French executive sentenced for selling faulty breast implants
The executive of a French breast implant company was convicted of aggravated fraud for manufacturing and selling implants equipped with non-medically approved silicone, NPR reported.
Jean-Claude Mas, the founder and chief executive of Poly Implant Prothese, was sentenced to four years in prison for selling faulty implants, ultimately affecting nearly 300,000 plastic surgery patients in 65 countries. According to the news source, the company was one of the world's top-selling suppliers of breast implants.
News of the use of sub-standard silicone gel in the breast implants broke in 2010, when the company was suspended after inspectors found industrial-grade silicone at the PIP factory, Reuters reported. That led to a global health scare in 2011, following a warning from the French government that advised women with PIP breast implants to have them removed. According to the news outlet, the implants were not toxic, but they did have a high rupture rate due to the unauthorized silicone. More than 14,000 French women had their implants removed - nearly half of all French women with PIP implants. The Associated Press added that more than 42,000 women in the United Kingdom also received the implants.
"We got sick, and then they told us it's not the silicone's fault. But it was - it was the silicone's fault," Martine Favret, a French woman and PIP victim, told The Associated Press. "This is more dangerous than a medication that you can just stop taking. We have these inside us. ... We have to stop protecting these giant industries just for cash."
Breast augmentation is one of the most popular plastic surgery procedures in the world, and the highest-ranking surgical cosmetic procedure in France, the UK and the US, according to a 2011 report from the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.