Silicone Blues

Dow Corning tries to shore up its sagging image

It was a textbook case of crisis mismanagement. Hit by hundreds of lawsuits and a federal probe into the safety of its silicone breast implants, Dow Corning spent much of the past year hunkered down in a defensive crouch -- stalling investigators, sitting on evidence and minimizing the complaints of women who said the devices caused them pain, disfigurement and serious autoimmune disorders. By the time the Food and Drug Administration called for a ban on the implants last month, Dow Corning's health and safety problem mushroomed into a public relations disaster.

Now, belatedly, the company that produced most of the...

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