Child labor groups upset farm rules being dropped

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Sam Hananel

WASHINGTON (AP) — Child labor groups say they are stunned and disappointed the Obama administration is backing off a plan to keep children from working in hazardous jobs on farms.

They say more children will die in farm accidents that could have been prevented.

The Labor Department on Thursday withdrew proposed rules that would ban children younger than 16 from using most power-driven equipment. The rules also would keep people 18 and younger from working in feed lots, grain silos and stockyards.

The plan specifically excluded children on farms owned or run by their parents. But it became a popular political target for Republicans who called it a heavy-handed regulation that ignored the reality of small farms.

Government officials say they will work with farm groups to protect kids.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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