Korean cosmetics company drops plans to enter China due to animal testing rules


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Following in the footsteps of many cosmetics companies doing business in Asia, Korea-based Aromatica has abandoned plans to sell its products in China due to the animal testing requirements for cosmetics put in place by the government.

Aromatica has been preparing to launch its products in China for the past two years, with contracts signed with the export agency and were waiting for two products to pass the sanitary inspection.

‘Not informed of testing’

However, the cosmetics firm claims it was not informed of conducting animal testing on its products by any of the Chinese agencies.

“After speaking to the Korea Food and Drug Administration and Korea Trade Investment Promotion Agency, we were told that in fact, some functional cosmetics and products containing unknown herbal ingredients are tested on animals,”​ it said in a statement.

“We therefore decided to withdraw all our plans and contracts of launching our market in China and delivered our position to the Chinese agency that we will not be expanding our business to China until the Chinese government changes their position on cosmetics animal testing.”

The move was met with warm praise by Humane Society International and its Korean Be Cruelty-Free campaign partner, KARA, who have been campaigning tirelessly and highlighting this issue.

Steps in the right direction

Since launching KARA, the two organizations have been delighted to receive support from a growing number of cruelty-free cosmetics companies keen to see Korea abandon animal testing practices.

There has also been significant political support to update Korean test regulations. Following a series of political meetings in January, KARA represented Be Cruelty-Free at a three-hour public hearing at the National Assembly attended by representatives from the Ministry of Health, the Korean Food and Drug Administration, the Cosmetics Association and the Korean Animal Welfare Association.

Troy Seidle, HSI’s Be Cruelty-Free campaigns director said: “We are heartened by the fact that many Korean companies are keen to move away from animal testing, and that the Korean Cosmetics Association has also confirmed its in-principle support for an end to tests involving animals.”

“Support from industry remains key so we will be continuing our discussions with companies but our recent public opinion clearly shows that consumers want brands end to cosmetics cruelty in Korea. We feel sure that companies and policy makers will respond to that mandate for change just as we have seen in Europe.”

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