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Effects of Unsafe Products on the Market

Introduction
The general growth of the world economy has resulted in an increase in the magnitude of production of goods and services in the world market. Each nation in the world is striving to raise its production so as to avoid being on the negative side as when it comes to the balance of payments. The more a country produces and or manufactures and exports the higher the balance of payments and thus the more likely the economy will grow. With the increased competition, there has been an outrageous increase in production worldwide. The increase in production of goods and services has both positive and negative consequences (Kegley & Blanton, 2011).
The rise in production has led to a number of problems most of which centers on the quality of goods and services that are introduced and or which prevail in the market. Thus this brings the issue of unsafe products in the market. The topic of unsafe products in the market has gained momentum with many governments setting quality control mechanisms in order to monitor the quality of products that are imported and consumed in the country. Even with the set standards of monitoring quality, the controlling of the quality of goods which enter the markets has not been attained and or has become difficult to achieve. Questions concerning the safety of products in the market affect both eatable and non eatable products (Bhatia, 2005).
In the recent times, there has been a hot debate concerning the genetically modified products in the market. Most people seem to oppose these products with the thesis that it is unsafe for consumption as it could lead to cancer and or other growth related maladies. Majority of the modern day diseases and conditions are argued to result from the products that people consume. For instance the consumption of products with high levels of cholesterol and or fats is resulting in increasing number of heart and respiratory diseases. Similarly, the consumption of sugary products is to a large extent causing diabetes. This topic has developed a lot of reactions worldwide. With increased competition, the effects of what firms do produce are no longer a big concern to companies. Companies have only concentrated on how their firms can take advantage of the markets as in the expansion of their market and the increase of the returns of the firms. The issue of safety is given very little attention (Bhatia, 2005).
The topic of unsafe products in in the United States markets has become an issue of ethical concern. This paper therefore discuses this ethical issue as. It centers more on the US. The paper explores various debates and or concerns that arise from the prevalence of these products in the United States market. It gives tangible examples appertaining to the topic and the response and regulations that have been put in place to tackle the issue and the achievements and or short comes that faces the response mechanisms applied to ensure quality and or safety of goods in the United States market (Heckman, 2011).
Categories of Unsafe Products
Unsafe products can be categorized into two. The first category comprise of products that are launched or introduced into the market where the manufacturer is aware of the defects or dangers that these products pose to consumers. The second category comprises of goods that are introduced to the market as assumed to be safe for consumption by the manufacturers but a flaw in such goods is discovered while such goods are already in the market. In such cases, manufactures do recall the goods in order to rectify the anomalies. However, the genuineness of categorizing unsafe products in either of these two categories is subject to debate. Most firms may want to categorize themselves in the second category when they are faced with ethical issues concerning the safety of their products to consumers in the market (Groucutt, Forsyth &Leadley, 2004).
Classification of Products
There is a surrounding argument concerning the real classification of products in the unsafe category. Questions are arising on the difference between unsafe products and defective products. Some people argue that products that are considered unsafe are not to a similar degree deemed to be defective. There are differing ways in which products can be considered to be defective. These ways are more often that not brought out in the marketing phase. Some products are marketed without sufficient instructions or without warnings about the risks that come with the consumption of the product. Other products have flaws resulting from manufacturing defaults while others are designed in a manner that exposes the consumer to injuries when using the product. All these are instances of defective products. For a product to be termed as being defective that is by the court, it has to meet only one of these descriptions (Miller & Cross, 2011).
Products become defective in three different ways which are by virtue of marketing, by way of manufacturing, and or through its design or designing. Courts determines the level at which goods are deemed to be defective and the liable party which could either be the manufacturer, marketers of the good or the designer of the product. On the other hand, unsafe products are very different from defective products as it applies to the United States. In US, courts have put a distinction between the two. Moreover, there are products that are considered to be unavoidable safe. These are products that are not made with any intensions of making them unsafe but rather, the goods are made unsafe due to the nature of use of the product. Moreover, there is a distinction between what is known as dangerous products and the so called unavoidably unsafe products (Miller & Cross, 2011).
The differentiation can be clearly brought about basing on the preparation of the good, the marketing of the product, when the utility of the product is looked at in comparison to the risk that the product has and alternatives to the product which are available. Whenever a mistake is made in the manufacturing process of a good and or product and this mistakes goes further to make that good dangerous for consumption or ineffective for use, such a product is not categorized as an unavoidably unsafe product. When a product fails to be marketed well, it does not fall under the jurisdiction of unavoidably unsafe goods. Discrepancies that can engulf the marketing process entail lack of proper instructions in the packaging of goods, improper, absence of or insufficient warnings with the goods (Miller & Cross, 2011).
