Apple is certainly no stranger to dealing with counterfeit goods. In fact, entire counterfeit Apple stores have emerged
in certain parts of Asia. It's easy to be a cynic and suggest that Apple simply overcharges for certain first-party accessories and cables, but then there's a story like this to bring it all into focus. Apple is currently investigating a situation where an individual was electrocuted (and subsequently died) when answering a plugged-in iPhone. It's unclear if the charger they were using was a spoof, but Apple's not taking any chances.
The USB Power Adapter Takeback Program has just launched to address the issue. Here's a bit from Apple
"Recent reports have suggested that some counterfeit and third party adapters may not be designed properly and could result in safety issues. While not all third party adapters have an issue, we are announcing a USB Power Adapter Takeback Program to enable customers to acquire properly designed adapters.Customer safety is a top priority at Apple. That’s why all of our products — including USB power adapters for iPhone, iPad, and iPod — undergo rigorous testing for safety and reliability and are designed to meet government safety standards around the world.
Starting August 16, 2013, if you have concerns about any of your USB power adapters, you can drop them off at an Apple Retail Store or at an Apple Authorized Service Provider. We will ensure that these adapters are disposed of in an environmentally friendly way.
If you need a replacement adapter to charge your iPhone, iPad, or iPod, we recommend getting an Apple USB power adapter. For a limited time, you can purchase one Apple USB power adapter at a special price — $10 USD or approximate equivalent in local currency. To qualify, you must turn in at least one USB power adapter and bring your iPhone, iPad, or iPod to an Apple Retail Store or participating Apple Authorized Service Provider for serial number validation. The special pricing on Apple USB power adapters is limited to one adapter for each iPhone, iPad, and iPod you own and is valid until October 18, 2013."
That's around 50% off of the normal price, but you'll need an existing one to trade. Remember, folks: it's not worth chancing it with a cheap knockoff, at least when it comes to something that you plug into a power socket.