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US Lawmakers Ask Jeff Bezos to Stop Sale of ‘Deadly Stuff’ on Amazon

The lawmakers asked Bezos to reply to their questions by September 29

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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos walks onstage in Seattle. Source-VOA

Taking cognizance of a media report that exposed how Amazon facilitated trade of unsafe, banned products on its platform, three lawmakers in the US have written to the e-commerce giant’s CEO Jeff Bezos, urging him to take swift action to stop wrongful sale of “deadly” products.

“Unquestionably, Amazon is falling short of its commitment to keeping safe those consumers who use its massive platform,” the three Senate Democrats wrote in the latter sent to Bezos on Thursday.

The letter mentioned the recent investigation by the Wall Street Journal that found more than 4,000 items for sale on Amazon’s site that “have been declared unsafe by federal agencies, are deceptively labelled, or are banned by federal regulators.”

The investigation revealed the availability of myriad problematic items on the e-commerce site including defective helmets, toys and cosmetics incorrectly labelled as US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved, unregistered pesticides, and pain relievers lacking appropriate FDA warning labels, among others.

The letter mentioned the traumatic story of a family whose life Amazon’s negligence changed forever.

The incident involved 23-year-old Albert Stokes who died in a motorcycle crash in 2014 when his helmet came off. The helmet, purchased from Amazon, was not compliant with federal safety standards and had been recalled.

e-commerce
Security guards stand at the reception desk of the Amazon India office in Bengaluru, India, Aug. 14, 2015. VOA

While the helmet in question has been removed from Amazon’s site, many other problematic items remain on Amazon’s platform, the letter mentioned.

Senators Richard Blumenthal, Robert Menendez and Edward Markey asked why the safety efforts at Amazon have failed to prevent the sale of mislabelled, recalled and other unsafe products.

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They also asked what steps Amazon is taking to identify and remove problematic items from the platform.

The lawmakers asked Bezos to reply to their questions by September 29.

In response to the WSJ report, Amazon is blog post said that it invests “significant resources to protect our customers and have built robust programmes designed to ensure products offered for sale in our store are safe and compliant.” (IANS)

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US And Brazil Agree To Promote Development In The Amazon

The US and Brazil have agreed to promote private-sector development in the Amazon and has also pledged a $100 million biodiversity conservation fund for the world's largest rainforest

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Amazon, US, Brazil, Agreement, Development
Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru and Suriname signed a pact, setting up a disaster response network and satellite monitoring. Pixabay

The US and Brazil have agreed to promote private-sector development in the Amazon and has also pledged a $100 million biodiversity conservation fund for the world’s largest rainforest which has been ravaged by massive wildfires.

The developments took place during a meeting here on Friday between Brazilian Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the BBC reported.

Addressing the media, Araujo said opening the rainforest to economic development was the only way to protect it, adding that claims the country was “not able to cope with the challenges” were false.

“We want to be together in the endeavour to create development for the Amazon region which we are convinced is the only way to protect the forest.

“So we need new initiatives, new productive initiatives, that create jobs, that create revenue for people in the Amazon and that’s where our partnership with the US will be very important for us,” he said.

Amazon, US, Brazil, Agreement, Development
President Donald Trump greets Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro during a news conference in the Rose Garden of the White House, March 19, 2019. VOA

Pompeo said the biodiversity investment fund would support businesses in hard to reach areas of the Amazon.

“The Brazilians and the American teams will follow through on our commitment that our presidents made in March. We’re getting off the ground a $100 million, 11-year Impact Investment Fund for Amazon biodiversity conservation and that project will be led by the private sector.”

More than 80,000 fires have broken out in the Amazon rainforest so far this year, the BBC said.

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Also on Friday, Finland urged European Union countries to consider stopping importing beef and soybeans from Brazil in order to put pressure on Brazil to tackle the fires.

Last week seven South American countries agreed on measures to protect the Amazon river basin.

Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru and Suriname signed a pact, setting up a disaster response network and satellite monitoring.

At a summit in Colombia, they also agreed to work on reforestation. (IANS)