Influence Explored: The organizations behind silicone implants


The Los Angeles Times published an article in its Science and Environment section today that outlined the politics behind the silicone breast implant debate.

As the LA Times reported, the FDA is citing new studies that show silicone implants manufactured by corporations like Dow Corning are indeed safe despite a 14 year ban on them due to suspicions that they cause diseases such as lupus and cancer.

Here’s a look at the political involvement and influence for some of the names mentioned in the piece:

  • Dow Corning gave $100,228 in political contributions during the 2009-10 election cylce.  All but $3,000 of that went to Michigan politicians, the state where the silicone manufacturer is based. The corporation reported spending $220,000 lobbying the government in the first quarter of 2011.
  • Allergan Inc. gave $500,282 in political contributions during the 2009-10 election cycle. The company reported spending  $300,000 on lobbying expenses in the first quarter of 2011.
  • Allergan is also a government contractor currently holding nearly $1 million in government contracts.

On Wednesday, the Huffington Post ran a piece in its Politics section written by Dick Gephardt that explains his opinion on why Medicare must remain the responsibility of Congress and why the Independent Payment Advisory Board is bad.

The piece includes a disclaimer that notes that Gephardt is a lobbyist representing clients with interests in the healthcare field. Here’s a look at Gephardt’s influence profile and that of some his clients:

‘Influence Explored’ takes an article from the day’s headlines and exposes the influential ways of entities mentioned in the article. Names and corporations are run through Sunlight’s influence tracking tools such as Influence Explorer and Transparency Data to remind readers of the money that powers Washington.