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Risks of food irradiation

Regarding the article "Beware Scares About Irradiated Food Risks," July 17: I would not want to eat irradiated food. That "small, but legitimate, question mark about unsuspected risks" the author cites is enough for me, especially as a parent.But beyond that whole question of consuming irradiated food - and it is a big one - is another even bigger question that is not mentioned: What about the inherent risks attendant to any nuclear industry? There are risks in procuring, handling, and transporting the radioactive materials, as well as risks far into the future - we do not know how to dispose of nuclear waste safely. Promoting irradiation as a way to preserve food without taking these attendant risks into account sounds like an old newsreel f rom the 1950s. Mary Timberlake, Eaton Center, N.H. Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.