Wednesday, November 22, 2006

MP questions decision to bring back silicone gel breast implants

Members of the House of Commons standing committee on health have called on Health Canada officials to explain why silicone breast implants are being allowed back on the market.
Bloc Quebecois MP and committee member Nicole Demers fears the decision was based on flawed reasoning.
The decision was based on 60,000 pages of studies, but the studies came from the manufacturers of the implants, Demers said.
A public interest group in the U.S. has called for a criminal investigation into a whistleblower's allegations that a silicone-breast implant maker withheld safety information from U.S. regulators. "There have been some very serious allegations about the companies in the United States," Demers told CBC Newsworld on Tuesday.
"Some inquiries are being made as we speak into allegations that Inamed and Mentor have made false declarations in front of the FDA. So if they have done it in front of the FDA, I wouldn't be surprised if they did the same in front of Health Canada."
Demers said she is also concerned that Health Canada's expert committee was loaded with people with a direct conflict of interest.

The standing committee also wants to see all of the research that the expert panel used to make its decision and to check a full list of researchers who were consulted.
Plastic surgeons say the newest silicone breast implants have a stronger, thicker wall that is more durable than those of older-generation implants that leaked. The implants are also designed to have the consistency of gummy bears so they stick to themselves instead of leaking into the body.
But Demers said she's heard from young women who've had their implants burst inside them.

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