Recalled baby products sold on Facebook draw the ire of powerful committee in Congress

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WASHINGTON — House lawmakers cited the continuing sale of recalled baby products linked to infant deaths on Meta‘s Facebook in a round of letters to 17 companies questioning compliance with U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission standards about the listing of unsafe products.

“Meta’s failure to prevent recalled products from being posted for sale on its platform has resulted in your users and their children being placed at risk of purchasing and using a product that CPSC has found to pose a serious risk of injury and potential death,” the bipartisan group of lawmakers wrote in a letter dated Aug. 17.

The CPSC’s frustration with Meta over the issue, which includes thousands of takedown requests, has spilled over to questions about how major online retailers such as Amazon, Walmart, Target and others handle preventing the sale of recalled or unsafe items.

Lawmakers on the House Energy and Commerce Committee said the CPSC has requested an average of about 1,000 takedowns per month to Meta for the Boppy Newborn Lounger, which was recalled in 2021.

“Like other platforms where people can buy and sell goods, there are instances of people knowingly or unknowingly selling recalled goods on Marketplace,” a spokesperson for Meta told CNBC. “We take this issue seriously and when we find listings that violate our rules, we remove them.” 

Representatives for Amazon, Walmart and Target did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment. Lawmakers gave the companies nine days to respond.

The letters were signed by Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., chair of Energy and Commerce; Ranking Member Frank Pallone Jr., D-N.J.; Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla.; and Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill.