February 16, 2021
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Congress Must Act to Help Keep Healthcare Professionals and Consumers Safe from Fraudulent PPE
Buy Safe America Coalition Urges Lawmakers to Confront the Dangerous Surge in Counterfeit N95 Masks
Washington, DC – The Buy Safe America Coalition, a diverse group of retailers, consumer groups, and manufacturers that supports efforts to combat organized retail crime and protect consumers from the sale of counterfeit and stolen goods, today released the following statement on the Department of Homeland Security’s ongoing investigation into the sale of fraudulent masks.
“In the middle of a public health crisis, no doctor, nurse, or other healthcare worker should have to question whether their mask is keeping them safe,” said Michael Hanson, Buy Safe America Coalition spokesperson. “We applaud Senator Cantwell’s decision to ask the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the almost 2 million counterfeit masks shipped across Washington. To protect those on the frontlines of this deadly pandemic, other lawmakers should do the same.”
The Department of Homeland Security recently announced that counterfeit N95 respirators were bought in at least five states by hospitals, medical facilities, and government agencies. To stop the sale of counterfeit respirators, 3M is working with law enforcement officials nationwide. The company also joined the BSAC in December.
“At the same time that 3M has increased production of N95 respirators during the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve also launched a global effort to combat fraud, counterfeiting and price-gouging to help protect the public against those who try to exploit the demand for critical 3M products during a pandemic,” said Mike Vale, Executive Vice President of 3M’s Safety and Industrial Business Group. “As part of that effort 3M is working with law enforcement and customs agencies to prevent the sale and manufacturing of counterfeit 3M respirators.”
As part of an ongoing effort to keep counterfeit merchandise from making its way to unsuspecting consumers and frontline healthcare workers, 3M has successfully secured the removal of more than 15,000 fraudulent e-commerce listings. Homeland Security Investigations and its Global Trade Investigations unit have been coordinating with Border Patrol officials to seize more than 14.5 million counterfeit masks, nearly all falsely branded as 3M.
The Buy Safe America Coalition is urging Congress to pass the INFORM Consumers Act, which would help prevent fraudulent N95 respirators and other medical supplies from making their way onto leading e-commerce platforms by requiring that all online marketplaces collect, verify, and authenticate the identity of their third-party sellers. These requirements would bring transparency and accountability to online marketplaces so consumers are protected.
Visit BuySafeAmerica.org for more information about the growing problem 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 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