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What does the Food and Drug Administration do in a recall?

Losing a loved one because of carelessness on the part of a company or a person is heartbreaking. One day, they are just fine and living life to the fullest, and then, due to no fault of their own, they are gone. Product recalls are meant to warn and protect the people using the product. They are meant to save lives. Sometimes, the recall comes too late.

A few years back, there was a recall on spinach because of harmful bacteria in it. More recently, the Wall Street Journal reported that a national ice cream chain had to quit making its product for four months because of a listeria scare. The Food and Drug Administration has acted quickly in the past to minimize harm.

Removing a product from the market immediately is sometimes the best response. However, as was said before, sometimes the recall is too late. Someone has suffered and died. A good example of this is the U.S. Department of Transportation's report that a recall on air bags occurred in early 2015. People died because the air bags, when deployed, spread metal shavings all over their face, head and body.

Most of the time, to be fair, pulling products off the shelf is voluntary by the company. The FDA may raise concerns that will cause a recall. Only very rarely does the FDA have to step in and issue the recall of a defective product. They usually allow the manufacturer to do this voluntarily. They are deeply involved; however, they don't step in unless it is absolutely the last option left.

The FDA will seek publicity itself in the event of a recall that they believe will bring great harm to the public. The FDA can hold a press conference, issue a press release and post updates to its website to alert the public of the most recent recalls.

If you have lost a loved one because of a defective product, you are in within your rights to seek counsel on this matter. A good legal representative will listen to your story and will make suggestions as to your next steps.

Source: fda.gov, "Recall Classifications," accessed Sep. 01, 2015

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