Currently, all foreign makeup and beauty products sold in China are required by law to be tested on animals. Although the rules on domestic products are a little more relaxed, the threat of post-market tests still looms over many brands. However, following a new announcement from the National Institute for Food and Drug Control (NIFDC), the country may now be moving toward a cosmetic animal testing-free future.
According to the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the NIFDC has recently confirmed it is committed to overhauling certain existing regulations in the cosmetics industry. The department will explore new, viable alternatives to animal tests, and noted that development and research into these new methods is a top priority for the institute.
Troy Seidle – the vice-president of research and toxicology at the animal rights organization the Humane Society International – believes the news from the NIFDC is a promising step in the right direction for China and the beauty industry.
Speaking to SCMP, he said, “It would be the first time the authority has publicised its view towards cosmetic alternatives with a future strategy so clearly articulated. Chinese authorities and stakeholders are actively working to embrace validated alternatives to strengthen international regulatory alignment and trade in the cosmetic sector.”
Around the world, brands and consumers are eager to put a stop to cosmetic animal tests. Earlier this month, cruelty-free beauty brand The Body Shop, in collaboration with anti-animal testing organization Cruelty Free International, delivered a petition to the United Nations Headquarters in New York with 8.3 million signatures against animal testing.
The delivery of the petition follows the most ambitious campaign in history against cosmetic animal testing, which lasted for 15 months and targetted countries around the world.
Lise Kingo, the CEO and executive director of the UN Global Compact, stated that the campaign showed the power of brands and consumers in creating change. She said in a statement, “This initiative shows the potential for brands to engage and mobilize consumers at scale in support of the SDGs [Sustainable Development Goals] and how, by combining business innovation, enabling policies, and consumer power, real change can be achieved.”
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