Recalls Provide a Costly Lesson On The Importance of Safety

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The recent issues plaguing the Boeing 787 have prompted a report on some of the costliest recalls to ever be issued around the world.  Although the airplane being taken out of service isn’t technically a recall, correcting the potential threat to safety remains important, and the cost can’t be underestimated.

The list of recalls illuminates the safety issues of the past and could help us to understand how to achieve wellbeing in the future.  An arthritis drug called Vioxx, for instance, was shown to dramatically increase the chance of strokes or heart attacks in people who took it for longer than a year and a half.  This cost Merck nearly $5 billion in lawsuit settlements.  Tylenol also had to be recalled a few decades ago, although that recall was necessitated for a completely different reason:  widespread potassium cyanide contamination fears.

The United States isn’t the only country privy to widespread recalls.  Chili powder potentially contaminated with a carcinogenic dye plagued numerous items in the United Kingdom, leading to widespread recalls, and the possible Salmonella contamination of Cadbury chocolate bars in Ireland and the U.K. prompted another widespread recall in those two countries.

From toys to peanut butter to tires to automobiles, just about anything can be recalled.  This serves as a reminder that consumers must remain ever vigilant.