no cruel cosmetics

The BUAV bunny fronted BUAV’s campaign to end animal testing for cosmetics in Europe – a victory on 11 March 2013!

In a (pretty big) victory for the ongoing cruelty-free cosmetics campaigns around the world, China has said it will remove its existing mandatory animal testing for cosmetics produced locally, starting June 2014.

The caveat of course is…it will only apply to locally produced cosmetics, made in China, but it’s a promising start, and a positive move (better incredibly late than never) by China’s Food and Drug Administration.

What does this mean exactly?

For the first time ever, Chinese companies who manufacture “non-special use cosmetics” – things like shampoos or fragrance –  will have the option to “substantiate product-safety using existing safety data for raw ingredients”, or European Union-validated non-animal tests, instead of having to submit samples of new products to the Chinese government for animal testing.

China is a massive (yep – capital “M”) beauty market and with European, US and other overseas beauty brands eyeing the “kerching!” financial rewards of putting their brand in front of Chinese consumers, this news is huge.  If China lifts mandatory testing on products NOT produced in China (this new move only applies to LOCALLY produced cosmetics at the moment) then we’ll be hearing the long-awaited cheers echo around the world.

So who do we have to thank for this? Pressure from US organization The Humane Society.

It launched a massive Be Cruelty-Free China campaign earlier this year, pledging that its campaigners would work with Chinese officials, the goal being a total ban on using animals for testing cosmetic beauty products.

The Humane Society of the United States and The Human Toxicology Project consortium have awarded an $80,000 grant to the Institute for In Vitro Sciences to provide hands-on training in non-animal tests to China’s government regulators and scientists, the note said.

Troy Seidle, HSI’s Be Cruelty-Free director pointed out that China’s pledge to phase out animal testing for locally produced cosmetics, starting June 2014, is not just a milestone for China, but it’s hopeful news for the bigger global picture.

“We will meet with Beijing officials in the coming days to look closely at the detail of this cosmetics announcement, but it looks like there could at last be a bright future for cruelty-free companies in China and hope on the horizon for an end to cosmetics cruelty,” he said.

Be Cruelty-Free China is part of the largest campaign in the world to end cosmetics animal testing. Globally, HIS and its Be Cruelty-Free partners are spear-heading campaigns to end cosmetics cruelty in Australia, Brazil, China, Korea, New Zealand and Russia.

More details in The Human Society’s press release here (November 7, 2013)

Meanwhile, kudos to BUAV (thank you Ricky Gervais) whose campaign to end animal testing for cosmetics finally ended in Europe, with the implementation of the last phase of the European Union’s ban which came into force on 11th March 2013.

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