PETA: China’s new regulation removes animal testing procedure

By Natasha Spencer

- Last updated on GMT

PETA: China’s new regulation removes animal testing procedure

Related tags: Animal testing, Animal rights

Following the announcement of China Food and Drug Administration's (CFDA) new regulation — coming into effect from 1st March 2017  — People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) believes it will strengthen the fight to stop animal testing in China.

CDA reported how CFDA has agreed to permit the entry of specific first-import non-special use cosmetics through a simplified filing management process​ that will replace the existing registration system.

Nearing the end of cosmetics animal testing in China?

As this decision may provide companies with a feasible and effective way to avoid the CFDA’s animal testing requirements, PETA recognises that this updated regulation could speed up China putting an end to animal cruelty through cosmetics testing.

“Just four years after PETA first revealed that some formerly cruelty-free cosmetics companies had begun funding tests on animals in order to market their products in China, the Chinese government has taken a huge step forward in reducing the use of animals in deadly cosmetics tests,”​ asserted Kathy Guillermo, Senior Vice President, PETA.

Whereas prior to this regulation, the CFDA stated that all imported cosmetics must be tested on animals, “now, the China Food and Drug Administration has waived its requirement for certain cosmetics to be registered with the agency, which means that animal tests for these non–special use cosmetics will no longer be automatically required”​, Guillermo emphasised.

R&D gathering momentum

PETA praises the progress and extensive commitment at the Institute for In Vitro Sciences (IIVS), where scientists in China received a grant from PETA to understand how cosmetics testing can use alternative methods such as test tube exploration rather than outdated animal testing practices.

As PETA's motto highlights how "animals are not ours to experiment on"​, PETA has strived to eliminate animal testing from laboratories and the global cosmetics industry.

Its support for further R&D at the IIVS, known for advancing testing alternatives, first occurred following the animal protection organisation’s findings that international brands Estée Lauder, Avon and Mary Kay Cosmetics were paying for animal tests, despite their free-from-animal-testing position on PETA’s cosmetics companies list.

Following APAC counterparts?

As India, New Zealand, South Korea and Taiwan have taken positive stances towards removing cosmetics animal testing, China is an anomaly. To date, the country has required all cosmetics sold in the country to undergo animal testing before any active marketing can begin.  

PETA and PETA Asia have been making leaps to end this through continuing scientific research into non-animal (in vitro) test methods.

Beijing Technology and Business University (BTBU) houses the largest university programme in cosmetics science in China and is currently setting up a new laboratory to teach and perform in vitro testing. The programme received a $33,000 (€30,700) PETA grant, from the McGrath Family Foundation, which enabled IIVS to train participants on a replacement procedure for Draize eye irritancy test.

“Support from PETA has allowed the university to expedite the incorporation of hands-on training in non-animal (in vitro) methods to undergraduate, graduate and faculty at BTBU. Both faculty and students are enthusiastic about the training and planning for future sessions ​has already begun,”​ said Dr Rodger Curren, President, IIVS.

“We look forward to a day—and that day is coming—when no animals are poisoned, blinded, or killed in cosmetics tests in China or anywhere else in the world,”​ concluded Guillermo.

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