Defective products and dangerous drugs in Hollywood and other South Florida communities injure many Florida residents and cost significant amounts of money in medical bills and lost productivity at work. Each year, dangerous products also claim lives.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is one group in charge of ensuring that the products you find in your pharmacy, grocery store, and local store are safe for you. The FDA is in charge of enforcing the safety of food, medical devices, medication, vaccines, cosmetics, tobacco products, pet food, and more.
One of the big roles of the FDA is to issue recalls. Recalls are actions made to take a product or dangerous drug off the market if they are found to be defective or unsafe. Recalls can be made by the manufacturer or by the FDA. The FDA publishes a list of recalls to help you make better decisions when shopping. If you have purchased a medical device or medication or supplement that has been recalled, see your doctor. If you have purchased a food product that has been recalled, take the product back to the store for a refund.
How Unsafe Products Get into Your Home
Since there are government agencies responsible for ensuring your food and medication are safe, you may assume that you don’t have to worry. The reality, unfortunately, is that even with the FDA process, unsafe products do still end up on Florida shelves in a number of ways:
1) There are a lot of products being sold.
In the case of medications and medical devices, the FDA will sometimes allow a product to be sold in the US if the manufacturer can show a similar product has been proven safe in clinical trials. There’s also no way for the FDA to personally check the tens of millions of retailers and manufacturers or the billions of food and medical products sold in the US personally. This can allow unsafe products to get into the market.
2) The FDA does not regulate “best before” dates.
Even safe food products can become unsafe if they spoil. The FDA, however, does not regulate expiry dates (except for infant formula) so it is still possible to buy incorrectly stored or spoiled food.
3) Communication can be an issue in recalls.
According to at least one study, the FDA did not recall some supplements enhanced with pharmaceutical drugs. This refusal to recall may have occurred because manufacturers could not be contacted for the recall or because manufacturers refused to comply with the recall.
4) FDA rules prevent the agency from regulating supplements.
With medication and medical devices, the FDA must approve these products before they enter US stores. Supplements are not as strictly regulated and the FDA can only issue recalls after they are in stores. The recall process is long and can become complex, especially if a manufacturer opposes the recall.
5) Shopping has become more complex over the past few years.
Small and independent retailers may continue to stock recalled products and unless someone reports them the FDA may never learn of it. Consumers can also continue to buy recalled products online from other countries. In addition, there are independent blogs and videos made by consumers that offer positive reviews and recommendations of products the FDA has found unsafe. Consumers, faced with this contradicting information, may choose to believe someone with no medical knowledge over the FDA.
If you have been injured by a dangerous product or medication, do not hesitate to contact Flaxman Law Group. You can discuss your situation with a member of our legal team as you decide how you can start rebuilding your life. As a full-service law firm, Flaxman Law Group is proud to serve the entire South Florida area.