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China Bans Cosmetic, Sex Change Surgery on TV
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China's broadcasting watchdog has banned all television shows involving plastic and transsexual surgery.

All stations are prohibited from organizing, making or broadcasting TV reality shows featuring such operations, according to the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT).

All programs, including news, chat shows, special shows on sex change operations, have been banned by the SARFT.

"A Date with Beauty", aired by Guangdong TV was especially criticized by SARFT in a notice for its "bloody" and "vulgar" content.

"Vulgar programs" were defined as those depicting violence, crime, pornography and horror, said Zhang Haitao, deputy director of the SARFT.

Guangdong TV was accused of violating the privacy of the show's participants by screening operations such as breast implants and liposuction.

Guangdong woman He Xiaoming, 22, said "I felt really sick after watching the show."

He Yi, the operating officer of the station, said, "We didn't mean to create a sensational atmosphere with the surgery. Rather we wanted to give the audience a deeper understanding and remove their fear of plastic surgery through such a visual display.

"But we will definitely follow the administration's order," He was quoted as saying by media reports.

The notice said the reality show, "A Date with Beauty", together with other programs on sex change operations, catered to "low-grade interests" and the "bloody" scenes, extravagant production and loose supervision seriously damaged the reputation of television media.

Earlier this year, the SARFT issued rules to uphold moral standards on popular TV talent contests, warning those stations that failed to monitor the quality of programs would face severe penalties.

(Xinhua News Agency August 25, 2007)

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