NEW YORK, USA — U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer is concerned about dangerous and contaminated drugs, hand sanitizers and cosmetics popping up in Western New York Dollar stores.
Schumer first warned New Yorkers about these products before the holidays, and is advising the public that these products are still being sold.
Schumer said despite a warning from the Food and Drug Administration, Dollar Tree and Family Dollar stores are selling the over-the-counter products from China. He says these Chinese-manufactured products could make people sick or worse.
Using tainted or unsafe over-the-counter topicals can lead to minor and serious medical conditions from uncomfortable irritation and rashes to even infection, according to dermatologists.
“We are here in Cheektowaga to make a public health push related to questionable products on Dollar store shelves that could be really bad for people,” Schumer said. “After we pushed Dollar Tree stores in Manhattan on this issue, they were seen clearing the shelves, but we can’t do this store-by-store, the company needs to do it on its own and the Food and Drug Administration needs to keep the pressure on. The stores across Western New York should not be allowed to continue receiving these questionable or even dangerous over-the-counter drugs, and that’s where Customs and Border Protection need to hold them to account, too.”
He said Manhattan stores worked to clear those products off their shelves late last year and he wants Western New York Dollar stores to do the same. Schumer said if stores don't pull those products he wants the FDA to crack down harder on them.
“To stem the continued influx of questionable and potentially unsafe over-the-counter drugs from being stocked on New York bargain store shelves, I’ve asked the FDA and CBP to begin a targeted crackdown and answer new questions about the scope of the problem and the measures in place to prevent this from happening again with Dollar Tree or any other bargain store in Western New York and beyond, and while we are still waiting for a formal answer, I have confidence these agencies will continue to act," Schumer said.
He is calling on 85 stores across Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Erie and Niagara counties to take these products off their shelves.
Schumer said Erie County Dollar stores should get the same kind of shelf sweeps that some Manhattan Dollar Tree and Family Dollar stores performed on the heels of his push, and not be left out.