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OSHA Institutes Tough New Cockle Picking Regulations
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WASHINGTON, D.C. - Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health John Henshaw today announced OSHA was taking a "tough new stance" for the rights of cockle pickers. "We read about these people every day. They're hurt or killed in floods, abandoned by their overseers, and even exposed to criminal activity, as we saw most recently. It's our duty to protect every American cockle picker and I'm here to say that we take that duty very seriously."

"Do we have cockle pickers in America?"
-- Reporter at press conference
"Do we have cockle pickers in America?" asked one reporter, echoing the question of most present. "Unfortunately the most recent census data only collected employment information to the granularity of 'maritime food production' and we don't know what percent of that number are cockle pickers. Even if it's only one percent, though," theorized Henshaw, "That would still represent 12,500 Americans exposed to the heretofore unregulated dangers of cockle picking."

Common in Britain, the practice of collecting cockle mollusks for food export is not widely known in the United States. "Aren't those some sort of fruit? I asked about cockles at the fruit stand on my way to work the other day, but the guy said he didn't have any," said one woman. "Isn't it some kind of chicken?" asked one man, when told of the new OSHA regulations, "I always wondered what that meant. It didn't make sense to pick chickens, but you know, I didn't really care."

"Not caring is what let our current cockle picking regulations fall into such a dreadful state," explained Henshaw, "Not caring is what people do best. When people refuse to care, OSHA steps in and cares for them. My goal is to not have a single cockle picking tragedy on American soil in 2005. And I think we can make that happen."
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