Campaigners have warned that British people are being treated as 'guinea pigs' because of poor regulation of non-surgical cosmetic treatments.
Which? magazine suggests that companies are testing cosmetic fillers that have been turned down in the US, such as Isolagen - a treatment using the patients' own cells to smooth the skin.
The treatment was withdrawn in the US in 1999 but manufacturers have reportedly been using information gathered in Britain to support its licence application in the US.
However, the treatment has now been withdrawn from the British market.
Which? health campaigner Jenny Driscoll commented: "At the moment Britain is effectively a testing ground for cosmetic treatments.
"If the Department of Health doesn't step up and recognise the flaws in the system, it is leaving Brits potentially at risk."
However, Douglas McGeorge, president of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (Baaps), told the BBC that the problem lies with those offering the fillers, not the treatments themselves.
"Isolagen worked well for what it was, which was just a filler, but claimed all sorts of weird and wonderful things and was advertised directly to the public.
"If you went to a sensible clinic, they would say I don't think this is a good idea, but a less reputable one would give it."
© Adfero Ltd
Cosmetic surgery news : 03/08/2007