Lawmakers call on Amazon to safeguard against unsafe products

Lawmakers call on Amazon to safeguard against unsafe products
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Lawmakers are calling on Amazon to remove unsafe products from its online marketplace and provide new warnings for consumers following a report that thousands of items for sale were deemed unsafe by federal agencies or misleadingly labeled.
In a letter to Amazon CEO Jeff BezosJeffrey (Jeff) Preston BezosHillicon Valley: Trump adviser presses House to make Bezos testify | GOP senator offers bill to restrict US sales to Huawei | Facebook to let campaigns use paid influencers On The Money: Trump adviser presses House to make Bezos testify | Kudlow says tax-cut proposal coming this fall | NY Fed says Boeing woes could hurt GDP | Delta aims to be first carbon neutral airline Trump adviser presses House investigators to make Bezos testify MORE on Thursday, Rep. Grace MengGrace MengNew travel ban reflects Trump administration's discriminatory intent China sentences former Interpol president to more than 13 years for bribery Hillicon Valley: Progressives oppose funding bill over surveillance authority | Senators call for 5G security coordinator | Facebook gets questions over location tracking | Louisiana hit by ransomware attack MORE (D-N.Y.), a co-chairwoman of the Congressional Kids’ Safety Caucus, highlighted the findings of a Wall Street Journal report last week that concluded 4,152 items for sale on the Amazon Marketplace were considered unsafe, banned or deceptively labeled, including thousands of toys and medications that lacked health safety warnings for children.
In a separate letter on Thursday, Democratic Sens. Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezMenendez calls for 'Marie Yovanovitch bill' to protect foreign service employees Senators condemn UN 'blacklisting' of US companies in Israeli settlements Media's selective outrage exposed in McSally-Raju kerfuffle MORE (N.J.) and Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyMassachusetts Democrats question deployment of Border Patrol teams to sanctuary cities Overnight Energy: Controversial Trump adviser reportedly returning to EPA | Delta aims to be first carbon neutral airline | Dem senator gives EPA D-minus on 'forever chemicals' Senate Dems blast Barr for 'clear violation' of duty in Stone case, urge him to resign MORE (Mass.) wrote to Bezos urging Amazon to “take swift action to provide accurate warnings that protect consumers against these dangerous and deadly products and to stop their wrongful sale.”
Meng asked Bezos to provide information about how Amazon will prevent the sale of recalled products on the Amazon Marketplace and establish ways for customers to understand which products are sold by third-party companies.
"Amazon is a trusted name in the market, and consumers around the world rely on your brand to know that the products they are purchasing are safe. This is doubly true for busy parents who use Amazon to expeditiously order necessities for households in an otherwise chaotic season of life. Busy parents, however, need to be able to rely on the safety of products they buy," Meng wrote in her letter to Bezos.
The Democratic senators, in their letter, asked Bezos for similar information, including how Amazon will identify products that should have proper safety warning labels and adhere to minimum safety requirements. The lawmakers requested a response by Sept. 29.
"We call on you to immediately remove from the platform all the problematic products examined in the recent WSJ report; explain how you are going about this process; conduct a sweeping internal investigation of your enforcement and consumer safety policies; and institute changes that will continue to keep unsafe products off your platform," the senators wrote.
Many of the listings were changed or removed after the Wall Street Journal alerted Amazon.
But the newspaper noted that many of the products it had identified were shipped from Amazon warehouses and had "Amazon's Choice" badges, suggesting they had the platform's endorsement.
Amazon issued a statement in the wake of the report outlining its consumer safety and compliance efforts, including how it vets new seller accounts and reviews products for sale.
"In 2018, our teams and technologies proactively blocked more than three billion suspect listings for various forms of abuse, including non-compliance, before they were published to our store," Amazon said in the statement. "Once a product is available in our store, we continuously scan our product listings and updates to find products that might present a concern."