Lawmakers push Amazon to remove unsafe products

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 Bezos on Thursday, Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.), a co-chair 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 Menendez (N.J.) and Ed Markey (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,” Meng wrote in her letter to Bezos.

Amazon’s response: Many of the listings were changed or removed after the Wall Street Journal alerted Amazon. 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.