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

Posted by on May 10, 2012 | Permalink

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 EU and US, 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.

As Animal Writes readers know, 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. It’s ironic, to say the least, that while China is progressing, the EU could be moving backwards.

Please take action here and protect the EU’s ban on animal-tested cosmetics.