“To think at this point, I was on their radar and I had no clue,” Parent said.
The strategizing was revealed in emails, along with thousands of other pages of documents released in a freedom of information request by HYPERLINK "http://usrtk.org/" \t "_blank" US Right to Know (USRTK), a non-profit advocacy group funded by the Organic Consumers Association concerned with the safety of GMOs.
The documents revealed the increasingly vicious public relations war over GMOs.
“It’s mostly scientists that they attack, but Rachel is a standout. The agrichemical industry is plainly quite threatened by this teenage schoolgirl, so that’s why they’re after her,” Gary Ruskin, the co-director of USRTK said.
The documents plainly show that professors and academics were contacted by companies like Monsanto and the industry trade association’s public relations firm to provide expert opinion and offer credibility in a complicated debate.
A video appeared online that was quite specific, entitled, “How do you agree/disagree with 14 year old GMO Activist?”
The video talked about Parent’s activism, her belief that all GMO food products should be labelled, and addressed her apparent lack of scientific knowledge.
Parent said she finds the tone of the video “almost degrading.”
She also defended the information on her organization’s website as scientifically sound.
“People can say whatever they want about me, but as long as I know what I am doing is right, their opinion doesn’t matter.”
Parent continues her quest to get GMO ingredients in food labelled, and she knows she faces some serious opposition.
“We are still going strong with our message of right to know…we’re just appealing to simple transparency,” said Parent.
Everyone has the right to know what is in our food and what we put on our tables and into our mouths.