Online Products: Safety

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy – in the House of Commons on 12th July 2022.

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Photo of Yvonne Fovargue Yvonne Fovargue Labour, Makerfield

When he will bring forward a consultation on the safety of products that are sold online.

Photo of Kwasi Kwarteng Kwasi Kwarteng The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

As the hon. Lady should know, a consultation, which includes proposals to take further steps to address unsafe products sold online, is being finalised, and the consultation paper will be published later this year.

Photo of Yvonne Fovargue Yvonne Fovargue Labour, Makerfield

Unsuspecting and cash-strapped consumers are being peddled recalled white goods, unsafe devices claiming to save energy, and dangerous toys. Online marketplaces are a hotbed for unsafe products, as has been evidenced time and again by investigations carried out by Electrical Safety First and other organisations. What steps are the Government are taking to address the safety risks that consumers face when shopping on these platforms?

Photo of Kwasi Kwarteng Kwasi Kwarteng The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

As the hon. Lady will know, the Office for Product Safety and Standards leads a national programme of regulatory action to look at precisely those risks. In 2021, for example, 12,500 products were removed from supply as a direct result of OPSS intervention.

Photo of Robin Walker Robin Walker The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland

My late constituent Bethany Shipsey was tragically killed after consuming just a small amount of the lethal explosive precursor dinitrophenol—DNP—which is sometimes wrongly marketed as a slimming or bodybuilding product. May I ask my right hon. Friend for a meeting to discuss this tragedy, and how we can take steps to crack down on the overseas suppliers who are selling this deadly substance into the UK online?

Photo of Kwasi Kwarteng Kwasi Kwarteng The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

I should be happy to meet my hon. Friend, who did excellent work at the Department for Education.