Recall notices have become so frequent across a range of goods -- from foods to automobiles -- that the public is suffering from "recall fatigue," experts say, and is frequently ignoring calls to
destroy or return defective goods. One study found that 12% of Americans who knew they had recalled food at home ate it anyway, for example.
"It's a real issue," according to Jeff Farrar,
associate commissioner for food protection at the Food and Drug Administration, who says that "it's difficult for us to get the word out without over-saturating consumers."
manufacturers and consumer experts are also worried about the problem, Lyndsey Layton reports, which has two sides: Some people never learn that a product they own has been recalled; others know but
don't think anything bad will happen.
"We call it the Chicken Little syndrome," says Craig Wilson, assistant vp for quality assurance and food safety at Costco. "If you keep shouting at
the wind -- 'The sky is falling! The sky is falling!' -- people literally become immune to the message."
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