Editorial

RECALL

BARBADOS has recalled all Kellogg’s Honey Smacks product from all supermarket shelves and other outlets. (See story opposite on this page).

Saint Lucia is not listed among the countries to which the product was distributed, but the information is just as relevant – and not only because Saint Lucians travel daily to Barbados (and vice versa).

This is by no means the first time that a US recall of a food product has had to be extended to the Caribbean and several other products have previously been withdrawn from the market here.

In this and other cases, consumers are warned and advised not to consume the defective or possibly unhealthy product.

Interestingly, though expected, not all recalls include a clear and definite invitation to consumers who may have purchased them to return the defective product.

But the bigger question here is what if a consumer has consumed the product?

It is always quite possible that such products will have been consumed by at least one person. What should that person do? Who or where to should such a person go? Who takes responsibility for medical diagnosis and treatment of such a person if necessary?

Same with vehicles. TV programs originating in the US and other source countries often feature recalls of vehicles due to life-threatening defections. Do local agents for such vehicles ensure such recalls are also echoed here? If not, why? And what if an individual privately imported a defective vehicle online?

Be they foods, medicines or vehicles being recalled, what if someone has consumed or is in possession of the defective product and is unaware of the recall? Does such a person automatically lose his or her right to rid or be ridden of such an unhealthy or unsafe product?

Given the increasing number of recalls and the need for even greater awareness of the rights of consumers to protection against unknowingly being in possession of or having consumed a defective, unhealthy or otherwise dangerous product, the government’s Consumer Affairs Department and the National Consumers Association may wish to give some deserving attention to the related factors here highlighted.

And they need not wait until the next recall…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *