According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the number of product recalls has been steadily increasing over the last decade. In 2012, there 2,300 product recalls (or 6 recalls per day). These recalls covered the entire range products from medical devices and food to consumer products and pharmaceuticals. This was an increase of 14 percent over 2010.
While most people would jump to conclusion that this means manufacturers are becoming more complacent about the products they are producing, this theory is only one piece of the puzzle. Experts also contribute the increase in product recalls to better testing methods by the FDA, DOA and CPSC, as well as an increase in social media to spread the word about defective products and food products that result in food poisoning.
Along with an increase in recalls, regulators are finding it difficult to reach all of the consumers who could be effected by the recall. In 2009, a Rutgers study found that around 12 percent of Americans knowingly ate recalled food and another 40 percent simply never checked for recalls that could be in their homes.
The 40 percent who simply don’t check their homes are worth noting. Given that social media is increasing the rate of product recalls, why would these individuals neglect to check to see if the products their family uses have been recalled? Many suggest that the sheer number of recent products recalls has led to a sense of “recall fatigue” where there are simply too many to keep track of.
In addition to recall fatigue, this high percentage of people who fail to look for recalls could also not do so because of the difficulty in finding information. Currently, the USDA, FDA and CPSC all use different requirements for recalling products. By creating a single recall network, some speculate that much of this confusion could be lessened.
It’s expected that the number product recalls will continue to rise as regulations and detection methods become more sophisticated. If you or a loved one have been seriously injured as a result of a recalled product or food item and need skilled legal representation, contact our Colorado personal injury law firm to discuss your case today.