- France’s lower house of parliament has passed a law that bans the use of excessively thin fashion models and imposes possible jail sentences on companies that hire them.
- In a move worth $300 million, mental health services will have their funding renewed for a further 12 months.
- Australian pharmaceutical companies are concerned they may lose their place in the industry as advocates claim billions of dollars are being lost to overseas markets and figures show exports have slumped by more than 30 per cent since 2012.
News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 6th April 2015. Read by Rebecca Foster.
France’s lower house of parliament has passed a law that bans the use of excessively thin fashion models and imposes possible jail sentences on companies that hire them.
The move by France, with its fashion and luxury industries worth tens of billions of euros, comes after a similar ban by Israel in 2013, while other countries, like Italy and Spain, rely on voluntary codes of conduct to protect models.
It is part of a wider move against anorexia in France by … [the] government, where up to 40,000 people — mostly girls and women — suffer from the condition.
The law bans the use of any model whose Body Mass Index (BMI) is lower than levels approved by health authorities.
The lawmaker behind the bill previously said models would have to present a medical certificate showing a BMI of at least 18, about 55 kg for a height of 1.75 metres, before being hired for a job and for a few weeks afterwards.
MPs also made it illegal to condone anorexia and said any re-touched photo that alters the bodily appearance of a model for commercial purposes must carry a message stating it had been manipulated.
The law, voted through the lower house of parliament … despite opposition by conservative parliamentarians, envisages imprisonment of up to six months and a fine of 75,000 euros ($107,820) for any agency contravening it.
A second measure means that the operator of any website inciting a reader to “seek excessive thinness by encouraging eating restrictions for a prolonged period of time, resulting in risk of mortality or damage to health” will face up to a year in prison and fines of up to 100,000 euros.
Elite and IMG, two big modelling agencies active in France, both declined to comment on the moves.
“In a move worth $300 million, mental health services will have their funding renewed for a further 12 months.
The announcement made … by Health Minister Sussan Ley follows a campaign by Mental Health Australia, after some mental health services began to shut down, unsure of future funding.
Hundreds of contracts were due to end on June 30.
Ms Ley said the 12-month extension would allow services to continue to be delivered while work continued on the current Mental Health Review.
She said negotiations would commence immediately, with priority placed on frontline services.
Mental Health Australia chief executive Frank Quinlan said the funding extension was a great relief, both for mental health workers and the people they help.
“It’s great news for people with mental illness and people who care for them and because it gives us a little more certainty over the coming 12 months,” Mr Quinlan said.
He said it also gives the mental health body “an opportunity to sit down with the Government and plan the sort of long-term reforms that I think we all agree are necessary in this space”.
However, while welcoming the news, he stressed that short-term funding arrangements needed to end.
“That sort of uncertainty gives no comfort to people who rely on these services and programs and gives no comfort to the workforce who deliver them.”
Ms Ley said the Government was committed to working with the mental health sector to deliver effective, efficient and high-quality services.
She said the Government was currently working through the findings of the review and it would be released soon.
Australian pharmaceutical companies are concerned they may lose their place in the industry as advocates claim billions of dollars are being lost to overseas markets and figures show exports have slumped by more than 30 per cent since 2012.
Advocates claimed the global market was worth $US1 trillion in yearly sales, but warned that if the Australian industry did not receive government assistance, it would meet the same fate as the car manufacturing industry.
Medicines Australia chief executive Tim James said Australia could not compete with low-cost Asia-Pacific pharmaceutical manufacturing companies and instead needed support to become a world-class drugs manufacturer, known for its research and development.
Mr James said the motor vehicle industry received extensive government support, and called for similar incentives for the pharmaceutical industry to compete across the Asian region.
“We of course are seeking out for the Australian Government to create more incentives, more drivers, more levers, more opportunities for the industry here in Australia to be able to attract that global dollar,” he said.
“We want to see those jobs retained here in Australia, and indeed we want to see a vibrant industry here in Australia.”
But Matt Sherwood, head of market research at Perpetual Investments, said the money simply was not there for the Government to assist.
The Department of Science and Industry declined to comment on the issue but said the industry was important to Australia.
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