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2007: The Year of the Recall

2007: The Year of the Recall;
Consumers Union Releases Top Food and Product Recalls this Year
Washington, DC—This year there were a record number of recalls involving dangerous foods and unsafe products, according to a compilation of these recalls released today by Consumers Union, nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports magazine, at a press conference with U. S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
One million cribs with side rails that can separate and strangle infants, 175 million pieces of children’s jewelry made with hazardous levels of lead, and 30 million pounds of ground beef contaminated with the deadly e-coli bacteria all appeared on the list of recalls for 2007.
“Recalls are an ineffective method for separating consumers from harm’s way,” said Donald Mays, Senior Director of Product Safety Planning and Technical Administration for Consumers Union. “Last month’s recall of one million Simplicity cribs had a consumer response rate of a mere 4.5 percent, leaving 950,000 hazardous cribs still in the homes of unsuspecting parents,” added Mays.
“We need proactive measures to prevent unsafe products from reaching the market in the first place, rather than relying on an ineffective recall system to pull dangerous products back once they are already in our homes, refrigerators, and our children’s toy boxes,” said Mays.
Consumers Union has been calling for an infusion of funding and greater oversight authority to bolster the CPSC, the agency responsible for ensuring the safety of over 15,000 products, and the FDA, the agency responsible ensuring the safety of a portion of the nation’s food.
Don Mays will present the recall list at the Speaker’s press event, and also discuss a recent poll released by Consumer Reports National Research Center which found that 84 percent of those familiar with the recent recalls blame toy manufacturers for the problem of lead in toys, followed by 62 percent identifying the government and regulators.
Today the Senate Commerce Committee is expected to also vote on the CPSC Reform Act of 2007, legislation that gives the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) greater authority and resources to protect the public from unsafe products.
“The CPSC and FDA need strong leadership and the will to develop proactive measures to prevent unsafe products from reaching our homes. We urge Congress to make 2007 the year of safety reform, to fix our broken food and product safety agencies, and restore consumer confidence in the marketplace,” added Mays.
Yesterday, Consumer Reports magazine released results yesterday of a four-month investigation of lead levels in various products. The results found high levels of lead in several products, including dishware, jewelry, backpacks and other items not found on any federal recall list. See ConsumerReports.org for more information.
For the latest information on product recalls and what consumers can do to help, see www.NotInMycart.org, a website from Consumers Union to help educate the public on unsafe products.
Click the following for the complete list .http://www.consumersunion.org/pub/core_product_safety/005078.html