Jean-Claude Mas Breast
January 27, 2012 by staff
Jean-Claude Mas Breast, French authorities have filed preliminary charges against the founder of a French firm at the centre of a global health scare over faulty breast implants.
Jean-Claude Mas, 72, head of Poly Implant Prothese (PIP), has been placed under investigation on a criminal charge of causing bodily harm. He was arrested at his countryside villa in the south of France at dawn on Thursday.
After hours of questioning by investigators, he was released on â‚¬100,000 bail (£83,000) and banned from leaving France. He will not be investigated on a more serious manslaughter charge over the 2010 cancer death of a French woman with PIP implants. He will face a separate fraud trial over the manufacture of the implants, which is expected to begin in October.
PIP closed down in March 2010 after regulators discovered it was using a non-medical grade silicone in its implants.
In December last year, the French government advised 30,000 women to have substandard PIP implants removed following health officials’ warnings that they were more likely to rupture than other implants.
Mas had been using a homemade silicone gel concoction to cut costs. This gel was not approved for medical use and included a mix of agricultural and industrial grade-silicone. PIP, which at one time was the third biggest global supplier of breast implants, hid the origins of its silicone gel from inspectors. The French government’s health advice sparked fear in the thousands of women worldwide with PIP implants, including 40,000 in Britain. The UK government said there was no urgent clinical need for all women with the implants to have them removed.
French women who have been campaigning against PIP since French authorities banned its products nearly two years ago welcomed the arrest and investigation. “It’s been too long,” said Murielle Ajellio, who heads an association for women with implants. Up to now, she said: “You feel like you’re fighting against the wind.”
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