By Rob Janicki
Some good news, which has come down in short order. The Daily Caller had reported on the Obama Dept. of Labor plan to enact regulations severely restricting the activity of youngsters on farms, whether they were family farms or corporate owned farms or farm related operations in the local community. The Daily Caller's report went viral over the internet and has now resulted in the Obama administration removing the pending regulations from further action.
[...] “The decision to withdraw this rule — including provisions to define the ‘parental exemption’ — was made in response to thousands of comments expressing concerns about the effect of the proposed rules on small family-owned farms,” the Department said in a press release Thursday evening. “To be clear, this regulation will not be pursued for the duration of the Obama administration.” [...]
Secretary of Labor, Hilda Solis, tried to frame this proposed regulation as a health and safety issue for children. Statistics were thrown about on child deaths and injuries sustained by children on farms. Annual deaths of farm children were being reported in the range of 100 to 300 with some unknown high number of costly injuries to children. However, there was no precision or context for those numbers. Annual teenage auto deaths amount to over 3000 with even higher numbers of teenagers injured in auto accidents. If the purpose of this proposed regulation was to actually improve the health and safety of young farm children, one would imagine there was a rational basis for such regulation based upon substantive data. There was no such comparative data provided.
[...] Sen. John Thune, Republican from South Dakota. “The Obama DOL’s youth farm labor rule is a perfect example of what happens when government gets too big.” [...]