As you may have heard recently, on June 30, 2014, China changed its rules on cosmetics animal testing. Humane Society International’s Be Cruelty-Free China campaign was one of the first to welcome and celebrate the news, having worked hard for more than a year to achieve this milestone for animals. But what exactly does the rule change mean, and is it now possible for cruelty-free companies to sell in China?
We’ve broken it down into 3 Fast Facts:
CHINA FACT #1:
The rule change does not apply to all cosmetics. It applies to ‘ordinary’ cosmetics such as shampoo, make-up, fragrances and skin care products that are manufactured and sold inside China. It does not apply to ‘special-use cosmetics’ such as hair dyes, antiperspirants, sunscreens or skin-whitening products, nor to foreign-imported cosmetics, and it also only applies to finished product testing (of which there is a lot in China).
CHINA FACT #2:
The rule change doesn’t mean that cruelty-free cosmetics companies can now sell in China without animal testing. Firstly, as it only applies to companies manufacturing cosmetics inside China for sale in China, foreign importing companies are still subject to animal testing. Secondly, even if a company were to manufacture inside China, animal testing for ingredients remains largely unaffected. And thirdly, the Chinese government still carries out post-market animal testing and will likely increase such testing. This is when cosmetics are removed from shop shelves at random for “confirmatory” animal testing, with or without a company’s knowledge. HSI believes that until this is no longer the case, no cosmetics company can sell its products in China and credibly purport to be cruelty-free.
CHINA FACT #3:
We estimate that up to 10,000 animals a year in China could be spared painful testing if all eligible companies take advantage of the rule change. But with around 100,000 animals suffering in China’s beauty industry each year, we still have a way to go. So while our Be Cruelty-Free China campaign is celebrating this important milestone, we’re also rolling up our sleeves and planning the next phase – to see the rule change extended to apply to foreign imports, eliminate animal tests from post-market surveillance, and improve access to and training in non-animal test methods.
Here’s a super-cute video of our Be Cruelty-Free China ‘100 happy rabbits’ celebrations – you can help us celebrate too by signing our Be Cruelty-Free pledge to say no to cruel cosmetics in China and worldwide.
Written by Wendy Higgins, EU Communications Director for Humane Society International which runs the Be Cruelty-Free campaign across Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Europe, India, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Russia and Taiwan. Be Cruelty-Free USA is run by The Humane Society of the United States.