Coca-Cola is going to China and its rival soft-drink manufacturers are not the only ones ganshing their teeth over the marketing coup. The Center for Science in the Public Interest is outraged, but for different reasons.

The director of the nutrition activist group has told the Chinese vice premier he "can think of few American food products that are more injurious to health than Coca-Cola." In a letter last month, Dr. Michael Jacobson warned Teng Hsiao-ping taht "Coca-Cola and its dickering for a lucrative contract, (but) we guarantee you that in the long run, they will cause tooth decay, sleeplessness and headaches." Jacobson asked the vice premier to cancel the agreement and "send a team of public health specialists to the United States to discover the great harm that is caused by a diet high in sugar, salt and fat."

Jacobson told Teng that it isn't too late for China to "map out its future food policies in a rational way."

To date there has been no reply from the Chinese.

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The 1979 chicken cooking contest will feature only one required ingredient -- chicken. No more monsodium glutamate. No more corn oil.

Last year, the chicken industry decided to go it alone and apparently it has worked. So all you need to enter is a chicken and some ideas.

Judging will be based on taste, appearance, simplicity and appeal. You may enter as often as you like. You don't even need an official entry blank, but each recipe must be on a separate sheet of paper along with your name, address and phone number.

The finals will be held in July in Charleston, S.C. Top prize is $10,000.

Send entries to: Chicken Contest, Box 28158, Central Station, Washington, D.C. 20005.