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Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011: High-fructose corn syrup and voting rights

Corn sugar dangers

The L.A. Times article (published on the BDN’s Sept. 21 OpEd page) touting high-fructose corn syrup was at best one-sided and at worst free advertising for the Corn Refiner’s Association. It was definitely not unbiased reporting. Here are a few articles from reputable sources that show a different view. I am not suggesting that we all take them as gospel truth, just that we should perhaps round out the picture.

An article from the September 2011 issue of “Harvard Health Publications” argues that excessive fructose is bad for the liver and heart.

A March 22, 2010, Princeton University report found that experiments suggest high-fructose corn syrup promotes obesity at a much faster rate than the equivalent caloric value of table sugar and also promotes metabolic syndrome.

Science News ran an article in its November 10, 2010, issue titled, “Fructose poses gout risks even in women.”

On August 4, 2010, UCLA posted a press release on a link between pancreatic cancer and high consumption of fructose, as determined by the UCLA Johnson Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The Administration for Children and Families, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, posted on its website in January 2008 a press release from the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy entitled “Much High Fructose Corn Syrup contaminated with Mercury, New Study Finds.”

Alberta Hunter

Damon’s logic ‘offensive’

I was a military spouse for some time. I am astonished by Rep. Doug Damon’s OpEd (“‘Hotel voters’ evidence of registration abuse,” BDN, Sept. 20) stating that American citizens (from other states) who reside in Maine only long enough to vote in one election are exploiting Maine’s voting laws. By this logic he would disenfranchise the very people who serve to defend his right to vote at all: military members and their spouses.

While my husband was in the U.S. Air Force, we held eight residences in less than 13 years, and four for under six months. We were always welcome to vote where we resided.

Damon states that the Maine hotel being used as a St. Joseph’s College dorm for some medical students violates the definition of a residence. Rubbish. I also was a college student for six of the years my husband was in the military.

Those students probably lived in their hotel apartments longer than my husband and I lived in some of our homes and where we were welcome to vote. All citizens, no matter how frequently they move, have the same voting rights as the military members who serve to protect those rights.

All citizens have a right to vote where they reside, even if their residence is short term. By Damon’s logic, if I were living in Kittery and married to a member of the Navy serving on a submarine stationed at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, I shouldn’t vote in Maine because I would only vote here once. How offensive.

Karen Horton
Old Town

Fishing expedition over

The BDN headline read: “Probe finds no voting fraud.”

Mr. Charlie Summers, Maine Secretary of State, recently concluded that none of the students implicated in the probe committed fraud and only one student was not a U.S. citizen. His probe revealed what now appears as an unfounded fishing expedition by Mr. Charles Webster, chairman of the Maine Republican Party, who complained without substantial, supporting facts that voting fraud existed in Maine.

Mr. Summers, however, expressed concern about the workloads of municipal clerks on the day of election and potential for error. That concern also may be without merit.

I visited 10 town offices in Central Maine to have signatures verified on petitions to protect our right to register to vote on the day of election. Town clerks cheerfully performed their duties and none complained about the goal of the petition, which is to repeal the law that limits access by disallowing same day registration and voting.

Participation by most citizens, if not all citizens, is the basis of democracy; let’s ensure that even those whose circumstances require they register on the same day they vote continue to have that opportunity to participate. My vote will be yes.

J.R. Longcore

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