Monday, December 08, 2008

Salon owners face jail if they continue selling Melanotan

By Sara McCorquodale

Salon owners who continue to sell an unlicensed tanning product could face two years in prison, a government watchdog has warned.

Following reports that injectable tan stimulator, Melanotan, is being retailed online and by salons and gyms across the UK, the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has ordered vendors to remove the product from their shelves and websites. However, if they do not follow these instructions they could face a fine or worse. A spokesperson from the agency said: “If those selling the product continue we have the power under the Medicines Act to take action. We could prosecute them and they could end up spending two years in jail or receive an unlimited fine.”

The product contains a hormone that induces skin cells to produce more melanin but due to lack of research into its effects, Melanotan is currently unlicensed in the UK. The MHRA spokesperson said: “It shouldn’t be used because it has not gone through proper checks. We don’t know how safe it is, whether the manufacturer has good standards for production or even if it works.

She explained: "We don’t have any clinical data to show the short and long-term side effects. All we have is anecdotal evidence that the compound may increase the libido and therefore may raise the blood pressure. It also may suppress the appetite – we just don’t know. Very often the product is sold in powder form, which users need to mix with sterilised water, but this is prescription-only so we have serious safety concerns over this aspect of Melanotan too.”

Despite the negative press the Melanotan debacle has generated towards the tanning industry, Fake Bake owner Sandra McClumpha believes it will not do businesses selling legitimate products any harm. She said: “Something that is taken internally is potentially dangerous and has nothing to do with self-tanning products that are actually applied on the skin.

“No-one should inject themselves unless authorised by a doctor with anything, never mind a product not approved in this country. The salons that have been selling this illegal product should stop immediately. They have obviously been mis-informed but they have to realise the dangerous effects of this product and the damage that they can do to the reputation of their business.”

Source: Professional Beauty

We Say: Again more worrying links with your health, if you want a healthy tan, why not go for a natural self tanning lotion.

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