The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 12, 1996 - 9A
follution linked to
Swiss banks to
grold hold ings
The Washington Post
Eleven-year-old children who were
exposed to modest levels of a common
llutant while in their mother's wombs
score lower on intelligence tests and are
lagging behind their less-exposed peers
in reading comprehension skills, a new
study has found.
Previous research had shown that pre-
natal exposures to the same class of
chemicals - polychlorinated biphenyls,
or PCBs - could cause subtle neuro-
logical and memory problems in infants
and preschool children. But the new
work, published in today's issue of the
ew England Journal of Medicine,
suggests those early cognitive deficits
do not go away with time.
Publication of the PCB study coin-
cided with the release by the Clinton
administration of a comprehensive
report on the risks that environmental
pollutants pose to children, and a
pledge to update federal environmental
regulations to assure that they better pro-
tect the health of infants and children.
Environmental Protection Agency
Administrator Carol Browner distrib-
uted the report at a news conference
yesterday, and promised an expedited
review of five key health standards to
make sure they reflect the growing
recognition that children are more sen-
sitive than adults to many environmen-
PCBs, which were produced primar-
ily as electrical insulation, will not be
among the pollutants reviewed because
they have been banned in the United
States since 1977. Nonetheless, they
are still widely found in older appli-
ances, landfills, and in the fatty tissues
of fish and other animals - including
the fat and breast milk of people who
eat those animals. Most of the children
in the latest study were born to women
who ate PCB-contaminated fish from
Lake Michigan in the 1980s.
Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity founders Millard and Linda Fuller lift a piece of siding
for one of five houses that volunteers built yesterday in Pensacola, Fla.
The Washington Post
GENEVA - Swiss banks, one of
the most secretive clubs in the world,
faced new pressure yesterday to dis-
close the extent to which they hold gold
and other assets formerly belonging to
Nazis and not turned over to the Allies
after World War 11.
The latest development was a report
by the British Foreign Office released
Tuesday that said Swiss banks could be
holding billions of dollars worth of
German gold, presumably stolen from
nations and individuals and transferred
to Switzerland during the war. The
report, based on research through
British government archives, was not
the first to contend Swiss banks still
hold Nazi wealth.
The Jewish Chronicle, a British pub-
lication, reported last week that Adolf
Hitler had deposited the royalties from
his book "Mein Kampf" into the Union
Bank of Switzerland. It cited "declassi-
fied U.S. intelligence reports" and did
not indicate whether the account was
still extant. The bank said at the time
that there was no way to determine if
such an account ever existed.
Spokespeople for the Swiss foreign
affairs department and the association
of bankers responded to the new gold
report in almost identical terms.
Jean-Paul Chapuis, secretary-general
of the Swiss Bankers Association, said,
"We have already wanted to shed all the
light possible on these issues." However
he said, his organization had found no
new clues in the British report that
would allow them to find these assets,
if they are indeed in Swiss banks.
Jean-Phillippe Tissieres, spokesper-
son for the Swiss department of foreign
affairs, said. "We are ready to get to the
bottom of this affair and shed light on
anything we can.
They promised no new actions. But
in the last year or so, Swiss banks,
famous for their vast assets and their
anonymous numbered accounts, have
taken several steps to respond to criti-
cism that their secrecy masks a lack of
interest in returning stolen or seized
Last year, the banks announced that
their own internal investigations had
found some $34 million - including
interest and after bank fees were sub-
tracted -in dormant deposits had been
identified as possibly belonging to
Holocaust victims or their families. A
few months later, they agreed to the
formation of a joint committee of Swiss
and Jewish experts to investigate claims
to those assets on a case-by-case basis.
Jewish organizations contend the
amount of money and other assets
seized by the Nazis and transferred to
Switzerland is much larger than $34
eed costs prompt soaring milk prces
WASHINGTON (AP)- Milk short-
ages that have pushed supermarket
prices past $3 a gallon will continue
through next year, the Agriculture
Department said yesterday..
Although dairy farmers who have
weathered high feed costs and low
Wturns finally have reason to celebrate,
some worry whether shoppers' new-
found enthusiasm for dairy products
Even before yesterday's production
report, the department was forecasting
food prices to increase 3 percertt to 4
percent next year. That's on top of an
expected increase of as much as 3 per-
cent in 1996. In recent years, food
prices have stayed below 3 percent.
Some private economists have fore-
cast higher rates as shortages of animal
feed work their way through prices for
meat and other goods.
"The food price story is not over by
any means," said private economist
Paul Prentice, president of Farm Sector
Economics Inc. in Colorado Springs,
High costs for corn, soybeans, hay
and other feed have put a damper on
milk production all year. Yesterday's
forecast for an 8.8 billion bushel corn
crop and 2.27 bushel soybean crop did
little to ease supply worries, especially
since early frosts could threaten harvests.
Dairy farmers couldn't earn enough
from milk to justify the high cost of
feed, brought on by poor weather in
farm country. They cut back on herd
size and fed their cows less.
Now production has fallen back so
much that the prices farmers get for
their milk will more than offset costs.
As a result, department economists
yesterday raised the forecast for farm-
level prices in the marketing year that
begins Oct. 1 to nearly $15 per hundred
pounds of milk - about $1.29 a gallon.
This follows a decade of prices in the
$12.50 to $13 range.
By July, the store price for a gallon of
whole milk averaged $2.65, up from
$2.48 and $2.28 a year earlier, the Labor
Department said. But prices of $3 have
shown up around the nation.
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