Medical experts have slammed the government's decision to back out of imposing regulations on the use of botox.
The Expert Working Group on Cosmetic Surgery had urged the government to introduce regulations to protect patients from backstreet clinics, and to bring the monitoring of botox under the remit of the Healthcare Commission.
However, the government has now said that the industry should be self-regulated and take responsibility for improving safety itself.
Which? health campaigner Jenny Driscoll accused the government of 'bottling out' and said that it needed to "step in now because, left to regulate itself, it'd be all too easy for the industry to focus on introducing multiple codes that will just end up confusing people".
Meanwhile, the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons remarked that the government was simply "passing the buck".
President Douglas McGeorge told the BBC: "Botox can be carried out anywhere by anyone with training in giving injections and there is no way you can self-regulate because of the diverse groups currently offering treatment."
British consumers spent nearly £360 million on cosmetic treatments in 2005.
Independent advice on private healthcare