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Harvest Andrew A. Neeson

The cosmetic industry has always been desperate to obtain the secret of – at least aesthetically speaking - eternal youth, often employing practices which raise a host of ethical, moral and medical questions. The latest of these questions surround the dubious content of SkinMedica’s TNS range, which won the Editors choice award for Allure and been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show. The TNS range contains the ingredient NouriCel-MD, which according to the company’s website contains ‘natural human growth factors.’ (


hese ‘human growth factors’ are derived from the skin cells found in the foreskin of circumcised babies which contain necessary proteins, collagen and elastin necessary to help stop the visible signs of aging. While there is no question of the products safety, its ethics are debatable. A mother, posting on internet chartroom,, said: “I think it’s creepy. It’s like they are harvesting our children for their beauty products.” Chris Pattinson, owner of Revitalise UK, Britain’s distributor of this brand believes the public have been misled: ‘No pot contains thousands of baby foreskins as the press would lead you to believe, just a few cells, amongst other things…I don’t think people would feel at all squeamish about this issue if the truth had not been exaggerated.’ Harvesting human skin for vanity cosmetic products first became a global concern two years ago when a Chinese company, which cannot be identified for legal reasons, was exposed developing

beauty products made from the skin of executed convicts. In an article published in the Guardian on September 13th 2005, a lack of legislation was blamed: ‘The Department of Health is waiting for the European commission to draw up proposals for laws governing cosmetic products. It could be several years before this legislation takes force.’While these new regulations are drawn up, the Department of Health remains powerless in its ability to regulate most human-tissue fillers intended for injection or implant, as they occupy a legal grey area. Most products are not governed by regulations as they are not classified as medicines. They also escape cosmetics regulations, which only apply to substances used on the surface of the skin and not those injected beneath it. Another cosmetic product which is benefiting from similar legal loopholes is AlloDerm, which is made from freeze dried human tissue, the skin coming not from China, but from American

Given Poetry  
Given Poetry  

Revista fictícia de poesia. Treball de 1r de Gràfica Publicitària. EADT 2007