It's Easy To Miss News Of Product Recalls

It may seem crazy to loyal readers of the Consumerist, but people often important news when it comes to product recalls. NPR introduces us to James Millard Wilson, an art student in Baltimore who missed the news of the American Medical Optic (AMO) Complete MoisturePLUS Multipurpose Contact Lens Solution. He used to solution and got a painful eye infection that could have lead to blindness if he hadn’t gone to the hospital.

How did he miss the news? James doesn’t watch tv or use the internet.

“We rely on the media to a greater or lesser extent depending on the particular recall we’re working on,” Tim Ulatowski of the Food and Drug Administration says. Is that enough? What about people who don’t like the media? From NPR:

“Now the problem with that, of course, is that if you’re not reading, watching or listening in the right place, you’re gonna miss the news,” says Donald Mays, senior director for public safety planning for Consumer Reports magazine.

Many people did miss the announcement. The company checked and found stores that still had Complete MoisturePLUS Multipurpose solution on their shelves.

Reports of new infections came in to the CDC. The FDA had to send out a second press release a couple of weeks ago. Ulatowski said the challenge was the size of the recall — 28 million bottles since May 2005.

“It’s difficult to reach into everyone’s medicine cabinet to determine that that product has been controlled and returned or disposed of by the consumer,” he says.

It certainly is. We direct your attention to the failures of the “Great Peanut Butter Recall of 2007.” So, we guess the moral of the story is that if you have a friend who doesn’t use the internet or watch TV, tell them about each and every product recall you read about. They may hate you, but at least they won’t go blind.

It’s Easy to Miss the Memo on Product Recalls [NPR]

PREVIOUSLY: Most Contact Lens Wearers Don’t Know About AMO’s MoisturePlus Recall
AMO Recalls Complete Moisture Plus Multi-Purpose Solution

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  1. tange2 says:

    My eye doctor said that although complete moisture plus was pulled from the shelves it’s perfectly safe to continue use. The reason, he explained, was that it was pulled because it’s not able to adequately kill certain types of bacteria that should only get on your lens if you’re rinsing your lenses w/ tap water. He noted that so long as I’m not using tap water I can continue my use w/ this product. He did note that they are creating a new version to better combat the bacteria.

  2. Crazytree says:

    wonder how well recalls.gov works?

  3. sk1d says:

    So what do I do now that it’s been recalled? Can I take it back to the store and get a refund or exchange, or do I just dump it in the garbage now?

  4. revmatty says:

    I have little sympathy for people who choose to be disconnected and then suffer for it. Sure, the media is evil kill your television blah blah blah. But when that attitude ends up biting someone in the ass the first thing they do is blame the media for not hunting them down in person and telling them.

  5. ScramDiggyBooBoo says:

    One thing i dont understand. Every one of those 28 million bottles has a UPC on it. Why not create some database that contains all the info on what was recalled and its a companies duty to make sure they check this??? Then put a ban on the UPC code so that when it is scanned, it will not let the cashier sell it and comes up with some “product recalled” message? I dont know why it couldn’t be this easy? Please correct me if i’m wrong.

  6. mermaidshoes says:

    who rinses their contacts in tap water? that makes them so horribly uncomfortable to wear.

    apparently we half-blind types can’t even wash our faces in tap water. yikes. [www.newscientist.com]

  7. Buran says:

    @ScramDiggyBooBoo: Oh, it can be done. The problem is that the cashiers either override the no-sell order or find a way to sell the item anyway.

    Just ask all the whiners about harmless T-shirts.

  8. FLConsumer says:

    I found the contact lens solution recall info on the web to be missing one major thing — there’s NO picture of the actual product on any of the press releases. The CDC’s website only shows a diseased eye, the manufacturer’s website only shows a text-only press release and the rest of their navigation menus don’t work in Firefox. Considering all of the contact lens solutions out there have very similar sounding names, a picture would “say 1,000 words” and also would catch people’s attention.

    Fortunately, I’m not a contact lens user, but I’m sure others who are might have encountered similar problems or didn’t notice at all.

  9. FLConsumer says:

    @ScramDiggyBooBoo: C’mon, Mal-Wart still couldn’t remove tainted pet food & nazi T-shirts from their stores & systems. You expect them to get this right? It SHOULD be easy… but we’re dealing with huge corporations with byzantine policies and offshore droids.

  10. formergr says:

    I’m impressed that this guy is an art student somewhere yet doesn’t use the Internet. Nothing wrong with not using the ‘nets, but I thought just about all schools now made heavy use of it for registration, notifying students of things, classwork, etc.

    Sucks about his eyes, though. I wonder if he reads newspapers? Was the recall even covered in papers?

  11. Woofer00 says:

    @formergr: Using computers as a matter of necessity and using them during leisure are entirely separate matters. The majority of young adults do not actively pay any attention to the news. They may spend 5 straight hours at the computer or in front of the television, but chances are they are there for entertainment and not information (think World of Warcraft).

    [www.nytimes.com]

  12. asherchang says:

    “but people often important news when it comes to product recalls”


    you’re missing a verb there… is it “miss”, by any chance?

    I almost feel like you guys did that on purpose just to have a little fun with the fact that consumerist is renowned for its greeeaat job and proffesionalism in copyediting its posts.

  13. formergr says:

    And then making fun of Wal-Mart’s misspellings!

  14. Kat says:

    I read the feeds of the FDA and CPSC recalls, and if I know someone who uses a product, I always let them know. With the toy recalls, I’ve printed the lists out for my neighbor, who has a 3-year-old.

  15. bbbici says:

    i you wash your hands with tap water then the same bacteria will end up on the lenses when you handle them.

  16. acambras says:

    @asherchang:

    Yeah, Consumerist has trouble with misspellings, typos, etc. But FYI, professionalism only has one “f.”

    People who live in glass houses…