The Chinese Food and Drug Administration has proposed to abolish the requirement for animal testing for cosmetics for domestically manufactured ordinary products (such as shampoo, skincare or perfume) from June 2014. Instead it would propose that industrials have the option to assess the safety of a substance based on the toxicological profile of ingredients, similar to what is required under the EU Cosmetic Regulations. According to some reports, China will thereafter consider further steps for imports and special-use cosmetics based.
“Despite a global trend to end the testing of cosmetics on animals, and although such testing is illegal for marketing in the European Union since March this year, progress has been delayed in China by the requirement for all cosmetics to be submitted for animal testing in Government laboratories. This has forced companies selling their products in China to duplicate their safety procedures, testing without the use of animals for Europe and then allowing China to re-test with animals,” explains Cruelty Free International, an animal rights NGO.
This development follows a consultation by the Chinese authorities on the way forward with submissions from Cruelty Free International, as well as Chinese and international industry.
“While we are awaiting details and final confirmation of the draft, potentially this could transform the situation in China. We also welcome the role of the European Commission, who have told us they have been offering technical support and advice to China in this area. This shows what can be done when animal protection organisations, industry and the Commission all work together. We also expect this to help our work in Japan, Korea and other countries which are moving towards an end to the archaic approach of cosmetic testing on animals,” comments Michelle Thew, Chief Executive, Cruelty Free International.