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Slimming, Breast Enlargement ADs Suspended
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The Chinese government issued a circular on Wednesday suspending TV programs that introduce slimming and breast enlargement products following complaints by sufferers misled by the programs.

The circular, issued by the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television and the General Administration for Industry and Commerce, said from August 1, all TV and radio channels should suspend programs that introduce slimming, breast enlargement and height increase products. The suspension will only be lifted when these kinds of programs have been corrected and a new circular can be released.

The circular pointed out that recently some satellite TV channels and local radio channels repeatedly broadcast advertising programs that exaggerate the medical effects of certain slimming or breast enlargement products. Such programs have misled customers and done them harm, and also damaged the media's reputation.

TV or radio programs that introduce medicine or medical services should emphasise disease prevention and control. Program contents should be authentic and legitimate, said the circular.

Doctors, professionals and apothecaries who are invited as guests on the programs are not allowed to propagandize and overstate the medical effect of the products,

Nor are they allowed to introduce vanguard medical treatments which have not been officially recognized by hospitals.

Local governments should urge TV stations and radio stations to look critically at their programs. If advertising, TV or radio programs on medicine or health products have led to serious consequences due to unfounded claims, the program producers will be severely punished, according to the circular.

Recently, increasing numbers of consumers have complained that they were cheated by advertising programs on slimming or breast enlargement products.

The latest case occurred in early July. A woman in her 20s, identified as Beibei, appeared in a CCTV program and spoke about her painful experience. She tried a breast enlargement drink, called Bolibao, which had been billed as "the world's most effective and convenient breast enlargement product" in a widely-broadcast TV advertising program. She ended up with a menstrual disorder, more acne on her face and breast pains.

(Xinhua News Agency July 21, 2006)

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