China Approves New Non-Animal Cosmetics Tests After PETA US Push

Posted on by PETA

After years of pressure from PETA US, the Chinese government has approved two more non-animal methods for testing cosmetics products imported into China.

The two newly approved tests – the direct peptide reaction assay for skin sensitisation and the short time exposure assay for eye irritation – will spare countless animals the agony of having substances dripped into their eyes and rubbed onto their skin.

This major progress is thanks to the ground-breaking work of the expert scientists and regulatory specialists at the Institute for In Vitro Sciences (IIVS), with whom PETA provided initial funding to train Chinese scientists and inform Chinese officials about modern non-animal methods.

No animal should be poisoned or blinded for a consumer product – or any other reason.

In 2012, PETA US exposed that some formerly cruelty-free companies had quietly started paying the Chinese government to test their products on animals in order to sell them in China. At the time, animal tests were required for any cosmetics sold in the country. PETA US immediately contacted the leading experts in the field of non-animal test methods at IIVS and provided them with the initial grant to launch their work in China.

IIVS scientists successfully worked with Chinese officials to approve the first non-animal test method, the 3T3 neutral red uptake phototoxicity assay, which is used to test cosmetics for their potential toxicity when they come into contact with sunlight.

In 2014, the Chinese government announced that it would accept the results from non-animal test methods but only for non–special use cosmetics manufactured in China. Tests on animals are still required for all imported cosmetics and all special-use cosmetics, regardless of where they were manufactured.

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By purchasing only cruelty-free products, you can spare sensitive rabbits, guinea pigs, mice, rats, and other animals excruciating tests, a lifetime of suffering, and needless deaths. Need help finding out which products are cruelty-free? We’ve got you covered: PETA US’ Beauty Without Bunnies database currently lists more than 3,900 compassionate companies that don’t test on animals anywhere in the world.

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