2013 sees Asia take strides towards eliminating animal testing
As of March 11, 2013, it will be illegal to sell cosmetics in the EU if they have been tested on animals anywhere in the world after that date.
This has led to various animal rights organisations calling for regulations in other global markets to be put in place and follow the example set in Europe.
Groups such as Cruelty Free International, PETA and Humane Society International have all fought hard to see the ban come in and are working in India, Korea, Australia and Japan to make changes here.
Korea, India and Japan
At the turn of the year in Korea, following a HSI delegation visit, the Korean government is considering its detailed proposal for legislative change.
This has led to corporate and public support for ending cosmetics animal testing, including legislator Moon Jeong-Lim.
Over in India, the battle to end animal testing in the cosmetic industry in India has stepped up a notch after the regulatory Drug Controller General of India called for the fast-tracking of the deletion of two final animal tests from India’s cosmetics safety standard, in February.
Following a meeting of the Bureau of Indian Standards’ PCD19 Cosmetic Sectional Committee, the DCGI issued a directive to eliminate the acute oral toxicity (lethal poisoning) and oral mucosal irritation animal testing for cosmetic purposes in India.
And at the start of this month in Japan, personal care giant Shiseido announced it is mostly dropping animal-tested cosmetics in the wake of the EU ban, having already dropped animal testing at its own labs in 2011.
The one stumbling block in Asia at the moment remains in China, where animal testing is still required by law.
China poses a dilemma for many cosmetics companies as they deal with the dilemma of whether to go into a prosperous and lucrative market, but do so knowing they have to test products on animals.
The Chinese government have taken steps towards accepting a non-animal test for cosmetics for the first time at the end of last year, after a PETA grant allowed the necessary research to develop a new toxicity test, and the necessary training was carried out in a Beijing university.
The animal rights organisation donated $33,000 (€25,914) to the Institute for In Vitro Sciences (IIVS), which used it to train scientists in China how to use the 3T3 Neutral Red Uptake Phototoxicity Test, which can replace the current animal testing system in place.