Amazon selling 4152 banned and unsafe products says damning report


Amazon has been accused of selling more than 4000 banned, unsafe or mislabelled products on its platform, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The ecommerce giant says that it has removed hundreds of toxic and unsafe products that were found not to comply with US federal safety standards after the story was published, but thousands still remain.

4152 products were listed in the report ranging from medication lacking child safety warnings, illegally imported prescription drugs and toys with unsafe amounts of lead.

Some of the items also falsely claimed to be “FDA approved”, while other electronic items had false UL certified safety ratings.

READ MORE: Amazon could be dramatically affected by recent federal court ruling

A further 157 items on the list Amazon said it had explicitly banned, while paint used on a pair of children’s maracas was found to have 411 times the amount of lead in it.

Amazon says it has now removed 57 per cent of the thousands of products listed, however concern remains about the company’s apparent inability to police banned or unsafe products.

The products in question all came from Amazon’s third-party sellers, which now account for around 60 per cent of items sold.

In July the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia ruled that Amazon is a product “seller” which can be held accountable under state law for items sold on its website for the first time.

This overturned a previous ruling that the online giant was protected from such lawsuits under the Communications Decency Act, which shields online sellers from being sued over the listings of third-party users.

The ruling could have a dramatic effect on the way Amazon does business, and as this report highlights will require it to conduct a major overhaul of its vetting processes.

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