Deadly recalled baby products still for sale on Facebook Marketplace despite takedown requests, lawmakers say

The Boppy Newborn Lounger has been linked to infant deaths, according to lawmakers.
The Boppy Newborn Lounger has been linked to infant deaths, according to lawmakers.(The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission)
Published: Aug. 23, 2023 at 1:41 PM CDT

(Gray News/TMX) – Recalled baby products connected to more than 100 infant deaths are still being sold on Facebook Marketplace despite “thousands” of takedown requests from federal regulators, U.S. lawmakers said in a letter sent last week to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

The letter, sent by the bipartisan House Committee on Energy and Commerce, pointed out that the Boppy Newborn Lounger, which was recalled in 2021, and the Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play, a sleep product recalled in 2019, were still available for sale on Facebook Marketplace.

The Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play was linked to around 100 deaths, including at least eight after the recall was initiated. The Boppy Newborn Lounger has also been linked to infant deaths, according to the letter.

Lawmakers said the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has sent Meta “at least three letters and thousands of takedown requests” regarding recalled products on Facebook Marketplace since 2022.

According to lawmakers, Meta is endangering users by allowing the sale of products that pose serious risk of injury or death.

“To date, the volume of takedown requests has not slowed, and CPSC staff is unaware of any proactive measures Meta has taken to prevent these postings in the future,” the letter reads. “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.”

Meta has said that products sold on Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp are required to adhere to the company’s terms, which prohibit the sale of recalled products.

Even though Meta isn’t directly listing or selling the recalled products, “by turning a blind eye to this peril, Meta is no less complicit, and creative lawyering could end up holding Meta accountable,” said attorney and law lecturer Daniel Karon, who is not involved in the dispute.

“Facebook is harming people by ignoring patently dangerous products on its platform. A federal injunction should immediately issue, banning Facebook from maintaining this dangerous practice,” Karon said.