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November 11, 1977 - Image 4

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Michigan Daily, 1977-11-11

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e 4-Friday, November 11, 1977-The Michigan Daily

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ELECTED A YEAR AGO

Ulbe Atbichan- :ai1

Has Carterfound aformula?

Eigy-hty-Eight Years of Editorial Freedom
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Vol. LXXXVIII, No.56
News Phone: 764-0552
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan
7DA-must be responsible
or liquid dieters daths

By BRUCE BRUMBERG

HE FOOD AND DRUG Admini-
stration (FDA) yesterday issued
warning to dieters that the use of
uid protein food - sold over-the-
unter in pharmacies throughout the
untry - is potentially dangerous.,
The FDA, after investigating the
deaths of 16 women who had been tak-
ing the diet supplement, announced it
had "every reason to believe that the
liquid protein was at least a contrib,
uting factor or a cause of the deaths."
Further studies will be necessary, the
FDA said, to establish a cause and ef-
fect relationship.
It's all very nice that the agency has
seen fit to give us this warning, but it
unfortunately came too late for the 16
victims. There is no telling how many
more will die or suffer needlessly from
this hazardous liquid diet..
Why did anyone have to die at all? It
is the assigned task of the FDA to be
constantly vigilant of substances sold
to the average consumer. Yet, 16 per-
sons - possibly more - have to die in
order to get the agency to conduct in-
vestigations.
The FDA obviously has it's strate-
gies confused. It is to act as a protec-
tive and preventive agency, not an af-
ter-the-fact investigative tool.
Where is the protection from this
"garbage," as one director of Ralph
Nader's research group called it.
Many of the liquid diet supplements
are made from the by-products of the
slaughtering of cattle. Isn't this fact
alone suspicious enough to prompt an
investigation before it goes on sale?
The FDA has established an alibi of
sorts for itself, saying that since the
product was not a drug, a food additive
or a cosmetic nor medical device, it did
not merit the agency's undivided scru-
tiny. That is - not until users starting
getting sick and dying.

R EPORTS OF THE DIET'S effec-
tiveness - some users lost as
much as 100 pounds over a period of
months - have led to its widespread
popularity. As would be expected,
manufacturers of the liquid protein
supplement are much less concerned
about what goes into the stuff or what
its effects are on health than they are
about how the product sells. Did the
FDA expect manufacturers to analyze
the diet themselves and bare all to the
general public about its effects?
Officials of the FDA say they are
now seeking to have the various manu-
facturers of the supplement volun-
tarily place warning labels on the
product. Only after a relationship is
found between the diet and the 16
deaths will the product be taken off the
market, they say.
Certainly, if the FDA is not now re-
quired to analyze such products as the
liquid protein diet, it is time that such
requirements be drawn up.
01 hieft tpn Bul

Exactly one year ago last week Jimmy
Carter was elected President. Now, as the
95th Congress is driving towards adjourn-
ment, his leadership is in serious trouble.
Carter has had some success in his first
ten months. As he promised he would, he won
legislative approval for executive reorgani-
zation,'a strip-mining bill, a hefty increase in
the minimum wage, and a limited program of
public works jobs.
MOREOVER, THE President's active in-
volvement in foreign affairs now seems to be
showing some results. There is at least some
form of movement toward settlement in the
Middle East and in arms talks with the
Soviets.
But in the domestic regions that were the
favorite terrain of his campaign rhetoric and
the centerpieces of his Administration -
welfare reform, tax reform, reduced unem-
ployment, economic ,stability and new ap-
proaches to the energy crisis - Carter has
been strikingly less successful.
Jimmy Carter has not yet produced a
special sense of authority. He came to office
convinced that the solutions to many
problems were far easier than they actually
were. One of Carter's counselors affirms the
President's intelligence, but observes: "The
greatest problem facing the nation today is
Carter's lack of experience."
JOHN RHODES, House minority leader, is
very critical of Carter's first ten months. He
says: "The Carter Administration has
revealed a pattern of uncertainty and inepti-
tude, compounded by a moral blindness and a
lack of understanding of the very processes of
government, that bode no good for the na-
tion's economic health or for the state of its
defenses. The simple fact is that President
Carter's domestic and foreign policies are

The simple fact is
that President Carter's
domestic and foreign
policies are nonexistent
-. -He has failed to
grasp the global im-
plications of each and
every one of his acts.'
- House Minority
Leader John Rhodes
nonexistent ... He has failed to grasp the
global implications of each and every one of
his acts. Public policy is no policy at all unless
it is an interlocking series of attitudes, judg-
ments, and movements that are related to an
overall objective. I don't believe we have such
a policy today."
There is little argument about whether Mr.
Carter does or does not have serious prob-
lems, but the various theories on their origin
seem either incomplete or inappropriate. One
theory holds that Carter should enlarge and
enrich his staff to include people who know
how cities run. Says a former member of
Ford's Cabinet: "Carter has not made the
transition from running for office to the job of
leading the nation. Hamilton Jordon and Jody
Powell and the rest of the Georgia mafia may
make great campaign aides, but they are not
experienced in power."
Some critics feel Carter's problems star-
ted with an early ineptness in -his Congres-
sional liaison staff. Others find fault with his

