The FDA’s irradiation decision is the latest attempt to find a technical fix to what has become a near-epidemic food safety problem.

•In 2000, the FDA approved the use of irradiation on meat, a practice that has not gained widespread consumer acceptance.

• In July 2004, the agency approved the application of carbon monoxide gas to preserve the red color of packaged meat.

•In January more controversy was stirred when the FDA approved the sale of meat and dairy products from cloned cows.

Whether consumers will accept irradiated lettuce and spinach is an open question. Irradiated meat, for example, is hard to find in most stores.

"Hopefully there’ll be some manufacturers that will take that step," said Bill Marler, a Seattle attorney who represents food contamination victims. "Hopefully the public will be less concerned about it. All the evidence suggests that there’s not a risk."

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P.S. If the symbol above is on a food package, its gone through irradiation.