NJ congressman: Stop allowing deadly recalled products to be sold online
💻 Officials are targeting online retailers for permitting the sale of recalled products
💻 Meta has allegedly been warned countless times
💻 Letters have been sent to multiple platforms, including eBbay and Amazon
Recalled products linked to infant deaths are not officially off the market.
Members of U.S. Congress are going after companies that offer online marketplaces and permit users to sell dangerous products that have been pulled from shelves at legitimate stores.
Two of the products specifically cited by officials have been linked to more than 100 infant deaths — many of which have occurred since recalls were first announced.
"Consumers deserve to know that the products that they're buying are safe," said U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J. 6th District, at a press conference in Aberdeen.
Parents assume that "there's some kind of policing" behind the scenes of online markets, "but the reality is that that's not true," Pallone said.
Pallone's comments were mainly targeted toward Meta (aka Facebook). Since the beginning of 2022, he said, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, which decides whether products deserve a recall, has sent Meta a handful of letters and thousands of takedown requests related to banned and recalled hazardous products that are available for sale on their platforms.
Of note, the products in question include the Fisher Price Rock 'n Play (recalled in 2019), and the Boppy Newborn Lounger (recalled in 2021). The Rock 'n Play has been linked to 100 infant deaths, and the Boppy has been linked to at least 10.
"I can't overemphasize how bad the situation is," Pallone said.
The volume of CPSC takedown requests has not slowed, and CPSC staff is unaware of any proactive measures taken by Meta to prevent these types of postings in the future.
Letters from members of the Energy and Commerce Committee have been sent to the operators of multiple well-known platforms, such as Meta, Etsy, eBay, and Amazon, looking for answers related to their oversight of products being sold.
Pallone and his colleagues want the companies to answer their series of questions by Sept. 1.
"We need to demand more of retailers and manufacturers and force them to act responsibly, even when no one is looking," said Joyce Davis, president of Keeping Babies Safe. "This congressional action is a key step toward protecting our babies from harm.”
In the meantime, Davis said, parents should do their research before choosing to buy a product online from another user.
"The minute you Google a product, you will see that there have been tragedies, deaths, and a recall," Davis said.
Meta has not responded to New Jersey 101.5's request for comment.