Some in Washington, the FDA and some food companies want to irradiate our produce and meat supplies, claiming that it will kill food-borne illnesses and prolong shelf life. What they don't say is how many irradiation plants they would have to build in each state in order to be close to the farmers and meat packers; some estimates have been as much as 10-20 plants per state.

Would you want a nuclear irradiation plant in your back yard? What about the waste that these so-called irradiation plants will make? In October 1986, President Ronald Regan stated, "The danger of toxic waste is perhaps the most pressing environmental problem facing our country," then he earmarked $9 billion for a Superfund to clean it up. Our mighty tax dollars at work again.Who gains financially from the move to irradiation? Certainly not you or I, but some company somewhere or even our government. German scientists found so many ill effects that the country has banned food irradiation; they have also banned it in Great Britain. We see what happens when companies put profit ahead of people - some get sick and others die.

If we keep our food supply the way it is, and we are careful in the handling of our food, our children will not get hurt. If we are forced to follow irradiation of food and if they are wrong, my children and yours might die. For more information you can contact the National Coalition to Stop Food Irradiation (NCSFI), Post Office Box 59-0488, San Francisco, CA 94159-0488; telephone 415-566-2734.

Michelle Cummings

Salt Lake City