China bans breast enlarging gel

China has banned a gel widely used for breast enlargement after a surge of complaints and mounting public pressure.

But in Hong Kong, where the gel has been blamed for six women losing their breasts, the government would not say whether it would follow suit, the South China Morning Post said Monday.

China's State Food and Drug Administration Sunday issued a public notice calling for an immediate halt to the production, sale and use of hydrophilic polyacrylamide gel -- commonly known as PAAG.

The gel is estimated to have been used on more than 300,000 Chinese women in cosmetic procedures including breast enlargement and nose alterations.

In Hong Kong, 119 women told the Department of Health by last Wednesday that they had received injections of the gel to enlarge their breasts, with 51 reporting complications.

The Department of Health said it would keep track of importers and speed up the introduction of legislation that would limit its use to doctors.

The ban mainly affects Jilin Fuhua, China's sole producer and distributor of the gel. It follows a public hearing held by the food and drug administration two weeks ago to solicit public opinion on the ban.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International


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