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Consumer product recalls occur frequently. In 2000, there were at least 2,523 voluntary recalls. Recalls publicize product dangers and request that consumers return the defective product for repair or replacement. In fact, the recall is a specific type of communication campaign full of ethical considerations. Federal regulatory agencies involved with recalls include the Food and Drug Administration, with 1,915 recalls in 2000, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Consumer Product Safety Commission, with similar totals of 227 and 207 recalls in 2000, respectively. There were 76 U.S. Department of Agriculture recalls in 2000, 32 at the Environmental Protection Agency and 23 at the U.S. Coast Guard.

Ethical Issues in Recalls

Recalls raise a number of ethical questions. There are about a dozen specific recall ...

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