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Fri Apr 27, 2012, 11:16 PM

 

Shame on Obama Administration for Sacrificing Children to Keep Agribusiness Happy



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 27, 2012

Shame on Obama Administration for Sacrificing Children to Keep Agribusiness Happy

Statement of Dr. Sammy Almashat, Researcher, Public Citizen’s Health Research Group


WASHINGTON - April 27 - The Obama administration on Thursday once again sided with industry instead of workers on regulations and withdrew the Department of Labor’s (DOL) proposed rules that would have restricted child workers from the most dangerous tasks in agriculture.

Agriculture is the last remaining industry in which children as young as 12 are allowed to work, thanks to a 75 year-old loophole in the Fair Labor Standards Act. It also is the most dangerous industry for workers, with child fatality rates four times that of youth in other industries. The new rules would have finally addressed this urgent issue.

This isn’t the first time the rules have been undercut by the White House. The proposed rules already were delayed by the White House for nine months before it finally permitted their release last August. And in an extraordinary move, the administration stated yesterday that its decision to withdraw the rules “was made in response to thousands of comments expressing concerns about the effect of the proposed rules on small family-owned farms,” despite the fact that family farms were explicitly exempted from the rules.

Industry critics of the rules, and their allies in Congress, constantly invoked the image of an idyllic family farm to conceal the reality that the rules were meant to address large, corporate farms where the majority of child laborers work and die. The White House not only caved to industry pressure, but also parroted its false argument as the reason for the rules’ withdrawal.

In siding with the agricultural industry at the expense of the children it employs, the Obama administration has let industry preferences take precedence over the lives and health of child workers. More children will collapse from heat exposure, more will suffer from acute nicotine poisoning while picking tobacco leaves and more will be crushed to death in grain augers or tractor accidents – thanks to the Obama administration’s reversal.

The administration constantly invokes cost-benefit analysis to justify its inaction on regulations. Apparently, the administration considers these children’s lives and health a small cost to pay to win a few extra points from big agribusiness.
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Public Citizen is a national, nonprofit consumer advocacy organization founded in 1971 to represent consumer interests in Congress, the executive branch and the courts.

http://www.citizen.org/pressroom/pressroomredirect.cfm?ID=3595

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Reply Shame on Obama Administration for Sacrificing Children to Keep Agribusiness Happy (Original post)
Better Believe It Apr 2012 OP
ProSense Apr 2012 #1
russspeakeasy Apr 2012 #2
LeFleur1 Apr 2012 #3
Better Believe It Apr 2012 #6
bhikkhu Apr 2012 #8
sabrina 1 Apr 2012 #9
blue neen Apr 2012 #13
Dragonfli Apr 2012 #19
blue neen Apr 2012 #22
proud2BlibKansan Apr 2012 #25
farmbo Apr 2012 #40
limpyhobbler Apr 2012 #4
MagickMuffin Apr 2012 #5
neverforget Apr 2012 #7
sabrina 1 Apr 2012 #11
Better Believe It Apr 2012 #12
fascisthunter Apr 2012 #16
quinnox Apr 2012 #10
fascisthunter Apr 2012 #15
fascisthunter Apr 2012 #14
dionysus Apr 2012 #17
Whisp Apr 2012 #18
Dragonfli Apr 2012 #20
woo me with science Apr 2012 #24
randome Apr 2012 #21
Better Believe It Apr 2012 #23
randome Apr 2012 #27
NCTraveler Apr 2012 #42
Better Believe It Apr 2012 #44
obamanut2012 Apr 2012 #26
randome Apr 2012 #28
obamanut2012 Apr 2012 #36
randome Apr 2012 #38
MineralMan Apr 2012 #29
rudycantfail Apr 2012 #32
obamanut2012 Apr 2012 #37
Swede Apr 2012 #30
randome Apr 2012 #31
treestar Apr 2012 #33
scheming daemons Apr 2012 #34
randome Apr 2012 #35
NCTraveler Apr 2012 #43
great white snark Apr 2012 #39
NCTraveler Apr 2012 #41
Dragonfli Apr 2012 #45

Response to Better Believe It (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 11:21 PM

1. Gut feeling:

It's going to be a long strange campaign.

Dept of Labor: Kids can't work on family farms....
http://www.democraticunderground.com/1002609987

Department of Labor withdraws child farm labor restriction after misinformation campaign
http://www.democraticunderground.com/1002617732


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Response to Better Believe It (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 11:28 PM

2. Major agri-business' do NOT care.

Monsanto, Dow, etc. are profit oriented.
Long term health of individuals or countries are of no concern to them..
Take a look at your local rivers, lakes and creeks; polluted; not safe for swimming, or producing edible fish.
Agri-business has one of the strongest lobbies in state and federal politics. They spend a lot of money and expect big results and usually get them.
For the last 30 years they have been subsidized to take food out of the food chain by payment for not planting and then for using our feed stocks to fuels our cars.
Stupid, absolutely stupid.

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Response to Better Believe It (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 11:33 PM

3. I Grew Up On A Farm

We worked from the time we could gather eggs and go get the cows. We led the horses to better grass if they had to be tethered. We helped to clean the barn and throw hay down to the cattle. I, personally didn't milk cows because we had beef cattle, but lots of kids did milk cows. We drove the tractors and the combines. We drove the trucks in the fields before we were old enough to haul grain on the roads. After we had our licenses we hauled the grain to the granaries. I don't remember any of us thinking we were being somehow punished. We were part of the family, it was a family farm.

Oh, and you hardly ever saw a farm kid driving a car recklessly because we knew the value of machinery, including automobiles.

I don't remember one farm accident involving a kid in our area. I'm sure they happened. But certainly not with any more regularity than other accidents.

It doesn't hurt farm kids to work on farms. If some corporation is using children as slave labor, there are already laws against that. And if there aren't, which I doubt, then those are the laws that should be made. How could a child be working on a farm that was not a family farm without parental permission? Let's not get silly about kids working on farms.

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Response to LeFleur1 (Reply #3)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 11:39 PM

6. This is not about prohibiting children from helping out with chores on small family farms.

 

What in the news release gave you that impression?

"How could a child be working on a farm that was not a family farm without parental permission?"

A desperate and impoverished family that needs some income just to survive would grant such "permission". We saw that happen on a grand scale during the last great depression.

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Response to Better Believe It (Reply #6)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 11:44 PM

8. Self-delete

nevermind - the bad guys won on this one, and rural work-ethic (or the misplaced fantasy of that) wins out over education, basically.

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Response to LeFleur1 (Reply #3)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 11:46 PM

9. This is not about family farms. Read the article. I agree with you that children

working for their families are less likely to suffer abuse, after all their parents do care about them.

I would not want my child working on a farm that had anything to do with Monsanto, however. I would not want any adult working for that vile Corporation.

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Response to LeFleur1 (Reply #3)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 12:08 AM

13. A little bit more info on why the decision was made to drop the legislation:

"Facing heated criticism and a lengthy review process, the U.S. Department of Labor unexpectedly terminated its plans to update child labor laws in agriculture."

"Late Thursday, the department issued a statement saying it was withdrawing proposals to update regulations governing what jobs those under 16 could take on farms and ranches."

“The decision to withdraw this rule ... was made in response to thousands of comments expressing concerns about the effect of the proposed rules on small, family-owned farms,” the department's statement said."

“To be clear, this regulation will not be pursued for the duration of the Obama administration.”

"The move was cheered by farmers and ranchers who had criticized the proposals, calling them an affront to family farming."

“It sounds like somebody has got some common sense finally,” said Korvan Kreusler, who farms and ranches in the New Braunfels area. “They're incrementally taking away freedoms. At times you've got to stand up and say you're going way too far.”

Read more: http://www.mysanantonio.com/business/article/No-child-labor-law-update-after-all-3516423.php#ixzz1tIvxjXtd

IMHO, it seems like a shame. I hope they can work together to come up with something that will not seem like an attack on family farms. The children need to be protected.

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Response to blue neen (Reply #13)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 03:09 AM

19. That would make sense were it not for the fact that family farms would have been specifically

exempt under the proposed child labor regulation.

