A policy change by the Chinese Food and Drug Administration to take effect in June will allow the sale of cosmetics within China without being tested on animals, as long as they can draw on existing safety data for raw ingredients, or perform European Union-validated non-animal tests.
In the lead up to this, researchers in the country are benefiting from a training course organized by the Guangdong inspection and Quarantine Bureau, which is helping them get up to speed.
The option to avoid animal testing will be good news for international brands keen to display compliance with the prevalent anti-animal testing consumer mentality, and also continue to profit from the booming market.
In light of this, as part of efforts to align China with the West in terms of alternative testing, an ongoing training program is being offered by the government and the Institute for In Vitro Sciences (IIVS), which is being funded by from Humane Society International, The Humane Society of the United States and the Human Toxicology Project Consortium.
A recent in-vitro testing workshop which was held as part of the program met with success, according to the HIS.
“Chinese scientists and regulatory officials are embracing with great enthusiasm their hands-on training in state-of-the-art in vitro methods for cosmetics testing,” the group notes.
Speaking to this publication as far back as 2012, Dr. Brian Jones of the IIVS predicted China would be keen to adopt alternative testing methods: “They just need the education and the opportunity to understand the methods. I think they may surprise us on how quickly they accept these methods – who knows, they may be as quick if not quicker than the West.”
He also noted that officials in the country are more adaptable than it might at first appear, stating; “They are cautious and careful about wanting to make any changes to protect consumers, but I think when they see something that works well they act on it and do so quickly.”