27 Jan 2012

Implants company founder charged with 'involuntary injury'

8:52 pm on 27 January 2012

The founder of the French company at the centre of an international health scare over breast implants has been charged with causing involuntary injury by the authorities in France.

The company used industrial silicone rather than standard medical gel for the implants.

Jean-Claude Mas, the founder of Poly Implant Prothese (PIP), was arrested at his home in Southern France on Thursday and another PIP executive was also detained.

A lawyer for Mr Mas says he has been released on bail after interrogation by French prosecutors.

The BBC reports up to 400,000 women in 65 countries are believed to have been given the implants.

They have been advised to have them removed.

The 72-year-old accused has been under investigation since he revealed in a police interview last year that PIP ordered employees to hide the unauthorised silicone when inspectors visited its factory.

Medsafe, which administers the medical device database in New Zealand, says the implants are not marketed in New Zealand and are not on the database.