Counterfeit Consumer Goods Pose Health And Safety Hazards

Counterfeiting of consumer goods has gone beyond the leading brands of bags or sneakers and now includes batteries, light bulbs and extension cords.

Fake prescription drugs, fake glucose testing strips for diabetes, dangerous and defective auto parts and brakes, electrical products that are hazardous and can burn your house down, contaminated shampoos and razor blades which can be detrimental to the consumer’s well being.

According to the US Chamber of Commerce’s Global Anti-Counterfeiting and Piracy Initiatives, that every product and every industry is vulnerable.

In 2006, US agents increase their seizures of counterfeit goods by eighty three percent making more than 14,000 seizures worth at least $155 million. The figures were released by the Homeland Security Department, where two agents are involved in stopping the phony goods.

According to figures from Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Forty one percent of the bogus items confiscated last year were fake shoes, the largest category of fakes.

There was an explosive growth in footwear last year according to the director of Risk Management for Customs and Border Protection. It also described some of the new tools that inspectors are using to catch counterfeiters, including what is called “risk modeling” a statistical analysis of past seizures to reveal most common characteristics of fake goods.

They are also using import data to devote more scrutiny to countries that harbor counterfeiters and companies caught shipping fakes in the past.

Cargo containers targeted by such tools can then be opened and physically examined their office works with business organizations and targeted companies, like Nike so that the officers themselves will know a fake when they see it.

The department said that the spread of new technology has allowed simple and low cost duplication of copyrighted and trademarked goods.

There has also been a rise in organized crime groups involved in smuggling the goods, often using the proceeds to bankroll other illegal activities, including trafficking in drugs or guns.

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