Week 3: New Regulation in China
China cosmetics animal testing after 30 June:
• Foreign imported ordinary cosmetics – still require animal testing
• Domestically produced ordinary* cosmetics – animal testing no longer an absolute requirement
• Both foreign imported and domestically produced ‘special use’** cosmetics – still require animal testing
• Domestically produced ordinary cosmetics for foreign export only – have never required animal testing
• Any cosmetic bought in China via a foreign e-commerce website – has never required animal testing.
• Post Market Surveillance Testing – Chinese government will still do random market testing (animal testing) on finished products (for both regular/functional and domestically produced/imported products)
*‘Ordinary’ cosmetics include make-up, fragrances, skin, hair and nail care products.
** ‘Special-use’ cosmetics include hair dyes, perms and hair growth products, deodorants, sunscreens, skin-whitening creams, and other products that make a functional claim on the label.
Peter Li, PhD, HSI’s China policy adviser, said: “This is an important first step for China in moving away from cruel and unreliable animal testing for cosmetics. Our Be Cruelty-Free campaign has worked hard to achieve this milestone, but we know much work remains before we eliminate all cosmetics animal testing in China, so we are not resting on our laurels. In making this rule change, China is acknowledging the global trend towards cruelty-free cosmetics, and that’s hugely significant.” Li also states: “We know that many cruelty-free companies will be keen to sell in China, but they need to be cautious. China will almost certainly increase its post-market surveillance testing, so I’m afraid for the time being it is impossible for a cruelty-free company to manufacture and sell in China without the risk that its products will be dripped in a rabbit’s eyes or forced down a mouse’s throat. We’re determined to end all such suffering, and this rule change is a step in the right direction, but we’re not there yet.” Humane Society International will continue to work with Chinese regulators to increase access to and acceptance of superior non-animal test methods. In May, an $80,000 grant from Humane Society International, The Humane Society of the United States and the Human Toxicology Project Consortium funded hands-on training by the Institute for In Vitro Sciences to teach Chinese scientists how to use in vitro methods to test cosmetics instead of using live animals. In vitro and other non-animal techniques have only recently been adopted in China, and most Chinese scientists have limited access to them.