U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer is raising the alarm on discount stores throughout New York City and L.I. for stocking Chinese over-the-counter products that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration reprimanded for not following its standards last week.
Schumer has called out Dollar Tree and Family Dollar, a subsidiary of the former, for supplying topical drugs and some cosmetics that pose a danger to customers, according to the senator.
Queens County Politics has reached out to Dollar Tree for comment but did not get a response.
The products, predominantly the drugs, are of poor quality, are unregulated and are in dangerous conditions and Schumer is pressuring the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the FDA to collaborate on inspecting, detecting and restricting those shoddy Chinese items for entering stores.
“The feds cannot pass the buck and allow ‘dollar’ type stores across our area to receive bad or even dangerous over-the-counter drugs in the first place, and the retailers in question need to toss any bad product right now,” said Schumer. “I’ve asked CBP and the FDA 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 New York and beyond.”
Nearly a fifth of the 170 Family Dollar and Dollar Tree stores are in Queens, according to Schumer’s office.
Family Dollar has 13 stores in the World’s Borough, most of which are in southeast Queens.
Family Dollar’s stores are located in Hollis, Saint Albans, Springfield Gardens, Laurelton, Woodhaven, Inwood, Howard Beach, Far Rockaway, Flushing, and four are in Jamaica, according to the bargain store.
Dollar Tree’s 23 locations in the borough are more widespread.
The variety store is located in College Point, Flushing, Howard Beach, Maspeth, Middle Village, South Richmond Hill, Rosedale, Sunnyside and St. Albans, according to Dollar Tree. It has multiple locations in Astoria (3), Jamaica (3), Ozone Park (2), Queens Village (2), Woodside (2) and Richmond Hill (2).
The FDA warning was issued to Greenbrier International, Inc., which does business as Dollar Tree, on Nov. 14.
“The importation and distribution of drugs and other products from manufacturers that violate federal law is unacceptable,” said Donald D. Ashley, director of the Office of Compliance in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “In this case, Dollar Tree has the ultimate responsibility to ensure that it does not sell potentially unsafe drugs and other FDA-regulated products to Americans.”
The warning letter also detailed that Dollar Tree continued to contract out with manufacturers that were on import alert between 2016 to 2019, despite the fact that the producers had violations for not testing raw materials or finished drugs for pathogens or quality.