The Food and Drug Administration yesterday lifted a 14-year ban on the use of silicone gel breast implants in the United States after decades of contentious debate and litigation over their safety.This shows how broken our legal system is. A big company was bankrupted and billions of dollars was paid to lawyers, and all the evidence says that the silicone is harmless.
The federal agency approved implants manufactured by two California companies, Mentor and Allergan, for breast reconstruction and cosmetic breast augmentation, but limited cosmetic use of the implants to women ages 22 and older.
The decision appeared to end a controversy over the safety of silicone implants that lasted more than two decades and resulted in thousands of lawsuits by women who claimed the implants leaked and caused a number of diseases, including cancer and rheumatoid arthritis. The dispute led to the bankruptcy of the manufacturer Dow Corning, a federal moratorium on the use of the implants, and, finally, findings by both the Institute of Medicine and the Food and Drug Administration that the devices do not cause major illnesses.
Friday, November 17, 2006