Illicit relabeling

Eight trade associations are banding together to develop model legislation to fight the problem of flea market vendors who sell outdated or stolen products whose packaging may be mislabeled or illegally altered.

Retailers lose an estimated $3 billion to $10 billion annually to various forms of shoplifting. Counterfeit labels often are applied to stolen goods or their expiration dates altered before resale, posing safety concerns for unwary shoppers. Popular items for theft and resale include over-the-counter drugs, cosmetics, infant formula, and baby food. Participating trade groups-Grocery Manufacturers of America, The Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Assn., Food Marketing Institute, Infant Formula Council, International Mass Retail Assn., National Assn. of Chain Drug Stores, National Grocers Assn., and Nonprescription Drug Manufacturers Assn.-decided a single model bill was needed after seeing mixed results in states where similar legislation has been introduced.

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