Do elected officials ever read their e-mail?

October 3, 2012

Editor’s note: The writer sent a copy of a recent e-mail sent to U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin expressing the concern whether these messages are ever read by the recipient. This is what was sent to Sen. Durbin:

The following quotes are from a previous message sent from your office, March 20, 2008, regarding product safety. I have great difficulty understanding your apparent silence regarding two current issues of importance to consumers, labeling foods which contain GMO ingredients, and the testing of new chemicals added to consumer goods.

“On March 6, 2008, the Senate passed the CPSC Reform Act, the most significant improvement in consumer product safety in 18 years. I cosponsored this legislation, and many of its provisions were contained in a bill I introduced last July. This bipartisan measure will significantly increase funding for the CPSC and provide the agency with the authority it needs to better protect American consumers.

“Product testing and labeling are crucial to ensuring that consumers are assured that the products they buy are safe. Under the CPSC Reform Act, retailers will be required to label children’s products with tracking information that allows the rapid identification of recalled products. All children’s products also will be required to undergo third-party testing.”

It appears that, as with the tobacco industry’s defense of their products’ safety, our elected officials have chosen to side with their campaign funders against the wishes of the consumers.

While people continue to have their lives affected by the chemical soup supplied by industry, our government continues to study rather than act. I do not fault those in government working on solutions but those numerous political appointees who dictate policy.

Richard Kanak
Cherry Valley, Ill.

From the Oct. 3-9, 2012, issue

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