Executive Briefings

Vast Majority of U.S. Imports Not Inspected for Consumer Safety

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, which regulates 10,000 products ranging from apparel to household appliances, inspects less than 1 percent of imports under its jurisdiction. With the odds stacked against being detected, cost-cutting foreign manufacturers continue to supply dangerous goods to U.S. retailers.

Vast Majority of U.S. Imports Not Inspected for Consumer Safety

While Dollar Tree has the most violations of any retailer cited by the safety commission, Target Corp. and Zulily Inc. also rank among the top 10 companies failing to meet standards for flammability, lead content and other criteria, commission data show. The commission is investigating Dollar Tree for consumer product safety incidents reported since 2009, according to company filings from May and last month.

“For a company to be a repeat offender, and import unsafe goods over and over again, is a real problem for consumers,” said Nancy Cowles, executive director of Kids in Danger, a Chicago-based nonprofit group that advocates for safer children’s products.

Dollar Tree spokesman Randy Guiler said the company uses commission-approved laboratories to “ensure our suppliers’ products meet all safety and legal standards.” Dollar Tree, based in Chesapeake, Virginia, imports only products that have passed this independent testing, and the company is deploying additional quality-control inspectors to visit manufacturing facilities daily, he said.

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While Dollar Tree has the most violations of any retailer cited by the safety commission, Target Corp. and Zulily Inc. also rank among the top 10 companies failing to meet standards for flammability, lead content and other criteria, commission data show. The commission is investigating Dollar Tree for consumer product safety incidents reported since 2009, according to company filings from May and last month.

“For a company to be a repeat offender, and import unsafe goods over and over again, is a real problem for consumers,” said Nancy Cowles, executive director of Kids in Danger, a Chicago-based nonprofit group that advocates for safer children’s products.

Dollar Tree spokesman Randy Guiler said the company uses commission-approved laboratories to “ensure our suppliers’ products meet all safety and legal standards.” Dollar Tree, based in Chesapeake, Virginia, imports only products that have passed this independent testing, and the company is deploying additional quality-control inspectors to visit manufacturing facilities daily, he said.

Read Full Article

Vast Majority of U.S. Imports Not Inspected for Consumer Safety