Europe

PIP breast implant boss 'dismissed' women's concerns

  • 6 January 2012
  • From the section Europe
Jean-Claude Mas
Image caption Mr Mas told police his employees were ordered to hide the silicone

The owner of a French breast implant maker at the centre of safety fears told police he had "nothing" to say to women facing surgery for their removal.

France banned implants made by Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) with industrial silicone in 2010, and some 30,000 women were advised to have them removed.

But founder Jean-Claude Mas told police at the time that victims had only filed complaints "to make money".

The UK is set to reveal its updated advice to 40,000 affected women later.

The BBC's Christian Fraser, in Paris, said Mr Mas had shown no empathy with those left with an unenviable choice.

PIP had used low-grade industrial silicone gel, that had been manufactured for use in mattresses, in place of specialist medical materials.

Surgeons' concerns

Excerpts from Mr Mas's interview are being re-examined by a French magistrate.

The interview reveals PIP had deceived European safety inspectors "without a problem" for 13 years by ordering employees to hide the unauthorised silicone when they visited its factory.

Concerns about the safety of the firm's implants were raised when French surgeons noticed they ruptured more easily than others.

The French government has since quoted a rupture rate of 5%.

UK ministers have previously said the risk is much lower - with authorities putting the rate in line with other implants at 1%.

However, they ordered a review after reports suggested from one cosmetic surgery group, Transform, suggested it could be as high as 7%.

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