Amazon, the online retail giant responsible for a large portion of all online sales, is facing a growing wave of criticism for its failure to adequately monitor its website for potentially hazardous products. The failure to respond to customer criticism and still allow the continued sale of products that have been reported to be dangerous puts customers at a potential risk for harm.
According to The Daily Dot:
Since opening up its site to third-party sellers way in 2000, Amazon Marketplace has come to account for around 40 percent of all sales on the the website. But the company is failing to adequately police what is sold through its site. Dangerous, even faulty goods are being listed, sometimes for months or even years, despite accumulating dozens or even hundreds of damning reviews.
The dangers on Amazon are so profound that companies in the pharmaceutical industry, which are themselves notorious for putting patient safety second to their profit margins, have called on the retailer to improve its practices. In 2013, Johnson & Johnson started pulling some of its products from being listed on the site, claiming that Amazon wasn’t doing enough to prevent customers from being sold expired goods. The products that Johnson & Johnson removed included Tylenol, which is currently under scrutiny for failing to properly warn consumers of the very real risk of overdose causing liver damage and other injuries.
Jason Reed has it right, Amazon has a responsibility to protect its customers, just as Johnson & Johnson has a responsibility to protect patients. According to Reed, when a product on Amazon carries a risk with it “It could have real, personal, and potentially deadly effects.”
It’s not the customers’ responsibility to evaluate the safety of a product that Amazon or some other seller has, at least by proxy, put its stamp of approval on. Thinking so just puts people in harm’s way.
Joshua is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire. You can follow him on Twitter @Joshual33.