Animal testing restrictions and alternative methods move forward in 2017

By Natasha Spencer

- Last updated on GMT

New animal testing restrictions and alternative methods in 2017
Korea will become the next country in the APAC region to ban animal testing in cosmetics, while India further supports its decision by advocating non-animal alternative tests.

APAC market information resource, Chemlinked Cosmetics Portal reported the regulatory update ​that will take shape in Korea from 4th February 2017.

The ban, which will come into effect exactly one year after the notice outlining the country’s decision to ban the use of animal-tested ingredients in cosmetics was released.

Any cosmetics manufacturers or importers that continue to deal with cosmetics that are either tested on animals or that contain animal-tested ingredients after the 4th February 2017 may be fined up to 1 mn Korean won (€794).

Korea will adopt a ban on domestic and imported cosmetics that have been prone to animal testing, in a move that signifies a further step towards alternative animal-free testing methods and use of ingredients in APAC.

The history so far

In 2015, New Zealand announced it would be ending animal testing on cosmetics. Following the decision, the Cosmetics Testing and Fragrance Association emphasised the importance of actively supporting the end to animal cruelty and sent a clear message to exporters that it had banned the practice.

The campaign group, Cruelty Free International, reported that the association had said: "There might be some perception that we are actually testing within New Zealand so it's actually in the best interests of the exporting industry that we have a ban."

Taiwan also announced late last year that its bill to end animal testing had been passed. The country has since outlined a three-year implementation plan that will see the amended regulation come into effect in October 2019.

From this date, Taiwan’s Control for Cosmetics Hygiene Act will be updated to reflect the country's decision to bank both animal testing on cosmetics ingredients and finished products.

India emphasised its position on animal cruelty in 2014 when it was the first country to implement the ban, followed by Israel.

Alternative testing: the next stage

The historic decision, announced by the India Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in The Gazette of India, received considerable support from numerous animal welfare campaign groups.

It also sparked further viral marketing and promotion efforts through the #BeCrueltyFree campaign, established in 2012 by The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International to encourage global awareness.

India is now advancing their commitment to being a cruelty-free country by supporting the use of alternative testing on cosmetics​ in a bid to further promote non-animal testing methods in the industry.

India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare recently published a notice detailing amendments to the “Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945” regulations.

New methods on the rise

The governmental organisation has modified the rules relating to animal toxicity studies and has shown its support for non-animal alternative testing that is validated by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

At present, cosmetics manufacturers and importers are required to apply a dermal application of a test substance on a daily basis, otherwise known as a dermal toxicity study. The regulation states that this will now be updated with a non-animal alternative test that has been set out by the OECD Guidelines for the initial toxicity study.

In addition, ocular toxicity studies, which are carried out to ascertain the possible dangers of products once exposed to the eye, will also be conducted by alternative testing set out by the OECD.

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