HIGHTOWER: Dow Knew

In a trial, an attorney asked the witness, "How old is your son?" Answer: "38 or 35, I can't remember which." Attorney: "How long has he lived with you?" Witness: "45 years."Like this witness, Dow Chemical Company has had a hard time remembering what it knew about the dangers of its silicone breast implants, and when it knew it. For decades, the Dow PR machine, backed by its corporate-funded studies, has created the impression that its implants pose no risk whatsoever. But thousands of women whose implants ruptured and who became deathly ill, now learn through their legal inquiries that Dow's researchers and top executives knew the PR department was blowing smoke.Despite Dow's insistence that its silicone bags don't leak, its own medical researchers were saying way back in 1961 that they do leak. Also, internal company memos show that its salesmen and researchers were finding in the 1970s that the bags leaked "profusely." One Dow salesman even wrote in a 1975 memo to his boss: "I don't know who is responsible for this decision [to put leaking bags on the market], but it has to rank right up there with the Pinto gas tank."Dow's backup position was that even if the bags do leak, the silicone gel is biologically inert, incapable of harm. Yet, in 1963, the company had discovered that this very same gel had great potential as an insecticide! Indeed, company studies showed that roaches exposed to the gel "never got more than a few inches [away] before dying."Yet, for more than 35 years, Dow's executives kept this science silent, instead grinding-out press releases telling women their illnesses are in their heads.This is Jim Hightower saying ... To learn more, contact the Command Trust Network, a clearinghouse for breast implant survivors: 310/556-1738.Source: "Dow Negligence verdict applies in all lawsuits." Associated Press: Jan. 14, 1998. "Dow Corning Knew."

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