PARIS, Dec. 23 (UPI) -- The French health minister recommended Friday that thousands of women with pre-filled silicone gel breast implants should have them removed.
Xavier Bertrand, minister of Labor, Employment and Health, said the implants made by French firm Poly Implant Prothese have not been linked to an increased incidence of cancer, but should be removed because of the risk of rupture and leak of the questionable type of silicone gel, The Daily Telegraph reported.
"As a preventive measure not of an urgent nature, (the French government) recommended the removal of these implants, even those not showing signs of deterioration, be proposed," Bertrand said in a statement.
The costs of removal of the Poly Implant Prothese implants in an estimated 30,000 women in France would be paid for by the country's national healthcare system, Bertrand's statement said.
About 2,000 women in France filed legal complaints against the company for allegedly using industrial silicone instead of more expensive silicone meant for medical use. Investigators in France said the company allegedly saved about $1.3 million a year by using the cheaper industrial silicone.
The French government ordered the company last year to cease manufacturing the implants using industrial silicone.