Congress is relentless when it comes to convincing Jeff Bezos to “do something” about product safety.
Following an investigation by The Wall Street Journal exposing thousands of unsafe items listed by third-party Amazon sellers, several senators published a letter on Thursday addressed to Bezos. The letter, signed by Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.), asks the billionaire CEO to take down these products “immediately,” following cases of some injuring or killing customers.
Citing the WSJ report, the politicians also referred to Amazon’s lack of regulation on items being packed and shipped through its site.
“Unquestionably, Amazon is falling short of its commitment to keeping safe those consumers who use its massive platform,” they wrote. “We call on you to immediately remove from the platform all the problematic products examined in the recent WSJ report; explain how you are going about this process; conduct a sweeping internal investigation of your enforcement and consumer safety policies; and institute changes that will continue to keep unsafe products off your platform.”
This is the second letter from the Senate members to Bezos this month. On August 12, Menendez and Blumenthal sent Bezos an inquiry regarding how the “Amazon’s Choice” badge is assigned to products, as highlighted by a Buzzfeed report in June. “The badge may be misleading consumers into thinking the products that receive this distinction are the best available products, when in fact some of these products are of an inferior quality,” the senators wrote regarding the moniker.
With Amazon being consistently on the receiving end of public and lawmakers’ criticism, the company pointed to its use of machine learning to survey the countless items sellers post for sale. However, it seems Amazon is being asked to better monitor and vet all products being sold through its e-commerce platform.
In response to the WSJ report, the tech giant released a statement maintaining that it follows “relevant laws and regulations” when it comes to listings. Amazon also claims they’ve “invested over $400 million to protect our store and our customers and built robust programs to ensure products offered are safe, compliant, and authentic.”
The senators have asked Bezos to respond to their letter by September 29, and Amazon has confirmed that Bezos will be responding to the senators’ inquiry.