Record pace for U.S. product recalls, says Sedgwick

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The number of US products recalled this year has already exceeded one billion, according to the US Product Recall Index recently released by Sedgwick’s Brand Protection Division.

Only two other years on record have seen over a billion units recalled: 2018 and 2021. In those years, it took a full year to reach that threshold. In 2022, it only took seven months.

“This is the second year in a row in which more than one billion units have been affected by product recalls in the United States. If the first half of the year is any indication, we should expect which 2022 eclipses all previous years on record for recalled products,” said Amanda Combs, recall counsel in Sedgwick’s trademark protection division. “While regulators may not have returned to the working levels before the pandemic, companies cannot relax their focus on product safety. Inspections and enforcement actions are still ongoing.

The automotive, consumer products, food and beverage, medical device and pharmaceutical industries continue to face challenges related to increased regulatory oversight, as well as geopolitical issues and issues persistent public health threats, including COVID-19 and monkeypox.

from Sedgwick quarterly brand protection report provides in-depth insight into economic, regulatory and legal challenges affecting various industries and information on how companies can protect their reputation and brands. Along with the latest data on product recalls and trends for Q2 2022, the report also includes insights, analysis and forecasts from brand protection experts and Sedgwick’s network of strategic partners.

Second Quarter Recall Data Highlights

  • Automotive recall events increased in the second quarter of 2022 to 245, after two consecutive quarters of decline.
  • The number of consumer product recalls decreased by 15.6% in Q2, from 77 events in Q1 to 65. The total number of recalled units also decreased in Q2, but by only 3.5% to 6, 7 million units.
  • U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) food and beverage recall events rose to 120 in Q2, up 9.1% from Q1. However, the number of impacted units decreased significantly (81.3%) to 27.5 million units. Food recalls from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) have reached their highest level in more than two years, with 13 events.
  • While medical device recalls rose 34% (to a two-year high of 268 events), the number of affected units fell 96.8% to a 10-year low (10 million ).
  • For a second consecutive quarter, there were a total of 94 pharmaceutical product recalls. The number of affected units fell to its lowest level in more than a year, at 20.6 million units in the second quarter.

In anticipation of the second half of 2022

  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) had an active second quarter, finalizing several fuel efficiency standards and increasing civil penalties, which means the auto industry could soon face millions of dollars in fines. Autonomous vehicles will remain a priority for NHTSA.
  • As we have seen for several quarters, child safety will continue to be a priority for consumer products industry regulators. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl chemicals (PFAS) are high on the list of regulators and litigants of harmful substances to target with regulations and lawsuits.
  • Infant food recalls continue to have a lasting impact on the food and beverage industry as the FDA and other regulators examine causes, poor response times and preventative measures. The FDA should begin to strictly enforce foreign supplier verification programs, increasing the risks for food importers.
  • As medical device technology advances, the FDA issues guidelines to protect devices from cyberattacks. This space will likely remain a priority for the FDA, as a cybersecurity breach could result in the death of a patient. Lawmakers are also working to update public health emergency preparedness, including reforms that could impact the medical device industry.
  • Enforcement will be a focus for the pharmaceutical industry, with the FDA issuing warning letters for cannabis-containing products and banning the sale of an e-cigarette company‘s products. Although the ban has been overturned, it is likely that this will not be the end of the problem.

“Regulators and lawmakers have increased their scrutiny of every industry, introduced new guidelines and rules, and started publicly calling out companies they believe are non-compliant. Add to that the current geopolitical issues and ongoing public health crises, and businesses find themselves facing new risks that are increasingly difficult to manage,” said Chris Harvey, senior vice president of data protection. brands at Sedgwick. “Faced with these hurdles, companies must continually assess and update their product recall, crisis and communication plans to ensure their brands and reputation will weather any new challenges that arise.”

SOURCE: Sedgwick

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