Founder of French breast implant firm linked to health scare jailed

Story highlights

  • A judge ordered the arrest of Jean-Claude Mas
  • He failed to pay bail, a law enforcement official says
  • Mas is charged with involuntary injury
  • His company made implants with substandard silicone
The founder of a French company that made breast implants linked to a global health scare has been jailed after failing to pay bail.
Judge Annaick Le Goff ordered the arrest of Jean-Claude Mas, founder of Poly Implant Protheses, or PIP, from his partner's home in southern France, a law enforcement official in Marseille told CNN Wednesday.
Mas was previously arrested January 26 in connection with an investigation for involuntary homicide and harm following the 2010 cancer death of a French woman with PIP implants.
He was charged with involuntary injury and not with the more serious offense of involuntary manslaughter.
Mas had been released but was under judicial control, meaning he could not leave France, attorney Yves Haddad said.
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Haddad did not return calls from CNN Wednesday.
An estimated 300,000 women in 65 countries received breast implants from the company. The implants were banned in 2010, and the company went bankrupt later that year.
The implants are not approved for use in the United States.
French authorities announced last month that the government would pay for the removal of the bankrupt company's implants, which a British medical group says were made from "nonmedical grade silicone believed by the manufacturers to be made for mattresses."
German medical groups have recommended that women seek removal of PIP breast implants, saying they need not hurry but the devices could pose eventual health problems.
Authorities in France and England have dismissed fears of cancer from the implants but have said the devices are prone to rupture and could cause inflammation, scarring and fibrosis.
More than 500 French women have had the implants removed since last year, according to the French government agency that evaluates the safety of medical products. Since then, more than 1,000 implants have ruptured, the agency said.
The British government says there is still no statistical data to show that PIP implants are either toxic or more prone to rupturing than others.