Regs to protect children torpedoed by big business

Author and Duke University history instructor Gabriel Rosenberg has an excellent op-ed in today’s edition of Raleigh’s News & Observer about the Obama Administration’s recent and unfortunate capitulation to big business over proposed rules that would have provided somewhat tougher restrictions on child labor in dangerous occupations.  

About all you need to know about the proposed regs and their importance is to know that Sarah Palin was one of the big critics.

Here’s Rosenberg: 

“The criticisms contained startling inaccuracies. The rules would not affect youth over 16 except for youth employed in hazardous workplaces. They would only apply to employed youth, and educational programs like 4-H would not be affected. (4-H is actually a government program.) Youth on family-owned farms were exempted. And the changes narrowly proscribed activities that are inappropriate for children, such as spraying pesticides and working in industrial feedlots.

When faced with these distortions, the Obama administration surrendered, replacing the revisions with an educational program about workplace hazards – cold comfort for 12-year-olds harvesting vegetables on factory farms.”

Let’s hope the proposals return in 2013.



  1. Carol Brooke

    May 4, 2012 at 11:38 am

    Unfortunately, the proposed Hazardous Orders will NOT return anytime soon, as the administration publically stated they will never raise the issue again.

  2. Alex

    May 4, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    Most of the things government tries to regulate eventually go bad anyway !

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