Last week, an infant died from a dietary supplement that was contaminated with mold, and ABC aired a segment on recalled products that are still being sold on Craigslist. Product recall lawyers at Pintas & Mullins remind the public of the importance of keeping up-to-date on drug, product, and food recalls.
According to national reports, 95% of all recalled items remain in Americans homes five years after it was recalled. The ABC report called out Craigslist, the popular classifieds website, for perpetuating this problem and continuing to allow the sale of recalled items on its site.
2014 was the worst year in history for automobile recalls, with more than one in five cars and trucks on the road at risk of deadly defects. From automobiles to dietary supplements, children's products to medical devices, the U.S. recall system is broken, leaving millions of dangerous products in the hands of unknowing citizens.
Toward the end of November 2014, a dietary supplement called Solgar ABC Dophilus Powder was recalled due to mold contamination. The recall was only initiated after an infant died from the powder, suffering a fatal gastrointestinal infection. The infant received the powder for four days and quickly developed symptoms of necrotizing entercolitis (NEC), or a bowel showing signs of tissue death from fungus. The infant died shortly after surgery.
The ABC profile revealed several products that have been recalled for safety defects that are still available on Craigslist. The chairman of the Consumer Products Safety Comission (CPSC), which manages all product recalls, said Craigslists' refusal to remove such products was morally irresponsible, illegal and devastating to families.
The CPSC is often blamed for not doing enough to get the word out on recalled items. It is illegal to sell recalled items, however, very few recalls are widely publicized. Even the most well-known recalls can cause serious harm if families are never personally informed.
A six-month-old girl in Utah suffered a fractured skull and serious brain injury after falling out of the Bumbo Booster Chair while eating her breakfast. Only later did they learn the Bumbo had been recalled and "fixed" by providing a small warning label stating that children could fall out of the chairs. The family was never notified of the recall, and never noticed the small label on the back of the chair. The family sued Bumbo, which has consequently added a safety belt to the seat.
Unfortunately, it is largely up to parents and consumers to stay in-the-know on dangerous products. The American recall system is entirely voluntary for product manufacturers. They are not required that companies advertise safety defects or get any percentage of sold products back.