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Stores could be let off in model row

Retailers could be spared responsibility for monitoring the use of unnaturally thin models, after interim results from the British Fashion Council's independent inquiry were published this week.

Although accountability is yet to be finalised, Baroness Kingsmill, who chairs the inquiry panel, said responsibility and costs should fall to the agencies that make money from the models.

Members of the panel have suggested launching a licensing system for model agencies, including medical checks and contracts for models and health training for staff. It also said a representative body should be established for models, suggesting the BFC as the most likely candidate.

BFC chief executive Hilary Riva argued that supporting models did not fall within the BFC's remit. "If the BFC is to take on a broader role, new sources of funding will be required," she added.

The final report will be published in September.

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