MPs call for law requiring filtered images to be clearly marked and dermal fillers to be prescription-only

The Health and Social Care Committee also called on ministers to discourage social media influencers from altering their images

A powerful committee of MPs is calling for a new law which would force commercial images to be marked with a logo if they have been digitally altered.

The House of Commons Health and Social Care Committee said it was concerned about the "wide-reaching" impact of body image dissatisfaction on people's mental health.

It said the Government is “not doing enough to understand the scale of the risks” linked to body image worries, including the impact of social media.

The committee also called for new training standards for people who provide certain cosmetic procedures such as Botox injections or chemical peels.

MPs are calling for a new law to be brought into place which would see online images clearly marked if they have used filters

A new report from the committee has called for the Government to introduce a law which would see “commercial images” featuring bodies which have been doctored in any way – including changing body proportions or skin tone – being legally required to carry a logo to let viewers know they have been digitally altered.

The committee also called on ministers to discourage social media influencers from altering their images and for new training standards put in place for providers of certain cosmetic procedures.

This is with the aim of reducing the “conveyor belt” approach to non-surgical cosmetic procedures, such as Botox injections or chemical peels, by bringing forward a licensing regime for providers.

MPs said this should also include minimum training standards for people providing these services and a “cooling off” period between consent and providing the procedure.

The group has said dermal fillers should be made prescription-only substances, in line with Botox, as well as calling on the Government to do more to understand the “rise in body image dissatisfaction across the population including the impact of social media”.

‘We heard of some distressing experiences’

Chairman of the committee and former health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, said: “The government must act urgently to end the situation where anyone can carry out non-surgical cosmetic procedures, regardless of training or qualifications.

“We heard of some distressing experiences – a conveyor belt approach with procedures carried out with no questions asked, procedures that have gone wrong, the use of filthy premises.

“It was clear throughout our inquiry that some groups are particularly vulnerable to exploitation in this growing market that has gone largely unregulated.

“We need a timetable now for a licensing regime with patient safety at its centre to reduce those risks.

“We hope that ministers will listen to our recommendations and set about creating the safety standards that anyone seeking treatment has a right to expect.”