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FRANCE

Italian panty liners found with traces of weedkiller

Some 3,000 boxes of "organic" women's panty liners have been yanked from the shelves in France and Canada after they were found to contain tiny amounts of pesticide, Italian manufacturer Corman said Wednesday.

Italian panty liners found with traces of weedkiller
The Organyc panty liners contained traces of Roundup weedkiller. Photo: EFWP

Corman said it conducted its own analysis after a French consumer magazine reported the presence of glyphosate, the active ingredient of Roundup weedkiller made by agri-giant Monsanto, in the cotton-based product of the Organyc brand.

In a report published on Tuesday, the magazine, 60 Millions de Consommateurs, said its testers had detected glyphosate in five of the 11 feminine hygiene products they analysed, including tampons as well as panty liners.

Corman said it ordered outside analyses that “confirmed residual traces of glyphosate” in its panty liners, adding that it was recalling 3,100 boxes from the lot in question as a “precaution”.

Although the amounts were tiny – around 25 nanogrammes per gramme – “these traces should not be present in organic cotton,” Corman said, adding that it would investigate its suppliers, mainly in the United States and India.

“We don't think it is dangerous, it's simply a precautionary measure, because our priority is the safety and health of our consumers,” a Corman spokeswoman told AFP.

60 Millions de Consommateurs also said residual amounts of potentially toxic substances were found in Always sanitary pads and Tampax tampons made by US company Procter and Gamble.

The company responded that its products had been “proven to be harmless” but that it would improve communication over their contents.

A spokesman for Johnson and Johnson, whose o.b. and Nett tampons were also faulted in the report, said the company uses “only materials respecting all the safety criteria” in its products.

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FILM

Rimini celebrates centenary of legendary Italian director Federico Fellini

Italian resort Rimini this week marked 100 years since the birth of director Federico Fellini, whose visual dreamscapes revolutionised cinema in a career spanning almost half a century.

Rimini celebrates centenary of legendary Italian director Federico Fellini
A still from La Dolce Vita in the exhibition 'Fellini 100 : Immortal Genius'. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

Dozens of events are being held around the world and in Italy this year to remember Fellini, considered one of the most influential filmmakers of all time.

The winner of a record four best foreign language film Oscars, he is famed for films set in Rome such as 'La Dolce Vita' (1960), and most of his films were shot in Cinecitta's Studio 5 outside the capital.

But he set his 1973 masterpiece 'Amarcord', a semi-autobiographical comedy about an adolescent boy growing up in 1930s fascist Italy, in the Adriatic resort of Rimini, where he was born on January 20th 1920.

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The city is marking the centenary with a special exhibition and is due to open a museum dedicated to Fellini, who died in 1993, by the end of the year.

“Rimini is everywhere in Fellini's cinema, the countryside in his films is Rimini's countryside, the sea in all Fellini's films is Rimini's sea,” said Marco Leonetti of the Rimini Cinematheque which helped put on the exhibition.

The show includes some of the more spectacular costumes from his films, as well as frequently erotic extracts from the sketchbooks of his dreams he created for his psychotherapist over a 30-year period.


Costumes on display at the 'Fellini 100 : Immortal Genius' exhibition. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

'The maestro from Rimini'

Originally an artist and caricaturist, Fellini paid to watch films as a child at Rimini's Fulgor cinema by drawing caricatures, and his films remain caricatures of society.

“If you take Fellini's films, like 'Amarcord', 'La Dolce Vita', 'I Vitelloni', when you watch them all, it's as if you're flicking through a history book, you travel through the history of our country, the history of Italy, from the 1930s to the 1980s,” Leonetti told AFP.

READ ALSO: Fellini's La Strada: a vision of masculinity and femininity that still haunts us today

Fellini was initially appreciated more abroad than in Italy, where he frequently scandalised the conservative society of the 1950s.

His films embodied a sense of irony, the ability to invent, and a sense of beauty, said Leonetti. “These are the three qualities of his art, qualities which also created 'made in Italy', and that's why Fellini, besides having told the story of our country the best, is also the person who best represents it,” he said.


A photograph of Federico Fellini. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

Fellini has inspired generations of directors since, including Britain's Peter Greenaway and Spain's Pedro Almodovar. US director David Lynch, who shares the same birthday as Fellini, in 1997 declared his love for the “maestro from Rimini”.

“There's something about his films… They're so magical and lyrical and surprising and inventive. The guy was unique. If you took his films away, there would be a giant chunk of cinema missing,” Lynch told filmmaker Chris Rodley.

Fellini played “a shameless game of reflections and autobiographical projections” with his actors, the exhibition said.

The exhibition 'Fellini 100. Immortal genius' ends in March but will then travel to Rome and on to cities including Los Angeles, Moscow and Berlin.

By AFP's Charles Onians

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