OLD Media Moves

Wish more biz sections offered this information

April 5, 2006

I was looking at the York Dispatch business section today, and I noticed that every Wednesday they offer a list of recent product recalls from the Consumer Product Safety Commission. I think this is a great feature and is likely well-read by readers of the section.

Here is this week’s list.

Product recalls can be stories for almost any newspaper, Internet site, TV station or radio station because the products are often distributed throughout the country. It’s very likely that someone in their audience has a product that has been recalled.

Product recall stories can also be developed by watching trends to see what type of goods or products have been recalled. A story from the Los Angeles Times spotted such a trend – fast food restaurant chains that gave away toys with kids meals were being recalled by the millions by the federal government because of safety concerns. Fast food toys accounted for 77 percent of all of the toys recalled.

The CPSC is not the only agency that is trying to protect consumers from unsafe products. Cosmetics, drugs, foods and medical devices come under the watch of the Food and Drug Administration, while car seats, tires and vehicles are reviewed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The NHTSA is as busy as the CPSC in announcing recalls. In April 2003, it recalled thousands of cars ranging from BMW and Ferraris to Ford and General Motors, as well as motorcycles made by Indian Motorcycle Co. and Kawasaki, to be checked for potential defects and needed repairs.

Major recalls involving hundreds of thousands of cars or trucks across the country are likely to affect consumers in every state. While such news may not need to be covered as full stories in many mass communication outlets, they should merit at least a brief mention.

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