For years, the counterfeit products that law enforcement officials focused on most were products like watches, DVDs, purses, and shoes. Not that I don't sympathize with these industries — counterfeiting is damaging to society because it diminishes the value of intellectual property, and in extreme cases can take away sales and eat away at market shares of legitimate businesses.

But when counterfeit products can kill, it elevates society's concern to an entirely new level. Which is what happens when bogus electrical products — like circuit breakers, electrical cords, and lighting systems — hit the streets.  That's why the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), a nonprofit educational group that NEMA helped found, has launched a media blitz to raise awareness of this increasingly serious issue. Brett Brenner, ESFI's president, is on a crusade, and TV stations are taking note. Check out the clip earlier this week from Cleveland's Channel 5, which covered the story by pointing out where counterfeit electrical products can be found and how to avoid them. In early March, Austin's Channel 7 ran a similar story, as did Hartford's Channel 3 in mid-March.

With counterfeit electrical goods now among the nation's top interdicted products, this kind of publicity is critical to raising consumer awareness and ensuring public safety.


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