When the utility level of a product is higher than the risk level then such a product is not categorized as unavoidably unsafe. A number of products for example medicines that are use for birth control and beauty cosmetics have a very wide usage in spite of the handful of risks that the products pose to the users and the general environment. Incase people fail to have alternatives of attaining the intended utility of a given good; such a product may be categorized as unavoidably unsafe. When alternative products are available and the effectiveness of the alternative product has a taste which can match the product and the product is also safer, then that good or product is considered to be an effective then such a product cannot be classified as unavoidably unsafe. The most widely known examples of unavoidably unsafe goods include most medications, hair bleaches and dyes, acetone, dry cleaning solvents, permanent wave solutions, bathroom cleaning agents which are industrially manufactured and benzene (Nelson & Quick, 2011).
Research and Discussion
For several years, companies in the United States have put the interests of making profits as the main interests. They do not consider the safety of the products that they are producing to the consumer. This puts at risk the lives of people who consume these products. There are a number of notable examples that have been cited as pertaining to availing of unsafe consumer foods and other products in the market. These examples were reported in the state of California. They include the sale of unsafe meat – meat from either dead and or sick or infected cattle and poultry. The other example is the reported presence of lead, mercury and other toxic substances in children toys and other children products. Also, there have been cases of contamination of lettuce, peanut butter, sprouts and spinach by E coli and salmonella bacteria (Blanpain, Bromwich, Rymkevich, Senatori & Agut, 2011).
According to Dolan Law Firm, the California state has for a long time been the leading state in the US as in reference to the protection of the citizens of the state from the consumption of polluted and toxic products. For instance, in the year 2007, it passed a bill – Toxic Toys Bill. The bill banned the production and or marketing six types of phthalates that have a negative effect on the health of children. These plastics are common in baby bottles, teething rings and toys. Also, the bill aimed at putting tough measures on firms that import products from South Korea and China. These countries have for a long time been accused of producing goods without paying attention to quality and safety standards. The bill gave room to people to report products that they think are unsafe for consumption. The challenging factor here concerns the knowledge of the unsafe products and how people can differentiate safe products from those which they see as being unsafe for consumption (The Dolan Law Firm, n. d).
The presence of unsafe products in the market has led to an upsurge in the number of consumer protection agencies that works towards preventing consumers from consuming these unsafe products. Having realized the magnitude of the impact of unsafe products, a law firm known as Dolan has offered and or committed itself to handling cases that concern the safety of consumer products in the US. The nature of cases that the firm handles include the falseness in the labeling of products under certain brand names while such products do not meet the standards that qualifies them to be labeled as so. The issue of improper identification of the contents of goods or products for instance assigning a grade to a product when in the true sense the product is not of that grade is also addressed by the law firm. Firms have also been accused of labeling their products with expiry dates that are faulty thus the law firm handles cases of this inclination. Cases to do with product information falsification are dealt with by the firm. Last but not least, the law firm deals with complains or cases to do with the mislabeling of products for example the labeling of a particular food product as nut and or allergen free whereas the product is manufactured and or processed in a plant that has presence of nuts (The Dolan Law Firm, n. d).
The recall of products has increased in the recent times. This is an indicator of the awareness of the consumers on the quality of products that they ought to consume. This can also be attributed to the act that firms are increasingly manufacturing or processing products that are either unsafe for consumption or products which have defects and are inefficient to use. A number of food products in the United States and in Europe were recalled in the year 2010. According to the survey that was conducted on safety of consumer products, it is argued that consumers in general have little information concerning the safety regulations that govern the food and other products that they use. Thus, they are increasingly urging the brands to ensure that they give sufficient information on the safety of products and the safety initiatives that relates to these products. This in itself gives the brands a chance to initiate and sustain a good relationship with the brand customers that in turn makes the consumers to realize the efforts that are dedicated to ensuring the safety and protection of consumers. This is however an issue of concern. Can the task of communicating safety initiatives of products be left to the brands? It is hard for brands to effectively communicate underlying safety issues of the products as the main aim of branding is increasing the sales and or marketing of the products (CPSC, 2012).
United States put up a commission – Consumer Product Safety Commission that collaborates with the Custom and Border Protection in stopping the entry of dangerous products at the ports of the country. These workers of the two agencies have inspected and screened a big number of consumer that have either gone against the set standards of safety set by the United States. They have managed to seize and or stop the entry of approximately 6.5 million units of products from reaching the market of the country. Products that have been seized include mattresses, household chemicals, toys and other infant products, vehicles, art materials, lighters, fireworks among many other consumer goods. Products that have been stopped from entering the market are products that failed to meet the set flammability standards and or products which had exceeding set lead levels, phthalates among other components that are not acceptable in the US products (CPSC, 2012).
