China Announces New Animal Testing Policy for Cosmetics After PETA Push

Thousands of Animals May Be Spared Poisoning Tests for Cosmetics, Shampoo, Body Wash, and More

For Immediate Release:
March 8, 2021

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Norfolk, Va.

Following a sustained PETA effort that included exposing companies for secretly paying for tests on animals, China has just announced that it will allow imported “general cosmetics”—such as shampoo, body wash, lipstick, lotion, and makeup—to be sold in the country without being tested on animals. This means that companies that take certain steps can soon market most imported ordinary cosmetics in China without being required to pay for them to be force-fed to animals or dripped into their eyes.

In 2012, PETA uncovered that many companies that had banned all animal tests were quietly paying the Chinese government to test their products on animals. The group learned—and publicly revealed—that China required companies to pay for tests on animals for cosmetics and other personal-care products. After exposing the companies’ secretive support for testing, PETA took action to end the testing requirements. It partnered with leading non-animal testing experts at the Institute for In Vitro Sciences (IIVS) and awarded the institute two grants, which enabled a team to train Chinese scientists in non-animal test methods and set up animal-free testing laboratories in China. PETA also proposed that IIVS seek support from cosmetics companies, which the scientific nonprofit organization did.

This new policy follows China’s 2014 rule change that allows companies that manufacture general (formerly known as “non–special use”) cosmetics in that country to avoid animal tests for such products.

“No animal should die in a laboratory for any reason—ever—and especially not for a lipstick,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “PETA thanks China, IIVS, and all the companies that supported this progressive effort.”

The new exemptions to China’s animal testing requirements do not apply to products for infants and children, products with new ingredients, or products from companies that are already under supervision by authorities. Companies marketing “special” cosmetics—such as hair dye, sunscreen, and hair-loss products—in China will still be required to pay for tests on animals under the new regulations.

PETA recommends that consumers continue to consult its Beauty Without Bunnies database, which lists more than 5,200 cruelty-free companies and brands that don’t test on animals anywhere in the world for any reason.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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