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Expert tester assessing the safety of cots in the CHOICE lab.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Tell Ministers: We want safe products

 

   

CHOICE is calling for bipartisan action on safe product laws. Will you send an email to the Assistant Treasurer and Shadow Minister for Consumer Affairs urging them to act? 

 

You can customise your email, or send the one we've written.

The Hon
Stuart
Robert
Australian Government
Ms
Madeleine
King
Opposition

Your information

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Demand safe products

We should be able to trust that the things we buy won't hurt us or people we care about. But right now, there is no law that says companies must sell safe products.

This is unbelievable. With dangerous cots and strollers, exploding Thermomixes and deadly Takata airbags all making headlines and injuring Australians, it’s clear we need stronger product safety laws in Australia.

Across the world, governments are stepping up to hold businesses to account and stop the flood of unsafe products. The UK, EU and Canada all include a requirement in their laws that products be safe. If they’re not, businesses can be hit with big fines.

CHOICE stroller and cot research

In July, CHOICE released safety test results for cots and strollers showing that alarming numbers fail key safety tests.

The fact that almost all of these products are still being sold shows that even for the most strictly regulated products, enforcement of safety standards isn’t strong enough to keep Australians safe.

 

More recently, in February we found a sudden increase in cots that passed our safety tests. This is the result of years of publicly shaming manufacturers who were doing the wrong thing. It’s great to see that over time we can have an impact like this, but the system should work better.

CHOICE can't police every single thing available in stores – businesses should have to sell safe products from the get-go, not sell unsafe things and hope they don't get caught

FAQs

We want a new law for safe products. This will be a simple, clear law that says if you’re a business who sells a product in Australia, it must be safe. If the law is breached, it should attract a hefty fine.

It will encourage businesses to think about the safety of their products earlier – with the threat of being hit with big fines if they don’t.

Under the current law, businesses tend to react to product safety problems. We want them to actively try to prevent them. We see individuals fight for remedies after a product injures them, or a business may launch a voluntary recall months or years after becoming aware of a safety risk. This isn’t good enough – we want safer markets.

This new law will give businesses a better incentive to make sure their products are safe before they start selling them.

Consumer Affairs Ministers agreed in 2017 to look at options for introducing a general safety provision, but they’ve delayed doing anything since then. We need to remind them that we want this, we’re watching, and we’re getting sick of waiting. That’s why in the lead-up to this election, we’re calling for both major parties to take action and change our product safety law.

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