New Cosmetics Testing Regs in China Could Spare Thousands of Animals

Published by Zachary Toliver.

New regulations drafted by China’s National Medical Product Administration, if passed, will ban senseless, cruel animal tests—sparing thousands of animals.

Fluffy white bunny against bright pink background© iStock.com/GlobalP

The Administrative Measures for the Filing of Non-Special Use Cosmetics is still currently in draft form. But if passed, the relevant provision could allow companies selling imported non-special use cosmetics—such as shampoo, body wash, lipstick, and lotion—in China to avoid the requirements for tests on animals.

Currently, the Chinese government requires tests on animals for all imported cosmetics and any special use cosmetics, regardless of where they were manufactured. The proposed new measure would bring the regulation of imported non-special use cosmetics in line with the requirements for those made domestically in China. We are cautiously optimistic and will be following developments closely so we can update our members and supporters.

In addition to the potential change in regulations, the Chinese government has recently approved two non-animal methods for testing cosmetics products in China. This major progress is thanks to the groundbreaking work of the expert scientists and regulatory specialists at the Institute for In Vitro Sciences (IIVS), with whom PETA provided initial funding to train Chinese scientists and inform government officials about modern, non-animal methods.

In 2012, PETA exposed the fact that some formerly cruelty-free companies had quietly started paying the Chinese government to test their products on animals in order to sell them in that country. At the time, animal tests were required for any cosmetics sold in China. PETA immediately contacted the leading experts in the field of non-animal test methods at IIVS and supplied them with the initial grant to launch their work in China.

Following that stunning exposé and the on-the-ground work by IIVS and some corporations, the Chinese government began accepting the results of non-animal test methods for non-special use cosmetics manufactured in China.

Support Companies That Never Test on Animals

No animal should be poisoned or blinded for a consumer product—or for any other reason. By purchasing only cruelty-free products, you can spare sensitive rabbits, guinea pigs, mice, rats, and other animals a lifetime of suffering in lab tests and a painful death.

Need help finding out which products are cruelty-free? We’ve got you covered: PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies database currently lists nearly 4,000 compassionate companies that don’t test on animals anywhere in the world.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind