Heightened Government Safety Enforcement Imminent For All Products, Warns Sedgwick's Brand Protection Division

2021 State of the Nation Recall Index Prepares Companies for New Regulatory Era

February 18, 2021 11:47 AM EST

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INDIANAPOLIS, Feb. 18, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Companies across all product categories will face increased regulatory enforcement, legal action, and reputational damage in 2021 and the post-pandemic world, the Sedgwick Brand Protection 2021 State of the Nation Recall Index warns.

The Recall Index is the premier analysis and perspective on safety regulation and product recall incidents arising across industries. In its 11th year, the Recall Index was published by Stericycle – Expert Solutions. Now, as part of Sedgwick, the Recall Index continues to support risk managers in assessing and resolving crises in the evolving risk landscape.

"2020 was full of risk and great uncertainty for companies across all industries. While a year for the history books is behind us, don't expect everything to change in the blink of an eye," advised Chris Harvey, Senior Vice President of Client Services at Sedgwick. "That said, we are seeing signs from every regulator that change is coming – and it's coming fast. Enforcement actions will be more frequent, penalties will be harsher, and cross-agency collaboration will often be a welcome approach to regulatory oversight."

But companies need to be concerned about more than just the regulatory posture. Supply chains are under near-constant threat of disruption during a global pandemic. Consumer demand is evolving. Innovation is creating both important beneficial opportunities, like combatting climate change or fighting disease, and new, little-understood consumer safety risks, including cyberattacks and software failures. At the same time, consumer safety advocates remain active and U.S. lawmakers are increasingly interested in whether regulators are effectively protecting consumers.

"It is well understood that manufacturers bear the brunt of product liability claims and regulatory enforcement. But retailers and supply chain partners are increasingly implicated in product safety matters," warns Harvey. "Companies up and down the supply chain need to better manage regulatory, legal, and reputational risks before, during, and after business and product crises in order to minimize operational impacts and protect ongoing value."

2020 Recall Highlights

While data doesn't tell the whole recall and product safety story, the 2021 State of the Nation Recall Index includes statistics, trends, and details about product recall activity from January 2020 through January 2021. A preview of some of the details shared is included below.

  • Despite the far-reaching and long-lasting impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic, consumer product recalls increased 7% year-over-year from 2019 to 2020.
  • Software issues were the top reason for recalls for the 18th time in 19 consecutive quarters and the leading cause of recalls for 2020.
  • Even with minimal inspection and regulatory enforcement activity, 344 pharmaceutical recalls were announced in 2020, representing a 2.4% increase compared to 2019.
  • FDA food recalls continued their downward trend experienced since 2016, while USDA recalls experienced record low activity for the year
  • Despite the decrease in recall events, automotive recalls still impacted more than 50.3 million units in 2020, just shy of the 50.7 million recalled units in 2019 and significantly higher than the 30 million recalled units in 2018.

The 2021 State of the Nation Recall Index brings more of what you need to know about the trends and changes in safety regulation, how COVID-19 is impacting regulatory oversight and enforcement, and what to expect from the Biden administration in a post-pandemic era. The Index also features expert insight and analysis from its strategic law firm partners. The content is intended to guide business professionals as they navigate product recalls and other in-market product challenges they face on a daily basis.

The 2021 State of the Nation Recall Index is available here.

About the Sedgwick Brand Protection Recall Index The Sedgwick Brand Protection Recall Index is the only report that aggregates and tracks recall data to help manufacturers and other industry stakeholders navigate the regulatory environment and identify trends. Each quarter Sedgwick analyzes data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the FDA, and the USDA. For more information, please visit https://marketing.sedgwick.com/acton/media/4952/2021-state-of-the-nation---recall-index

About Sedgwick's Brand Protection Division Trusted by the world's leading brands and most relied on businesses, Sedgwick is the market-leading provider of best practice recall, remediation and retention solutions.

With a 25-year track record of successfully protecting businesses, their customers and our environment, our Brand Protection division works in partnership with clients across all industries to manage the risks and minimize the impacts of in-market business and product crises. For more information, please visit www.sedgwick.com/brandprotection.

Media Contact Amanda Jada Amanda.jada@kglobal.com  (813) 808-0736

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SOURCE Sedgwick’s Brand Protection Division

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