When Is A Recall A Big Deal? : Shots - Health News FDA recalls are jamming up my inbox, usually after 4 p.m. How to tell what's important?
NPR logo When Is A Recall A Big Deal?

When Is A Recall A Big Deal?

description

Product recalls are no laughing matter, but I've noticed that FDA releases this type of bad news at 4 pm or later, usually in a bunch. This makes it awfully hard to report on them or even to distinguish really bad stuff from medium-bad stuff.

Today, the agency sent out an email at 4 p.m., notifying me that they have recalled certain Medtronic pacemakers. FDA says they may fail due to a loose wire connected to the battery, and that patient symptoms range from feeling faint to death. Sounds pretty serious to me, but if you click on it and scroll down, it will likely only affect 20,000 people. (You too can subscribe to the updates here.)

Yet this notice is jammed in with dozens and dozens of email in my inbox about alfalafa, peanut and cashew recalls that seem less serious.

How about a flagging system for what's really a big deal and what's not?