Thanks to a grant from PETA U.S., scientists in China are learning how to test cosmetics in a test tube instead of on animals. The Institute for In Vitro Sciences (IIVS), a global leader in the advancement of alternatives known for its brilliant work in helping corporations switch from animal to non-animal testing, just held a seminar at Beijing Technical and Business University (BTBU) to teach Chinese scientists how to test cosmetics ingredients without using animals. The training was made possible by a new grant to IIVS from PETA U.S.—the second for its international work to help purchase equipment needed for the course. PETA U.S. first became involved following the discovery that Avon, Mary Kay, and Estée Lauder had been secretly paying for tests on animals despite many years on PETA U.S.’ list of companies that don’t test cosmetics on animals.
A Change in China
The Chinese government requires tests on animals before many cosmetics products can be marketed in China. PETA U.S. and PETA Asia are working to change that, and one key is having scientists who are ready to implement non-animal (in vitro) test methods. BTBU is home to the largest university program in cosmetics science in China, and the school is establishing a new laboratory to teach and conduct in vitro testing. Around 30 students and faculty members took part in the training.
With a PETA U.S. grant—and thanks to the McGrath Family Foundation, whose support makes this possible—IIVS was able to train participants on a procedure that can be used in place of the cruel Draize eye irritancy test performed on rabbits. As Dr. Rodger Curren, IIVS’s president explained:
“Support from PETA [U.S.] has allowed the university to expedite the incorporation of hands-on training in non-animal (in vitro) methods to undergraduate, graduate and faculty at BTBU. Both faculty and students are enthusiastic about the training and planning for future sessions has already begun.”
What You Can Do
Please buy cosmetics and personal-care products only from companies that don’t test on animals, and tell Avon, Mary Kay, and Estée Lauder that you won’t buy their products as long as they fund animal testing.
Originally written by Jeff Mackey for the PETA Files