As mothers who are active in efforts to protect our children from toxic chemicals, we were disappointed recently to hear two legislators dismiss our efforts as insincere displays of emotion.

Politically active women have been dismissed as emotional in the past, but we assumed we wouldn’t hear these comments in the 21st century.

We have visited the State House several times this year and occasionally bring our children. We want to teach them that women can make a difference by speaking up. How disheartening to be told by two men on the House floor that our efforts are nothing more than a phony emotional display.

When it came time for the House to vote on L.D. 1181, a bill that would require the largest food manufacturers to report their use of BPA in food packaging, two of our young daughters watched from the balcony.

Rep. Dick Campbell, R-Orrington, claimed this is really a campaign backed by one lobbyist, who uses a parade of moms like us as props. Is it unthinkable that mothers get involved because we truly believe in stronger protections from toxic chemicals?

Rep. Lawrence Lockman, R-Amherst, called for an end to the “emotional bullying” on BPA. Is it too emotional to talk about our concern that the food we feed our kids could contain a toxic chemical?

We were glad that the bill passed the House with strong bipartisan support. Nineteen Republicans, including Reps. Dennis Keschl, H. David Cotta, Matthew Pouliot and Corey Wilson, deserve thanks for standing up for our children’s health.

We will continue fighting to pass L.D. 1181. Not everyone will agree with us, but we deserve the same respect as all constituents who make an effort to juggle family and work to advocate for issues that affect our children.

Megan Rice, Belgrade

Annie Colaluca, Waterville

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