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DOW CORNING OUTLINES ACTION TAKEN SINCE JAN. 6 CALL FOR MORATORIUM

 DOW CORNING OUTLINES ACTION TAKEN SINCE JAN. 6 CALL FOR MORATORIUM
 MIDLAND, Mich., Jan. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Dow Corning announced today it has completed a shutdown of its silicone gel breast implant production lines in Hemlock, Mich., and at its subsidiary, Dow Corning Wright in Arlington, Tenn.
 About 100 employees have been given temporary leaves of absence with full pay and benefits.
 The action was prompted by a Jan. 6 request by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a moratorium on the product because of safety concerns. Dow Corning immediately complied on a worldwide basis and employees spent much of the ensuing week preparing equipment for an orderly shutdown.
 The company also announced today it is taking a $25 million pretax charge to earnings for the fourth quarter of 1991 for costs anticipated as a result of the implant controversy.
 Edward Steinhoff, Dow Corning vice president for finance and chief financial officer, said the charge would cover implant inventories, dedicated equipment and costs associated with continuing to demonstrate the safety of the product.
 "This action is consistent with Dow Corning's conservative accounting practices," Steinhoff said, "and is a prudent step in light of the uncertain future of this product."
 Steinhoff said the breast implant business represented only about 1 percent of Dow Corning's 1990 sales of $1.7 billion and since 1986 has been unprofitable.
 Dan M. Hayes, president and CEO of Dow Corning Wright, said the company will continue to cooperate fully with the FDA, the medical community, advocacy groups, employees, customers and others with an interest in the issue. "We are confident current testing as well as testing to be initiated will continue to demonstrate the safety of the product," Hayes noted.
 Commenting on the safety issue, Hayes said, "We strongly encourage the FDA in this evaluation period to allow science to dominate in its actions. If this review is done with experts in relevant fields, we are confident that these experts will confirm the safety of the implants."
 -0- 1/14/92
 /CONTACT: Bob Grupp, 517-496-6443, or Scott Seeburger, 517-496-4078, both of Dow Corning/ CO: Dow Corning Corporation; Dow Corning Wright ST: Michigan IN: SU:


ML -- DE003 -- 9410 01/14/92 09:13 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 14, 1992
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