Senators seek to fight toys and counterfeit products sold online

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As holiday shoppers rush to fill shopping carts online, senators on both sides of the aisle said on Tuesday that additional steps must be taken to protect consumers from potentially dangerous counterfeit products.

Third-party online retailers, which often advertise on social media, can make it difficult for consumers to differentiate real products from counterfeit products, Sen said. Marsha blackburnMarsha BlackburnChina Sneak Peek at Tennis Star Peng Shuai on Sunday: Boosters Open to All American Adults; House MPs push spending plan to Senate Photos of the Week: President Biden, the Kenosha protests, and a peanut butter pardon MORE (R-Tenn.) At a Senate Commerce Subcommittee hearing Tuesday.

“We are very concerned about what we are seeing happening with some of the counterfeit product infiltration,” Blackburn said.

While many reputable third-party sellers list manufacturer information, it’s easy for bad actors to hide behind the anonymity of web and skirt regulations, said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Adding that the loopholes in current consumer protection laws must be closed.

Section 6B of the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) prohibits the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) from sharing information with the public about specific manufacturers until the CPSC has taken action. “Reasonable steps” to ensure that the information is accurate and fair.

Blumenthal, who introduced a bill earlier this year to repeal 6B, said the article delays the CPSC from disclosing the dangers and puts consumers at risk.

“The changes to 6B would improve the efficiency of recalls and give the CPSC more teeth than it needs to be a real tiger and not a paper watchdog,” said Blumenthal.

While there is no reliable way to track the import and sale of counterfeit goods, consumer groups have expressed concern that the pandemic-era e-commerce boom has led to more of bogus products in American homes.

Counterfeit and mislabelled products put children at risk of choking on small parts or ingesting toxic materials, said Hannah Rhodes of the US Public Interest Research Group, which publishes an annual toy safety report.

“It is alarming that a child can get their hands on a toy that has not been tested for safety given the hard work done by elected officials, consumer advocates and the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission,” all of which have helped create and uphold modern security. standards, ”Rhodes said at the hearing.

In October, customs and border protection officers in Baltimore seized a shipment from China of children’s games coated with dangerous levels of lead, cadmium and barium.

The CPSC, whose responsibilities range from monitoring recalls to setting product safety standards, is headed by a president and five commissioners appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate.

With a vacant commissioner seat, Sen. Ed markeyEd MarkeySenate GOP Blocks Defense Bill, Throwing It Into Limbo Balance / Sustainability – Brought to you by Southern Company – Money Pledged Not Going to Indigenous Causes Senate Democrats call on Biden to push for patent waivers on the COVID-19 vaccine at the WTO PLUS (D-Mass.) Said the position needs to be filled soon so the agency can focus on law enforcement and catching offenders.

“All I want for Christmas is a fifth Consumer Product Safety Commissioner in place,” Markey said. “And then families across the country can count on the federal government to make sure that these bad companies, these bad actors, don’t put their children at risk. “


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