The presence of unsafe products in the market has led to a concern for marketing ethics in the marketing practices. Questions are increasingly being raised appertaining to the quality of goods and services that firms do release in the market. Many complaints are being raised concerning poor quality in either the construction or content of products. However, companies that are making poor quality or unsafe products are in an equal sense posing a risk to themselves in the sense such firms are being prosecuted and being forced to recall their products. In extreme cases, such firms face the dangers of closure. Releasing either unsafe or defective products into the market could have short term benefits to firms but in the event that the defects or danger are discovered, the operation of the firm in question becomes affected in a negative way. The recall of products is a big cost to such firms as they incur double cost which leads to a reduction in profits. Customers or consumers also loose confidence in the products of such firms thus such firms are likely to be outcompeted and their products rejected in the market (Thomas, 1995).
With increased questions being asked about the quality of goods that are produced in China, the US remains to be one of the biggest trading partners with China. There have been several cases of the safety of the products that the United States imports from China. China lies third in terms of exportation of agricultural products and seafood to the US. In the year 2008, the authorities of US said they enlarged the testing of milk products that are imported from China. This was a reaction to a report which indicated that baby formula which is imported from China was contaminated with melamine. The report said that the products had resulted in the sickness of a big number of children in China. This was also accompanied by a recall of coffee which was suspected to be containing melamine. Unsafe products in the market lead to maladies (Becker, 2008).
Though there are unsafe products in the market, it seems that people have so much adapted to these products. There are some products which even though people know that these products are unsafe consumption, doing without the products is a harder according to those people who use them therefore they prefer to live with the products and bear their effects. This mostly applies to beauty products that are in the market. Most hair chemicals are argued to be unsafe as they have compounds that cause allergic reactions from people who use them. Almost all hair dyes that are in the market utilize para-phenylenediamine and or chemical variants that are close to this chemical. This chemical is utilized even in most hair dyes that are claimed to be natural. There have been epidemic reactions to the chemical resulting from overexposure to the chemical. Allergic reaction that results from the use of these chemicals can be very severe leading to hospitalization. Other impacts that results from the long time usage of the chemical include asthma, lupus, and non-Hodgkins lymphoma. The exposure to the chemical for lengthy periods of time has also been associated with diseases like uterine and breast cancer. The only way in which para-phenylenediamine can be less harmful is when that hair to which it is applied does not come into contact with the scalp. This is however very hard (Sherman, 2008).
There are so many people who use hair dyes and other hair chemicals in the US and world-over. All those people who use these chemicals are at risk of being affected by either of the impacts that I have discussed in the above paragraph. These chemicals are however in the market and more continue to be produced as more and more people are introduced to them each day. What is not clear is whether the product safety and regulatory agencies are aware of the dangers that these products pose to the consumers. A trend has been observed where there are many unsafe products in the market but as long as these products have impacts which have not been seen or felt yet – long term impacts, they are left to prevail in the market as they fetch income for the economy (Sherman, 2008).
In the United States, the marketing of small guns is a legal activity. While the intension of legalizing the sale of guns to civilians has good intensions, it still remains that these are dangerous products. The sale of small guns has been cited to be one of the leading reasons as to why the crime rate in the United States is high. Most of these weapons are used for the wrong reasons that are to commit crimes. Perhaps the rate of crime in the country would be reduced if these guns are not sold to people. This however is left to the government to decide on it. There are arguments that if the guns are not sold to civilians, the rete of crime is likely to rise. Therefore it is better to have these dangerous products in the market because the cost of removing them from the market may be more trivial to the security of the country. But what bogs the mind is why these products were introduced to people and the considerations that were hid to before making such a decision (Groucutt, Forsyth & Leadley, 2004).
The business world is very competitive and many countries and business firms strive in order to survive in the market. It is argued that producing completely safe products in the market is very expensive. The cost of producing safe products is very high and in most cases go beyond the total operating capital of firms meaning that firms cannot afford to produce such goods. For the firms that afford to produce such goods, the cost is passed to consumers as in the prices of the products. The prices of such products become very high and unsustainable to most consumers. Most consumers thus opt for cheaper goods which are more often than not unsafe for use or consumption (Zezima, 2012).
Most firms in the world have benefited from the sale of unsafe and or low-quality goods. The unsafe goods are in most cases what the consumers can afford. Moreover, there are other products for instance drugs that have many side effects and are unsafe but when the purpose that they serve far more outweighs the negative impacts thus they just have to prevail in the market. Also because of the position which some firms occupy in the economy in terms of tax remission to the government, the products of these companies are protected even if they are having defects (Zezima, 2012).
Conclusion
There subject of unsafe products and services in the market is a very critical subject more so in the current competitive world economy. There are many unsafe products in the market which include food, chemicals, and drugs among many other products. these unsafe products in the united states poses many negative effects which include diseases, insecurity, down- turn of business, the rise of many consumer protection agencies and many other effects. Though there are many agencies that have been established to help ensure that products that enter the market are safe, there are many underlying issues which hinder this effort thus unsafe products are likely to continue prevailing in the market irrespective of their effects.

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