A recall is a product that is removed from the market or a correction made to the product because it is potentially harmful, mislabeled or adulterated in some manner that is inconsistent with the original formula as it pertains to interstate commerce.
When we are talking about a cosmetics recall, it may be because the cosmetic product violates some aspect of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1938.
An example of hazardous cosmetic products is bacterial contamination that poses a danger to the eye area especially for those with compromised immune systems. Recalls are classified by three classes (I, II, III) depending on the severity of consequences affecting consumers. It is the responsibility of manufacturers to ensure that their products are safe to the general public. When this is in question, the government may issue a public message or request that the manufacturing firm recall the product that results in removing the product from market shelves until the issue causing the recall has been resolved.
Although the FDA, the agency overseeing cosmetic recalls, is itself not authorized to order the recall of cosmetic products, it can work in conjunction with the Department of Justice to pursue legal actions to stop the manufacturing parties to take the product(s) off the shelf. The FDA may also request a restraining order against the manufacturer from shipping the products that may harm more consumers. Cosmetics that are suspected of non-compliance of the law may also be seized by the FDA .
The manufacturer may also decide to issue a voluntary recall on their own.
Concerned consumers may find out that a particular cosmetic product has been recalled by:
- News media. For widespread distribution of cosmetic products, the news media may announce it in the media (newspaper, television news report).
- Consumers may also track cosmetics recalls on www.recalls.gov.
Once you have discovered that a cosmetic product has been recalled, you should follow the instructions of the recall. If you haven’t done so, register to receive safety alerts on FDA’s Recall Notification Email system: http://www.fda.gov/Cosmetics/ComplianceEnforcement/RecallsAlerts/default.htm. Additionally, if you have a safety problem or complaint, you may also file a complaint on the same page as a courtesy for other consumers.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has jurisdiction on recalls involving cosmetics. As such it ensures that manufacturers adhere to certain safety and labels to protect consumers.