New database helps consumers research safe products before buying

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A new public database will allow consumers to post about potentially unsafe products while giving manufacturers a chance to reply before the posts go live.

One of the real scandals in America for a generation has been a co-conspiracy between the federal government and the manufacturers of kids’ products. Manufacturers were able to make cribs that killed kids and toys that they might choke on and die. It was just a terrible scandal where children were treated as if they were disposable. The manufacturers, meanwhile, were hiding behind a law that made it almost impossible for publicity to be attached to unsafe products or for the government to order recalls.

That’s why I’m ecstatic about the launch of SaferProducts.gov. You can post a grievance and then the manufacturer is given a couple of weeks to react to the complaint before it goes public. There’s a process involved if your complaint is deemed reckless or slanderous, but otherwise the info will go up uncontested on the database and can help others when they’re doing research before a purchase.  

The manufacturers apparently hate SaferProducts.gov. Yet this kind of thing is so elementary in the Internet era that I find it shocking the industry has fought this so hard. When a company knows they have a defective product and it causes harm to a child or someone else, the only people who get rich are the lawyers, right? As is so often the case in life, it’s never the problem, it’s always the coverup. Some businesses would rather cover up rather than make the fix, though I don’t understand that mentality.

I believe this new database will prevent injuries, save lives and even save litigation money for manufacturers. It’s a win all around in my book. So I’m stunned that so many businesses look at this as a threat.

The reality with reviews of all kinds on the Internet is that most people give very nice ratings. People are generally more positive than negative. There’s no reason for businesses to fear SaferProducts.gov and in fact, they should favor the fact that people will likely be overwhelmingly responsible in what they say and what they do.

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