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Durbin and the GMO vote

Published: Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

To the Editor:

Since 1997, the European Union has mandated genetically modified food labeling, enabling its citizens to make educated decisions about what they eat.

This probably has contributed to the fact that Switzerland, Italy, Spain, France, Sweden, Norway, Ireland, Finland, Germany, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Belgium and Portugal, among many other countries, lead the U.S. in life expectancy.

If we hope to improve our health statistics, we need to start with improving the quality of our food, which is why I am shocked and appalled by Sen. Dick Durbin’s vote against states’ rights to label genetically modified food.

Instead of serving his constituents with laws encouraging public safety and justice, Durbin is trying to serve us genetically modified foods against our knowledge – foods that may promote increased toxicity, food allergy, decreasednutritional value and antibiotic resistance. Scary picture.

More than two dozen states have introduced, or are planning to introduce, genetically modified labeling laws.

Connecticut and Maine just passed the country’s first genetically modified labeling laws. Vermont and Washington state residents will soon be able tochoose between genetically modified and nongenetically modified foods.

Why shouldn’t Illinois constituents enjoy the same rights?

Farah Abid

South Barrington

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