Posts Tagged: product recalls

See your fridge differently with help of FDA food recall database

Eddie Gehman Kohan writes on Obama Foodorama (try reading “foodorama” ten times to yourself) about the Food & Drug Adminstration’s latest initiative to open up the food recall process to citizens.  The FDA database may not be blessed with the catchiest name (“Recalls, Market Withdrawals, & Safety Alerts”), but it might end up saving your health, time, and money.  It allows you to search by food item, by infection or illness that a contaminated or otherwise dangerous food product can cause, and by store.  My searches using terms like “salmonella”, “broccoli”, “sam’s club”, “ham”, “hillandale” and “wegmans” all turned up relatively recent product recalls, with specifics gleaned from company press releases.   The database might not reach out and stop you from buying something that could make you sick, but it’s a good way to check your fridge and shelves at home if you’ve heard rumors about a recall.

Too much to recall: busy consumers don’t return dangerous items

Instead of just product recalls, how about a new approach to consumer safety that provides incentives and penalties to companies based on how well they protect the public safety?

Getting people to return defective and dangerous products takes much more than simply issuing a recall notice, reports Lyndsey Layton of The Washington Post.   The Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Food and Drug Administration, two agencies that are involved with product recalls, face a significant problem: thousands of Americans buy everything (more…)

Measuring Progresss at The Consumer Product Safety Commission

The Washington Post’s Ed O’Keefe looks at the Consumer Product Safety Commission one year after Congress granted CPSC more money and power to set product safety standards. O’Keefe reports that recalls of dangerous products are down slightly this year compared to last year. That’s good to know — but what is it supposed to mean? It could mean that the agency is less aggressive now about recalling unsafe toys, furniture and gagdets — or it could mean, more encouragingly, that manufacturers are making fewer dangerous products.

One way to solve this riddle is the implementation of a national, public database that records product-related incidents, injuries and deaths. This was a centerpiece of Congress’s overhaul of CPSC — O’Keefe only reports that the agency is putting the “finishing touches” on the database.

Blinded by the Blinds

The Wall Street Journal’s Melanie Trottman reports:

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and a coalition of makers, importers and retailers of window coverings said they are recalling up to 50 million Roman-style shades and roll-up blinds because of a risk that young children could be strangled by the cords.

Since 2001, the Roman shades and roll-up blinds have been linked to deaths of eight young children and the near-strangulation of 16 more, regulators said. Venetian and vertical blinds also have been blamed in strangulation deaths. Those types were the subject of a recall nine years ago targeting 85 million blinds.

What’s politically notable here is that this has been going on since 2001, but the CPSC is only taking action now. This is a hopeful sign that the agency is using new powers Congress granted it last year to ensure the safety of everyday products.