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DOW CORNING AND ITS EMPLOYEES CALL SAN FRANCISCO JURY AWARD REGARDING BREAST IMPLANTS 'OUTRAGEOUS'

 DOW CORNING AND ITS EMPLOYEES CALL SAN FRANCISCO JURY AWARD
 REGARDING BREAST IMPLANTS 'OUTRAGEOUS'
 MIDLAND, Mich., Dec. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Dow Corning Corporation said Friday it was outraged by the $7.34 million award given by a San Francisco jury to a woman who alleged her breast implants were the cause of her mixed connective tissue disease.
 "We are particularly disappointed because the jury still made this unjustified award to the plaintiff, despite the fact that two of her doctors -- whom Dow Corning called as witnesses -- said in court that the plaintiff's mixed connective tissue disease preceded her breast implant surgery," said Daniel; M. Hayes, Jr., president and chief executive officer of Dow Corning Wright, a Dow Corning subsidiary that manufactures breast implants.
 Hayes went on to say that symptoms of the plaintiff's mixed connective tissue disease were identified at least two years before she had breast implants.
 "This jury verdict symbolizes the politicization of the entire breast implant issue. Thirty years of scientific data is being ignored because of the sensationalistic media environment that has been established by plaintiff's attorney's who stand to make a lot of money from these awards," Hayes said.
 "They are aided in that effort by Sidney Wolfe of Public Citizen's Health Research Group -- a primary opponent of breast implants -- who sells to other lawyers for $750 each a 'how-to-sue-a-manufacturer-kit' of files," Hayes said.
 "It's no wonder a jury can ignore the science when some media serve up sensationalistic tabloid journalism like the Connie Chung show, and re-hash the same one-sided inflammatory claims about breast implants made by Phil Donahue -- while the FDA is making a final determination concerning the future availability of this important product. It is interesting to note that this media coverage took place while this case was being tried," Hayes said.
 "Not only is it difficult for a jury to make a decision, but it is virtually impossible for women to make an informed choice about breast implants, when the inaccurate and sensationalistic side of this story so dominates the media. It is clear that the deck is stacked against women across this country who value and want access to this product," Hayes said.
 "The process of determining the safety and the public health need of breast implants has been destroyed, and as a science-based company, we must register our total disgust with this entire process," Hayes said.
 Hayes went on to state that the jury's verdict that suggested the company committed fraud or acted with malice is an affront to the more than 8,000 Dow Corning employees worldwide who conduct their business lives in accordance with the highest ethical standards.
 "Naturally we will appeal this decision. We are convinced of the safety of these products and the soundness of our position," Hayes said.
 Dr. Robert R. LeVier, technical director of Health Businesses at Dow Corning, who testified in the San Francisco trial, reconfirmed today that among all the laboratory studies on the safety of silicone implants and the material used to make them, no studies show a link between silicone materials and mixed connective tissue disease, as has been alleged in the suit.
 In an unprecedented action earlier this year, Dow Corning released publicly its scientific studies on the safety and efficacy of breast implants. LeVier said the body of knowledge show the number of these cases of connective tissue disease in women with implants is no greater than the generally accepted rate of occurrence in women without implants. Information about the benefits and risks of silicone breast implants, including a fact sheet on breast implants and connective tissue disease, is available from Dow Corning Wright's Implant Information Center. This free information can be obtained by calling the Center toll free at 800-442-5442 weekdays between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. EST.
 -0- 12/16/91
 /CONTACT: Robert Grupp of Dow Corning, 517-496-6443/ CO: Dow Corning Corporation ST: Michigan, California IN: MTC SU:


SH-TS -- NY011 -- 2372 12/16/91 09:05 EST
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Date:Dec 16, 1991
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