It only applied to employment in large farms not owned by the family.


So why the B.S. rationalization from the administration?

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Response to Dragonfli (Reply #19)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 07:08 AM

22. It was the perception about the family farms, not the reality.

The right-wing spin machine seems to have gotten the upper hand on this one.

At least that's what I took away from reading the whole article.

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Response to blue neen (Reply #22)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 09:34 AM

25. You're exactly right.

It's been very controversial here for months now. But the new rules didn't apply to family farms or kids working for their parents or grandparents on a farm. And no matter how many times they were told that fact, the right wing just screamed louder until the proposal was finally dropped.

Next step is eliminating child labor laws (already in process in some states) and corporate farms are free to hire 14 year olds.

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Response to Dragonfli (Reply #19)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 09:44 PM

40. Yes the rules did apply to family farms...

Teenage farm kids could not work on the farms of uncles, aunts or grandparents under the new regs- regardless of the size of the farm. The article is misleading,

Even though the Right has put out much misinformation on this, USDOL botched up this process.

Yes, farm life is dangerous, Many DUers (myself included) grew up on farms working these jobs as teenagers. But USDOL overshot the runway on this and Obama was getting killed in the farm belt on this issue.

The Admin was right to pull them.

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Response to Better Believe It (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 11:34 PM

4. Newt Gingrich must be thrilled. This is just wrong and there's no excuse.

I saw this video in one of the other threads today and I was like omg how can we let this go on.



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Response to Better Believe It (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 11:37 PM

5. And rumor has it he eats babies for breakfast



Yep, YOU Better Believe IT, cruel but I'm almost certain you'll be posting this in a separate OP.

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Response to MagickMuffin (Reply #5)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 11:40 PM

7. Child labor is double plus good!

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Response to MagickMuffin (Reply #5)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 11:47 PM

11. Are you in favor of child labor?

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Response to MagickMuffin (Reply #5)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 11:48 PM

12. Do you have an opinion on the news release and issue?

 


I don't think a silly comment adds very much to the discussion.

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Response to MagickMuffin (Reply #5)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 12:19 AM

16. you cool with a "loop-hole" for child labor?

guess so.

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Response to Better Believe It (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 11:47 PM

10. welcome back

 

Mineral Man was counting the days until your return and worried about you according to a help and meta thread he posted, I'm sure he will be thrilled you are back.

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Response to quinnox (Reply #10)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 12:18 AM

15. haha....

... no shit

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Response to Better Believe It (Original post)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 12:17 AM

14. Presidency has a Pricetag

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Response to Better Believe It (Original post)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 01:07 AM

17. keep trying.

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Response to dionysus (Reply #17)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 01:21 AM

18. very trying

 

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Response to dionysus (Reply #17)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 03:18 AM

20. Somebody has to, I remember a time when we all (or most all) tried to oppose unsafe child labor laws

Unfortunately, many people changed their views rather dramatically from Democratic ideals to whatever changing views were held by some politician or other.

I miss Democrats that cared about Democratic issues rather than rubber stamping Republican ones and rebranding them as Democratic.
I see more of the latter than the former here lately, quite a damn shame really.

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Response to Dragonfli (Reply #20)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 09:31 AM

24. +10000 This apologism is a disgrace. nt

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Response to Better Believe It (Original post)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 06:31 AM

21. Right. For 75 years, this has been the norm.

And now you're upset with the Obama Administration for something it didn't do.

Incredibly transparent attempt -and once again a failure- to put Obama in the worst possible light.

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Response to randome (Reply #21)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 09:29 AM

23. Do you have an opinion on the news release and child labor?

 


It's seems like you're attacking those who want to protect farm workers and are attempting to hyjack this discussion.

Perhaps you can get back on topic and post an opinion which will end that perception.

I'm listening.

Thanks.

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Response to Better Believe It (Reply #23)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 09:42 AM

27. Your inflammatory subject line is what I object to.

You are always chomping at the bit to destroy Obama's image.

It doesn't work but it is amusing in a pathetic, tiresome sort of way.

