May 20, 2022
Media Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Buy Safe America Coalition Calls on FTC to Investigate Stolen Baby Formula and Price Gouging on Facebook and Other Marketplace Platforms
Urgent Need for Federal Regulators to Investigate Amid Nationwide Infant Formula Shortage
Washington, DC – Today, the Buy Safe America Coalition released the following statement calling on the Federal Trade Commission to launch an investigation into stolen baby formula and price gouging on marketplace platforms amid a nationwide shortage of formula.
“The ongoing baby formula shortage has led to scores of desperate parents turning to e-commerce platforms in the hopes of finding products for their families—and in some cases, they are buying product that has been stolen from the shelves of their local retailer,” said Michael Hanson, Buy Safe America Coalition spokesperson. “Much like the price gouging that occurred with critical PPE at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the same is now happening with baby formula sold online. Many law enforcement officials have recognized this reprehensible activity for what it is, vowing to crack down on criminals looking to profit off desperation. This crisis only underscores why we need greater transparency on e-commerce marketplaces, so that criminals cannot hide behind fake screennames to fleece consumers—in this case, desperate parents.”
“As the President invokes the Defense Production Act to boost domestic production, the FTC should immediately launch an investigation to determine the scope of illegal activity driven by this crisis,” added Hanson.
Families should exercise caution when purchasing infant formula on online marketplaces such as Amazon. Organized retail crime rings have been known to use third-party platforms to sell stolen baby formula to unwary shoppers. According to the Congressional Research Service, the theft and resale of stolen consumable or health and beauty products poses serious risk to consumers, as such products may have been stored improperly or subjected to altered expiration dates. A previous CNBC investigation revealed that Amazon sells expired baby formula.
The INFORM Consumers Act would require third-party marketplaces to verify high-volume third-party sellers, addressing the online sale of stolen and counterfeit merchandise. The bipartisan legislation, which passed in the U.S. House in February as part of the America COMPETES Act, has attracted broad support from retailers, e-commerce platforms, law enforcement officials, manufacturers, and consumers.
Visit BuySafeAmerica.org for more information about the growing threat of stolen and counterfeit goods and solutions to better protect consumers and businesses.
The Buy Safe America Coalition represents a diverse group of responsible retailers, consumer groups, manufacturers, intellectual property advocates and law enforcement officials who support efforts at all levels of government to protect consumers and communities from the sale of counterfeit and stolen goods. The coalition is urging Congress to pass the INFORM Consumers Act — legislation that has multi-industry and bipartisan support to combat counterfeit and stolen products sold online.
Discover More About the Coalition
The Buy Safe America Coalition represents a diverse group of responsible retailers, consumer groups, manufacturers, intellectual property advocates, and law enforcement officials who support efforts to protect consumers and communities from the sale of counterfeit and stolen goods.Learn More
The marketplace today for common, everyday goods is flooded with counterfeit and stolen products. Absent reform, legitimate businesses, and consumers will continue to be harmed.Learn More
Frequently Asked Questions
What constitutes a counterfeit product? Why aren’t major online marketplaces doing more? Answers to common questions around the issue of organized retail crime.Learn More