tendency to moralize on every issue. Many
suggest that he simply tried to do too much
too soon with Congress - an organism that is
constitutionally incapable of moving fast.
SURELY, MR. Carter's long preoccupa-
tion with Office of Management and Budget
Director Bert Lance did not help his legisla-
tive programs. Also, the renaissance of a
Congress unimpressed with the White House
and proud of its own power, has played a role
in the President's first-year difficulties.
Still, there is another side to all this. There
is the contention on Capital Hill that the
President does not seem to understand that
his approach to any issue - welfare or tax
reform, economic stimuli or energy solutions
- is not the only available theory or problem-
solving technique.
The fact that Carter has chosen to deal
with society's most perplexing troubles is
very impressive. Yet, Carter's reluctance to
compromise has left many on Capital Hill
believing that the White House thinks its own
legislative programs are stone tablets from
Mount Sinai.
In the words of one Democratic Senator:
"He has his way and we have our way. We
believe we're right but we're willing to talk
about it. He insists he's right and that's the
end of the discussion."
There is no handbook on how to be a suc-
cessful President. Every Chief Executive has
had to blend his special strengths into a for-
mula for leadership. Being President is the
job of fusing together the correct ideas, the
correct instincts, and the correct people.
From these come purpose and force. Carter
has not yet found his formula.
Bruce Brumberg is a frequent contribu-
tor to the Daily's editorial page.

EDITORIAL STAFF
ANN MARIE LIPINSKI
Editors-in-Chief

JIM TOBIN

LOIS JOSIMOVICH......... ............ Managing Editor
GEORGE LOBSENZ ..........................Managing Editor
STU McCONNELL............................Managing Editor
JENNIFER MILLER Managing Editor
PATRICIA MONTEMURRI ............... Magaging Editor
KEN PARSIGIAN.. Managing Editor
BOB ROSENBAUM Managing Editor
MARGARET YAO............... Managing Editor
SUSAN ADES JAY LEVIN
Sunday Magazine Editors
ELAINE FLECTCHER TOM O'CONNELL
Associate Magazine Editors
STAFF WRITERS: Susan Barry, Richard Berke, Brian Blan-
chard, Michael Beckman, Lori Carruthers, Ken Chotiner, Eileen
Daley, Lisa Fisher, Denise Fox, Steve Gold, David Goodman,
Elisa Isaacson, Michael Jones, Lani Jordan, Janet Klein. Garth
Kriewall, Gregg Krupa, Paula Lashinsky,Marty Levine, Dobilas
Matunonis, Carolyn Morgan, Dan Oberdorfer, Mark Parrent,
Karen Paul, Stephen Pickover, Christopher Potter, Martha.
Retallick, Keith Richburg, Diane Robinson, Julie Rovner, Dennis
Sabo, Annmarie Schiavi, Paul Shapiro, R. J. Smith, Elizabeth
Slowik, Mike Taylor, Pauline Toole, Sue Warner, Jim Warren,
Linda Willcox, Shelley Wolson, Tim Yagle, Mike Yellin, Barbara
Zahs, Jim Zazakis
Mark Anarews, Mike Gilford, Richard Foltman
Weather Forecasters

By STEPHEN HERSH
The Ann Arbor Tenants Union
(TU) has been victimized by thef-
ts from one of its bank accounts.
Money was stolen from one of the
union's escrow funds - the ac-
counts used by tenants on rent
strike as a repository for their
rent funds. As a result of the thef-
ts, the TU's escrow accounts are
frozen; the union is neither re-
leasing nor accepting escrow
money pending the completion of
an audit of its books and an in-
vestigation of the thefts.
The stolen money was drained
from the TU's general escrow
fund, the fund which serves
tenants involved in miscellane-
ous rent strikes. No money was
taken from escrow deposits
which were placed in Canadian
banks in an effort toprotect the
tenants involved in the Reliable
Realty and Traver Knoll rent
strikes from garnishment. The
Reliable and Traver Knoll strikes
are continuing unabated.
THE NEWS of the thefts
should not distract the public
from all the good work the TU has
done for the Ann Arbor commu-
nity. The TU has been a force in
the city since 1968, helping in-
dividual tenants with their rental
problems, and fighting to im-
prove the housing market for the
benefit of all tenants.
The TU began its work with the
intention of helping Ann Ar-
borites assert their rights under
the 1968 Tenants Rights Act. In
1969, the union organized a mas-
sive city-wide rent strike, which
led to a substantial improvement
in maintenance of rental housing
across the city, and which
brought rent refunds to many ten-
ants whose homes did not meet
the minimum legal health and
safety standards.
The '69 strike changed the cli-
mate of the city's housing
market. Until the strike began,

Escrow thefts
can't cloud
work of TU

landlords all over town felt they
could withhold needed repairs
with impunity, forcing the tenan-
ts to live in sub-standard condi-
tions so that profits could be max-
imized. As one landlord noted at
the time of the strike, if the cost
of rent includes an allowance for
the landlord to make repairs, and
the landlord doesn't make re-
pairs, that's more money in the
landlord's pocket. City landlords
had a financial incentive to give
their tenants a raw deal - and
the TU organized its rent strike to
give the landlords an incentive to
treat tenants more fairly.
AS LONG AS the city's tenants
saw themselves as individuals
who were helpless in the face of
unfair treatment by landlords,
their tenant problems were
bound to continue and get worse.
But 'from the time Ann Arbor
tenants organized to confront the
city landlords collectively, the
situation was bound to change. It
was important that the city-wide
strike brought rent reductions
and better maintenance to the
tenants who went on strike. But it
was more important that the
strike changed landlords' at-
titudes toward their tenants. The
strike, and the establishment of
the TU, told city landlords that
henceforth, if they were going to
try to cheat their tenants, they
would have the Tenants Union to
contend with.
The TU has managed to keep

landlords on the defensive since
that city-wide strike. The union
has provided counseling to ten-
ants having housing problems,
informing them of their legal
rights and instructing how to
assert them. This is quite an im-
portant service in a city where
most tenants don't know their
rights, and where rental housing
is. among the worst in the nation.
Most local tenants don't know, for
example, what the state and city
standards are for safe and heal-
thy rental housing. And ,they
don't know that if their housing
doesn't meet those standards,
they have a right to stop paying
their rent until their landlord
makes the repairs necessary to
bring their homes up to the mini-
mum standards. The union has
helped individual tenants to go on
rent strikes, and has organized
groups of tenants with common
grievances against a single 'lan-
dlord to strike collectively. Right
now, the TU is working with MSA
Housing Law Reform Project at-
torneys to write and negotiate
with landlords innovative and
equitable settlements to rent
strikes.
HOW MANY people in the city
are in need of the TU's services?
About 90 per cent of the student
off-campus housing in Ann Arbor
violates the city and state
housing ,codes, according to the
Center for National Housing Law
Reform. And students and other

local -residents who must live in
Ann Arbor don't have much of a
choice when it comes to choosing
a place to live - the latest figures
on the supply of housing in the
city, compiled by the Univer-
sity's Off-Campus Housing Of-
fice, show that less than one half
of one per cent of the rental units
in the city are vacant. According
to the federal Department of
Housing and Urban Development
(HUD), that vacancy rate is less
than one tenth of the minimum
necessary for a healthy housing
market. With so many tenants
fighting each other to find decent
housing in a scarce market,
tenants don't have adequate
choice as to where they will live,
and, landlords don't have to offer
a good deal in order to find tenan-
ts. 1
The TU is the group most ac-
tive in the city in directly helping
tenants to help themselves in
fighting their housing problems.
The union deserves the support of
local tenants. And it deserves the
support of the city government.
The city should be addressing
housing problems more squarely
- and one of the most direct
ways in which the city could help
tenants would be by lending more
support to the TU. The city has
denied bids by the TU for finan-
cial help at various times during
recent years.
If th'e TU had received more
money from the city in the past,
the union might have been able to
afford to pay for professional fi-
nancial accounting, which would
have prevented the thefts from
the TU escrow account. More
money for the union from the city
in the future might allow the TU
to resume its escrow services and
to give tenants more of the help
they need.
Stephen Hersh is commu-
nity education director of the
Michigan Student Assembly
Housing Law Reform Project.

Letters to

too cutsey
To The Daily:
Among the many ways that the
Daily covers news responsibly,
attempts to be impartial in its
coverage, looks for new ways to
be of service to the University
community, and the other classic
duties of a newspaper; there ex-
ists a habit that I find sufficiently
irritating that I feel I must bring
it to your attention.
I have found, only since the
term begun so far as I can re-
member, a tendency for features,
picture captions, and other short
stories to sign off with a cutsey
sentence containing on offhand
remark supposedly as an aside
by the editorial staff. This hap-

same reaction to a co-worker who
came in every morning with the
same cute remark about the
weather which was funny the fir-
st time.
The writing talent of the Daily
staff is certainly nothing to
sneeze at. But it gets overlooked
if too much reliance is made on
devices and gadgets. Please have
mercy on those of us with this
idiocyncrasy and look for other
ways of entertaining a blase'
readership.
Thank you in advance for your
consideration.
- Rosalind King.
g
To The Dairy: energy
Regarding Rod Kosann's

TheE
set, who should get the money,
and how should new natural gas
be handled.
With natural gas under gover-
nment control, we would no
longer face the distribution
problems as we had in Ohio last
winter. Pricing would be
relatively simple: home con-
sumers would receive a certain
amount of gas necessary for
heating and cooking, ei-
ther for free or at a small
fee. Any additional gas

'aily
above the basic requirements
would be more heavily priced to
discourage waste. Businesses
would also be charged a higher
price; again, to discourage waste
and encourage conservation.
Allowances would be made for
industries in areas of poor air
quality who must use the
relatively pollution-free natural
gas. Finally, no new uses of
natural gas would be allowed ex-
cept, again, in areas where it is
advantageous. -Tom Reeder

I

Contact your reps
Sen. Donald Riegle (Dem.), 1205 Dirksen Bldg., Washington,
fl C. 20510l

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