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Response to randome (Reply #27)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 09:58 PM

42. I believe the subject line was from the headline of the article.

Not BBI's. Although it does seem to be correct given the circumstances. That is what makes this all so odd. It seems as thought the administration themselves agree with the headline. They kind of admitted it.

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Response to randome (Reply #27)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 10:58 PM

44. I didn't write it. Send your complaint to the progressives who wrote it.

 


And once again: Do you have an opinion on the news release and child labor you'd like to share with DU'ers?

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Response to Better Believe It (Original post)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 09:38 AM

26. Child labor laws are a good thing

It is very disconcerting to see DUers being apologists for this action, and thinking this is a good thing.

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #26)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 09:43 AM

28. The loophole has existed for 75 years.

What 'action' did Obama take? Unless you consider inaction to be an action of some sort.

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Response to randome (Reply #28)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 10:27 AM

36. Inaction is an action

And, I don't know why you are implying something about my feelings about President Obama. I'm a supporter of his. My posting name isn't GreenParty2012.

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #36)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 10:30 AM

38. No offense meant.

To be honest, I didn't pay any attention to your name. I'm kind of a speed-reader and gloss over 'details' sometimes.

But I disagree with the OP blaming Obama for not correcting a 75 year old loophole. And if we disagree on that, oh well...

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Response to Better Believe It (Original post)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 09:52 AM

29. Given the strong objections by farm families, maybe these

regulations need to be rewritten in a way that makes it more clear that family members on family farms are exempt. I know that that language is in there, but I've also seen a post on DU taking the position that this would restrict family farms from having their own kids do chores.

I don't believe that President Obama commented on this thing at all. I notice that he is not mentioned specifically, only the catch-all term, "the Obama administration." This wasn't his decision, but that of an agency.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #29)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 10:13 AM

32. This is a great apologist caricature.

 

Nicely done.

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Response to rudycantfail (Reply #32)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 10:27 AM

37. +1

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Response to Better Believe It (Original post)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 09:57 AM

30. Go to this link,then you can delete your post.

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Response to Swede (Reply #30)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 10:00 AM

31. A rational proposal.

Which is why I doubt your advice will be taken.

Good research, though. Now what do you have on the rumor I hear of Obama keeping child slaves to mow the White House lawn?

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Response to Better Believe It (Original post)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 10:17 AM

33. Totally conclusions

We don't know that we agree with Dr. Sammy until we know what the rules are and why they were good or bad.

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Response to Better Believe It (Original post)


Response to scheming daemons (Reply #34)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 10:25 AM

35. I don't know, it's a pretty good example of overreach.

I mean, Obama's lack of action on a 75 year old loophole is clearly an 'action' of some sort, right? Now he is against our children!

It's priceless. My vote is for the thread to stay as evidence of total lack of class.

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Response to scheming daemons (Reply #34)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 10:07 PM

43. It seems to me that BBI supports the administrations original policy.

I am not familiar with citizen.org. Are they a RW organization?

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Response to Better Believe It (Original post)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 10:39 AM

39. Welcome back!

You're very good at what you do.

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Response to Better Believe It (Original post)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 09:50 PM

41. The administrations reason for pulling back is very strange.

Their propaganda gained steam, therefore we cannot move forward, even though we think it would be good policy.

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Response to NCTraveler (Reply #41)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 02:52 PM

45. It makes sense once you understand that politics is more important than policy

It is the same reason we continuously bend to the right. They say jump loud enough with enough spittle at the corner of their mouths and a weak politician will get frightened and ask "how high".

They will say things like "we may lose votes if we don't please the right"! (as if we could win them by being weak).

Good policy is more for speeches and promises that are made to a loyal base that they do not fear, they do the opposite of the good policy in the speeches because they fear losing votes they never had.

We are told they have no choice but to abandon good policy because of the ravings of spittle spraying lunatic bullies that know very well that all they have to do is intimidate to get what they want from our side. Their tantrums are responded to by giving them what they want, so of course they do it all the time, and keep getting what they want.

It grows more pathetic each election cycle.

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