Head of firm behind PIP breast implants goes on trial

The founder of the company that sparked a health scare around the world over sub-standard breast implants goes on trial in southern France today.

Jean-Claude Mas, along with other former bosses at Poly Implant Prothese (PIP), is accused of aggravated fraud for using industrial-grade silicone in the implants.

Hundreds of women who were given the faulty implants are expected to attend the trial.

PIP founder Jean-Claude Mas (C) is surrounded by policemen as he arrives at the courthouse in Marseille Credit: REUTERS/Philippe Laurenson

An estimated 300,000 women have been given the implants worldwide, including around 47,000 in the UK. French authorities took all the implants off the market in March 2010 after concerns were raised.

Health authorities in France and elsewhere have stressed that PIP's products carry no proven link to cancer, but surgeons report that they have abnormally high rupture rates.