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New register for providers of injectable anti-wrinkle treatments does not go far enough

wrinklesEvery batch of the poison used for injected anti-wrinkle treatments has to be tested on animals to establish its strength. Each year, thousands of mice die a slow and painful death, just so that humans can have smooth faces.

The substance used is a toxin produced by a bacterium called Clostridium botulinum. The toxin is one of the most powerful poisons known, but, because it has a natural source, it is impossible to know how strong it is without tests.

Batches are tested by injecting them into mice until the animals are paralysed, and most of them die of suffocation. Although it is used as for cosmetic purposes, the toxin is not governed by restrictions on cosmetic testing because it is injected.

FRAME supports genuine medical uses for the toxin, but believes that all cosmetic uses should be stopped until a humane, non-animal test method can be found.

The new restriction is a voluntary register for providers of injectable treatments such as dermal fillers and anti-wrinkle treatments introduced by the Independent Healthcare Advisory Services.

FRAME Chairman Prof Michael Balls said: “We hope that this new register will bring an end to informal parties, and so will reduce the number of people who have these treatments. But the real problem with them is the enormous and unnecessary suffering caused by testing the toxin. We want a total ban on its use for non-medical reasons, until these cruel tests are no longer needed.”