China Embraces Learning How to Use Non-Animal Cosmetics Tests

Posted on by PETA

The Chinese government has taken another step toward embracing non-animal cosmetics testing methods, and PETA US have worked behind the scenes to bring this about. This week, the Chinese government signed a new memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the nonprofit Institute for In Vitro Sciences, Inc. (IIVS)—which helps industry and governments internationally accept innovative non-animal tests—to continue and expand this work in China.

Here’s why this is so important:

Back in 2012, PETA US discovered that some formerly cruelty-free cosmetics companies—including Avon, Estée Lauder, Mary Kay, and others—had begun paying for animal tests after they expanded into the Chinese market. PETA learned that the Chinese government required cosmetics companies to foot the bill for these cruel and deadly poisoning tests on animals for all cosmetics products sold in the country.

After PETA and our affiliates exposed the companies for their serious ethical backsliding, PETA US awarded a grant to IIVS so that its expert scientists could travel to China to offer their expertise and guidance in replacing animal tests—which are cruel and unreliable—with non-animal methods. IIVS, which also garnered support from some cosmetics companies, has made great progress.

Under the MOU, while IIVS continues to provide scientists and government leaders with training on non-animal test methods, the two groups will start working together on other projects, such as workshops with provincial food and drug control leaders, many of whom are cosmetics safety reviewers. These efforts will help build confidence in animal-free methods and accelerate their acceptance by Chinese officials.

Cosmetics testing in China involves horrors like the archaic and painful eye irritancy test—in which substances are dripped into rabbits’ eyes, causing redness, swelling, discharge, ulceration, hemorrhaging, cloudiness, and even blindness.

What You Can Do

Go cruelty-free! Please only buy cosmetics and personal-care products from the over 2,700 cruelty-free companies that don’t test on animals (and don’t pay for such tests in order to sell in China). Write to tell companies that they won’t receive your support until they stop testing on animals.