By the end of 2018, beauty industry professionals were watching China after an announcement from the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA), which then positioned itself in favor of finding alternatives to animal testing. short-term. Today, China is getting closer to banning animal testing for cosmetics. The Gansu Province National Medical Products Association has announced that post-marketing testing of cosmetics will no longer involve animal trials. However, this does not herald the definitive end of cosmetic testing on animals in China, as pre-market testing requirements have not yet been clarified for imported cosmetic products. This declaration brings Chinese manufacturers and consumers closer to international free market practices. The European Union banned the sale of all cosmetics tested on animals in 2013. Michelle Thew, Executive Director of Cruelty-Free International (CFI), said: “This statement from the Chinese authorities… is a huge step in the right direction. ». This decision was preceded by the Memorandum of Understanding between the Chinese authorities and the Institute for In Vitro Sciences, Inc. (IIVS) earlier in 2017. The non-profit organization is dedicated to the use of non-animal experimentation methods.
I) The cosmetics market in China
Given that the Chinese market plays such a dominant role in the cosmetics industry, The impact of China amending these laws on animal experimentation will be significant. According to Statista, retail sales in the cosmetics and beauty industry were nearly 22 billion yuan in 2017. The risk of their sales being impacted in the Chinese market is pushing some companies to resist new animal testing policies.
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Well-known global make-up giants such as NARS, L’Oréal, and Benefit continue to participate in animal testing to sell their products to their large Chinese customers.
II) A concern for ethics
After many years of struggle on the part of animal welfare associations, it was finally in 2013 that Europe signed the end of cosmetic tests on animals.
Other nations have more or less quickly followed suit, including on the Asia side (such as South Korea).
The recent statement by the Gansu Province National Medical Products Association is now a cause for celebration. While it must be recognized that this does not yet guarantee that all imported trademarks are free of cruelty, it does mean that China is on track to adopt ethical standards.
“Thanks to cooperation and partnership, our goal of ending cosmetic animal testing everywhere and forever is getting closer,” said Thew.
While this decision is far from being fully satisfactory (the original ingredients that make up the final formula can still be tested on animals), it symbolizes a desire to open up more internationally by adapting to the cosmetic regulations in key markets around the world, such as the United States and Europe.
Pending a total ban on animal testing in China, brands and companies are closely following the progress of new legislation.
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