Breaking: China Green-Lights New Non-Animal Cosmetics Tests

For Immediate Release:

4 April 2019


Jennifer White +44 (0) 20 7837 6327, ext 222; [email protected]


Humane Methods for Determining Eye Irritation and Skin Sensitisation Approved After PETA US Push

London – The Chinese government has approved two more non-animal methods for testing cosmetics products in 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 they endure when substances are dripped into their eyes and rubbed onto their skin.

This major progress is thanks to the groundbreaking work of the expert scientists and regulatory specialists at the Institute for In Vitro Sciences (IIVS), which PETA US provided with initial funding to train Chinese scientists and educate officials in modern non-animal methods.

“The approval of these two modern and humane tests is a huge step forward for China,” says PETA US Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “No animal should be poisoned or blinded for a consumer product – or any other reason.”

In 2012, PETA US revealed 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 that country. At the time, animal tests were required for any cosmetics sold in China. 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 of 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.

The PETA US “Beauty Without Bunnies” database currently lists more than 3,800 compassionate companies that don’t test on animals anywhere in the world.

PETA’s motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”, and the group opposes speciesism, the human-supremacist view that animals are nothing more than commodities. For more information, please visit