Media Centre

China Poised to Accept First-Ever Non-Animal Test Method for Cosmetics

For Immediate Release:
8 May 2012

Contact:
Alistair Currie 0780 165 4011; AlistairC@peta.org.uk
Ben Williamson 0207 357 9229, ext 229; BenW@peta.org.uk

London - Chinese officials are in the final stages of approving the use of the country's very first non-animal test method for cosmetics ingredients, thanks to guidance from scientists funded by PETA US. The 3T3 Neutral Red Uptake Phototoxicity Assay, which tests chemicals for their potential toxicity when they come into contact with sunlight and is already in wide use in the US and the EU, is scheduled to be accepted in China by late summer. Before now, China has required cosmetics companies to test ingredients and products only on animals.

PETA US awarded a grant to scientists at the Institute for In Vitro Sciences (IIVS) late last year after learning that China was requiring cosmetics companies to pay for tests on animals in order to market their products in China. Scientists from IIVS traveled to China several times to offer their expertise and guidance.

In the EU, animal testing for cosmetics and their ingredients is banned and the sale of all cosmetics containing ingredients tested on animals is due to be banned in 2013. The European Commission, however, is currently considering postponing or compromising that ban under pressure from the cosmetics industry.

"Fast, accurate non-animal methods which protect humans better than animal tests are already here, and it's great news that China has responded positively to the scientific arguments supporting them", says PETA policy adviser Alistair Currie. "Ironically, while China is progressing, the EU could be moving backwards by compromising the ban on sales of cosmetics that have been tested on animals."