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Rs 50-lakh fine for ads endorsing fair skin with 5 year jail, proposes government

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Advertisements which promote fairness creams, health drinks that claim improvement in height of children and products which promote anti-ageing remedies would be banned soon and would also invite a jail term extending up to five years.

The ministry of health and family welfare has finalized Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) (Amendment) Bill, 2020, that increases the number of diseases and disorders covered under the Act.

The legislation has banned advertisements of products and magic remedies that have claimed to cure diseases and disorders like AIDS, diabetes, deafness and low vision. The list has been increased from 54 to 78.

The draft amendment has banned advertisements of products that promote fairness creams, improve sexual performance and cure premature ageing and greying of hair, increase in height of children or adults, enhancing the brain capacity and memory, improvement in strength of teeth and vision and change of fetal gender by drugs.

Under Section 7 of the Act, the first verdict is punishable with imprisonment of up to six months or fine or both and a following verdict can also result in imprisonment of up to a year or fine, or both.

The amendment also proposes to escalate the penalties. For the first conviction, the proposed punishment is imprisonment of up to two years and fine up to Rs 10 lakh. For following conviction, the imprisonment can extend to five years with a fine of up to Rs 50 lakh.

Source: ET Healthworld

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