the genes of animals, bacteria and viruses was totally wrong to me. Since we live in a democratic country, I figured that publicly asking for transparency from our government so we could have a better and healthier future was a pretty reasonable request. What I didn't realize, was what an uphill battle it would be.
12/24/2013 07:53 EST
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How I'm Spreading the Word on GMOs

What a week it's been for me and the anti-GMO movement! This is my first year in high school and I am noticing that my life as an activist is a bit different than when I was in elementary school. The most exciting news I have to report right now though is that George Stroumboulopoulos asked me to be on his show!
11/12/2013 12:12 EST
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What It's Like to Be a 14-Year-Old Activist

Hi, my name is Rachel Parent. I'm 14 years old and just started high school in Toronto. People ask me all the time, "What's it like to be a child activist?" Well, it definitely keeps you busy. Insanely busy! But I love it! It's so much fun and you feel so good because you're doing good for the world.
10/25/2013 12:39 EDT