French breast implant maker denounces 'untruths' in scandal

January 5, 2012

The founder of the French breast implant maker at the centre of a global health scare said Thursday much of the information emerging in the scandal was untrue but refused further comment.

In a statement, Jean-Claude Mas denounced the "impressive number of untruths" that had emerged but said he would refrain from making other public comments because of a judicial investigation.

Following complaints from hundreds of , investigators in southern France have opened a probe into sub-standard silicone used in implants made by Mas's now-defunct Poly Implant Prothese (PIP).

A litany of accusations against PIP has triggered a worldwide scare, with several countries including France now advising thousands of women to have the implants surgically removed.

In the statement Mas, 72, denied he was in hiding and said he was keeping silent "first out of respect and out of a sense of decency in regards to the concerns of the patients involved, and also due to the existence of ongoing (court) proceedings".

"The impressive number of untruths, of nonsense and of are also leading Mr. Mas to abstain from comment," the statement said.

"Mr. Jean-Claude Mas intends to reserve his statements for judicial authorities when he receives a summons, which to this day has not arrived," it said.

Around 300,000 women in 65 countries are believed to have PIP implants. An unknown proportion are made with sub-standard gel which the firm, once the world's third-largest silicone implant producer, used to cut its costs.

PIP was shut down and its products banned in 2010 after it was revealed to have been using a that caused abnormally high rupture rates.

Fears over its implants spread globally last month after French advised 30,000 women to have their PIP implants removed because of the increased risk of rupture.

Officials have also said that cancer, including 16 cases of , had been detected in 20 French women with the implants, but have insisted there is no proven link with the disease.

Earlier Thursday French Health Minister Xavier Bertrand said Europe should impose stricter controls on medical devices in the wake of the scandal.

"For medical devices, we need other rules," he told French television channel LCI.

"A simple label is not enough," he said. "I want to see changes in European regulation because unlike with medicine, which must be authorised to be put on the market, there are no (such regulations) with medical devices.

"There needs to be a sales authorisation, firstly for products that have a potential health risk," Bertrand said, calling also for a toughening of testing procedures.

Le Parisien newspaper reported Thursday that PIP also made products for men, including buttock, testicular and pectoral implants.

It quoted a PIP employee as saying that most of these implants went abroad, particularly to Latin America.

Meanwhile France's Centres for the Fight Against Cancer (CLCC) said in a statement it had used PIP as a supplier and given its implants to about 3,300 women. It said the women had been contacted and advised to see their doctors about the .

burs-mm/gk

Explore further: 20 cancer cases in French women with PIP implants: agency

Related Stories

20 cancer cases in French women with PIP implants: agency

December 30, 2011
French health authorities said Friday that 20 cases of cancer had been uncovered in women with allegedly faulty French-made breast implants but insisted there was still no proven link with the disease.

France vows probe into breast implant failures

January 3, 2012
France vowed on Tuesday to investigate failures to detect faults with the French-made breast implants at the centre of a global health scare, as a senior lawmaker urged a full parliamentary probe.

Italy seeking women with French breast implants

December 22, 2011
(AP) -- Italy's health ministry on Thursday asked hospitals to track down women who received silicone breast implants made by a suspect French company due to concerns the implants may be unsafe.

Breast implant maker used non-approved gels: lawyer

December 27, 2011
The founder of the French firm that made breast implants feared to be at risk of rupturing has admitted using non-approved but non-toxic silicone gels, his lawyer said Tuesday.

Australia: No higher risk from French implants

January 5, 2012
(AP) -- Australian health officials said they have found no evidence that potentially faulty French-made breast implants are at an increased risk of rupture in Australian women.

Interpol seeks arrest of breast implant company founder

December 24, 2011
Interpol on Friday issued a "red notice" seeking the arrest of Frenchman Jean-Claude Mas, founder of the breast implant company at the centre of a widespread women's health scare.

Recommended for you

Exploring the potential of human echolocation

June 25, 2017
People who are visually impaired will often use a cane to feel out their surroundings. With training and practice, people can learn to use the pitch, loudness and timbre of echoes from the cane or other sounds to navigate ...

Team eradicates hepatitis C in 10 patients following lifesaving transplants from infected donors

April 30, 2017
Ten patients at Penn Medicine have been cured of the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) following lifesaving kidney transplants from deceased donors who were infected with the disease. The findings point to new strategies for increasing ...

'bench to bedside to bench': Scientists call for closer basic-clinical collaborations

March 24, 2017
In the era of genome sequencing, it's time to update the old "bench-to-bedside" shorthand for how basic research discoveries inform clinical practice, researchers from The Jackson Laboratory (JAX), National Human Genome Research ...

The ethics of tracking athletes' biometric data

January 18, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—Whether it is a FitBit or a heart rate monitor, biometric technologies have become household devices. Professional sports leagues use some of the most technologically advanced biodata tracking systems to ...

Financial ties between researchers and drug industry linked to positive trial results

January 18, 2017
Financial ties between researchers and companies that make the drugs they are studying are independently associated with positive trial results, suggesting bias in the evidence base, concludes a study published by The BMJ ...

Best of Last Year – The top Medical Xpress articles of 2016

December 23, 2016
(Medical Xpress)—It was a big year for research involving overall health issues, starting with a team led by researchers at the UNC School of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health who unearthed more evidence that ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.