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PIP founder arrested
AAP PIP founder Jean-Claude Mas was arrested in January 2012 and charged with manslaughter, fraud and causing bodily harm.

PIP (Poly Implant Process) founder Jean-Claude Mas was arrested in January 2012 and charged with manslaughter, fraud and causing bodily harm.

The company is the third largest breast implant supplier in the world and was found to be selling substandard breast implants that posed a health risk to women across the globe.

PIP's products were pulled off the market by the French Government in March 2010 following an investigation into the company. The silicone implants were said to be highly likely to rupture, as well as possibly being a carcinogenic.

The investigation was sparked by a report of a woman with PIP implants who died of breast cancer late in 2009.

Mas admitted that he had used cheaper, industrial grade silicone in his products which was not approved for medical use. He has insisted, however, that there were no health risks from his products, and the women suing him were "just looking for money".

Reports of PIP's faulty products caused a global health scare. Tens of thousands of women in both Britain and France sought legal action against the French-based company, and the company went bankrupt in 2010.

Two years after the investigation, French officials have recommended surgical removal of the implants.

French authorities were criticised for the slow reaction to PIP's transgressions, and it was found that a report done by the American Food and Drug Administration 10 years earlier had already raised concerns over PIP's products.

They found 11 deviations from 'good manufacturing practices' at PIP's plant in La Seyne-sur-Mer in the south of France. A month later, PIP stopped selling its products in America, but continued operations in other countries.

In 2005, the company paid $1.8 million to its customers in Britain who suffered from their exploding implants. In France, 16 cases of breast cancer have been found in 20 women with the implants, but French officials have assured the public that the implants have no proven link to the disease.

Mas was jailed in March after failing to post bail, and will appear in court in October on fraud charges. He will later be tried for manslaughter and causing bodily harm.