In recent months, it has seemed that barely a week has gone by without the announcement of a major product recall, whether it be of pet food (tainted with a wheat gluten additive), toothpaste (containing poisonous diethylene glycol, a solvent used in antifreeze that imparts a sweet taste), millions of children’s toys (the subject of at least four major recalls, several of which involved lead paint), almost half a million light truck tires (lacking a safety feature that guards against tread separation), or 3.6 million Ford cars, trucks and SUVs (containing a cruise control switch linked to vehicle fires).

Recalls have become so common of late that satirical magazine The Onion “reported” in late July that shares of Constitution Solutions, LLC “fell sharply Tuesday after several Eastern bloc constitutions written by COSO were recalled due to loopholes that allowed Vladimir Putin to re-form the Soviet Union.” Stockwatch, The Onion, July 26-Aug. 1, 2007, at 2.

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