For years, Amazon struggled third-party sellers who list imitations of everything from charging cables for iPhone to soccer jerseys on his site. Nutritional supplements are another popular target for counterfeit products, as is a largely unregulated industry. The US Food and Drug Administration has been criticized – particularly by former staff-To refuse to test food supplements for safety and effectiveness in the same way as pharmaceutical products. In this case, the problems came together: an Amazonian merchant sold authentic probiotics dupes manufactured by Align, to the brand Procter & Gamble.
"We are aware that some counterfeit Align products have been sold to Amazon through third parties," said Mollie Wheeler, spokesperson for Procter & Gamble, in an email. "Amazon has confirmed that it has stopped third-party sales of the Align products in question and that it only sells Align products received directly from P & G's manufacturing facilities."
In a statement, a spokeswoman for Amazon pointed to several initiatives that the company has developed to detect counterfeiters, such as Trademark Register and Project zero. Trademarks must generally participate in these programs and the spokesman declined to say whether Procter & Gamble or Align were already registered.
"We examine every potential counterfeit complaint thoroughly, often in partnership with brands, and in the rare cases where a bad actor succeeds, we take swift action, including removing the item for sale, by banning the bad actors, by suing, and working with the forces of the order if necessary ", one reads in the declaration. "We have taken these actions against the wrong actors in question and have proactively notified and refunded the customers." Neither Amazon nor Procter & Gamble would say who detected the first pills.
Amazon also did not answer the question of whether it was going to test the counterfeit probiotics, leaving Bressler and other customers wondering if they ingested anything dangerous. FDA you found Supplements sometimes contain prescription pharmaceuticals such as steroids or antidepressants, which can be harmful if a person takes them without being aware of them. CVS Recently announced plans to independently test each nutritional supplement offered in its stores. The fact that Amazon does not do the same thing may seem inconsiderate, but the fact is that the company has already taken many more steps than it is required by law.
Even if the counterfeit Align tablets sold by Amazon were harmful, Bressler and the other buyers would probably have little legal recourse against the company. When consumers tried to sell their products online, they have been selling their products for a few years.
Retailers, on the other hand, can be held directly responsible for selling things like dubious dietary supplements. Three years ago, the Ministry of Justice controlled CNG must pay a $ 2 million fine for selling products containing harmful hidden ingredients, and the chain has agreed to better control the goods on its shelves.
Amazon is both a retailer and a third-party market. It buys certain products directly from the manufacturers and sells them at a high price, and allows independent traders to offer their products directly to consumers, the latter representing 58 percent gross sales of goods on the platform. But the line of demarcation between these two parts of his activity is not always clear. Amazon exercises significant control over vendors, including dictating the presentation of their products in search results. In addition, it often stores and ships their products for them. And unlike eBay, Etsy or other online marketplaces, a single list of Amazon products may feature products from dozens of independent sellers, which prevents consumers from knowing who they are buying a product from. "Amazon has obviously continued to push the needle more and more to take responsibility for the products in the market," said Goldman.
US Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit governed Earlier this month, such differences effectively make Amazon responsible for harmful products sold by third-party sellers under certain circumstances. "Noted judges noted noted because because because because because because", "" "" "" "The The The The Amazon The Amazon a third-party seller on Amazon in 2014. Several weeks later, while she was walking her dog, the dog was broken, leaving the woman blind permanently.Goldman notes that the decision is based on the Pennsylvania law and does not define yet precedent for the rest of the country, Amazon is also ask the court see again.
Making Amazon legally responsible for everything on its site would not be a quick fix. The immunity granted under section 230 is what has in part allowed online markets to flourish. If the platforms became totally responsible, it would make it incredibly difficult, for example, Etsy to allow independent artists to sell their work on their site. Amazon you have banned some products he was deemed dangerous, like hoverboardsbut there are an infinite number of other categories in which seemingly benign products can pose risks.
And in situations where Amazon can not be held legally accountable, it may be nearly impossible to locate entities that are. The third-party vendor who sold Align imitating tablets or the company that made them may be very difficult to find, especially if they are abroad. In the dog collar business, The Furry Gang, the third-party vendor who sold the faulty collar, has completely disappeared.
The US government takes more reviews the growing problem of counterfeits and the way online shopping has allowed many imitations to flourish. Thursday, legislators in the House of Representatives held a hearing counterfeits, where representatives of various industries spoke of the threat to their businesses. "As one of the largest and most influential online trading companies in the world, Amazon has an important role to play in ensuring that counterfeit products remain out of the reach of consumers," Robert said. C. Barchiesi of the International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition in written testimony. "And we look forward to their continued cooperation to this end."
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