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California continues to lead stupidity brigade


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  • California continues to lead stupidity brigade

    FARM SCENE: California Proposal Would Ban Hand Weeding for Farmworkers

    FRESNO, Calif. (AP) - Stymied in the Legislature, farmworker advocates have turned to state safety regulators in an effort to get a ban enacted on picking weeds by hand.

    The nonprofit California Rural Legal Foundation is hoping the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health will outlaw the practice often described as backbreaking.

    "We've concluded in the past that hand weeding and other activities and similar to that carry a greater risk at causing or contributing back injuries," agency spokeswoman Susan Guard said. "This proposal is another important piece in the puzzle of making farmworkers' jobs safer."

    A hand-weeding bill passed the Assembly and was slated for debate in the Senate's labor committee last year but it never got there after farmers and farmworkers failed to find a compromise. A similar bill died in the Senate in 1995.
    Now the proposal is being considered by a California Division of Occupational Safety and Health committee made up of farmworker advocates and farmers.

    "The goal is to come up with a regulation that prohibits hand weeding in situations where a long-handled tool can be used," said Julia Montgomery, a foundation attorney.

    In a report, the safety and health division found that hand weeding may contribute to back, shoulder, wrist and hand injuries. The division's medical unit also issued a memo in 1993 further criticizing the practice because workers are exposed to pesticides and fecal matter in soil.

    Farmers opposed the proposal because they say hoes damage delicate crops like strawberries and cilantro.
    "During the spring, weeds start to grow in between the plants. All the baby plants start growing up and you put a long handle hoe in there and you would ruin the whole crop. We don't use any herbicide because we're organic. It's going to hurt a lot of the organic growers," said Ben Lucero, an organic raspberry and strawberry grower.

    Mike Webb, of the Western Growers Association, which represents the fruit and vegetable industries in California and Arizona, said he's not sure how farmers could stay competitive if hand weeding is banned.

    "Hand weeding is absolutely essential in farming. In almost every single crop in California hand weeding is done - lettuce, cilantro and strawberries, bell peppers, carrots, asparagus - you have weeds growing up right next to plant and it makes it impossible to weed," he said.

    However, farmworker advocates say some farmers have created special hoe heads to protect plants yet pull up the weed. Other growers have employed alternative weeding methods.

    Ana Solis, 52, who has picked weeds in carrot, lettuce, onion and broccoli fields during her 21 years as a farmworker, supports the bill. She said she was forced to go on disability eight months ago, partly induced by hand weeding.


    what's next? automatic *** wipers so no one will twist their wrists and wring their backs doing it the old fashioned way??

    I'll post, You argue.

  • #2
    And here I thought PETA had some stupid ideas.


    • #3
      ***Sigh*** When do I get to retire and move out of this nuthouse? Darn! Twenty years... ***Sigh*** (Again)
      Officer, I borrowed these pants!


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