Ask Durbin to support GMO labeling

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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In May, our U.S. Democratic Senator Dick Durbin voted against a proposed farm bill amendment that would have upheld a state's right to pass GMO labeling laws. This amendment was introduced by Independent Senator Bernie Sanders from Vermont, and I and many other Illinois citizens wrote to Sen. Durbin at the time urging him to vote for the amendment.

As a citizen of Illinois, I believe I should have the right to know if food sold in the state contains genetically modified organisms (GMOs). My family and friends also believe they should have this right. A recent New York Times poll showed that 93% of American citizens also want GMO labeling laws.

Early this year, Senate Bill 1666 was introduced in the Illinois Senate and many citizens turned out at the three public hearings held this summer. If this bill passes, will Sen. Durbin support his constituents, or will
he support agribusiness corporations by working with their lobbyists to deny Illinois citizens the right to know what is in their food?

Twenty-four other states have introduced, or are planning to introduce, GMO labeling laws. Connecticut and Maine have passed labeling laws, and Vermont and the state of Washington are likely to follow soon.
Certified organic food (non-GMO by regulation) has been the largest-growing sector in the Ag industry for a few years now. Requiring labeling of GMO foods supports this sector and, more importantly, supports the right of every individual citizen to know what is in their food. If GMO Ag producers are proud of their product, they should not object to labeling laws.

If you support GMO labeling laws, let Sen. Durbin know.

Kathryn Jonas
Oak Park


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