Kane In Your Corner: Recalled products up for sale on major online marketplaces
Dangerous recalled products are still for sale on major online marketplaces even though the items cannot be legally resold, a Kane In Your Corner investigation finds. Now, one New Jersey Congressman wants to put a stop to it.
Sara Thompson’s 15-week-old son, Alexander, died in 2011. “I went up to check on him and just gently put my hand on him and noticed he wasn't breathing,” Thompson says.
Alexander suffocated in his Fisher-Price Rock 'n Play sleeper. The sleeper was recalled in 2019 after it was linked to 100 deaths. But four years after that recall, Kane In Your Corner found that sleeper and other recalled baby items are still for sale in online marketplaces, including Facebook.
“I will actually message the sellers, just to inform them, ‘Hey, this is a recalled item, it's been responsible for over 100 baby deaths, it's illegal to sell it’,” Thompson says.
Thompson now has a powerful ally in Rep. Frank Pallone. Pallone has sent letters to Meta, parent company of Facebook, and to other online marketplaces, demanding to know what systems they have in place to keep dangerous recalled items off their platforms.
“We have no indication that they’re doing anything to… give any warning about the products whatsoever, even though the CPSC has sent out thousands of notices about how these recalled product shouldn’t be sold on their platform,” Pallone says.
A spokesperson for Meta emailed a statement, saying: “Like other platforms where people can buy and sell goods, there are instances of people knowingly or unknowingly selling recalled goods on Marketplace. We take this issue seriously and when we find listings that violate our rules, we remove them."
Joyce Davis, president of the advocacy group Keeping Babies Safe, agrees online resellers need to do a better job of policing items for sale. Until then, she urges parents to do their research.
“Before a parent purchases these products on any of these platforms, just Google it,” Davis says. “Google the product you’re buying, and you will see immediately that these are a suffocation hazard.”