According to news sources, the China Food and Drug Administration stopped requiring animal tests on ordinary cosmetics, such as shampoos and certain skin-care products, as of July 1, 2014. To demonstrate product safety, manufacturers may instead use alternative methods relying on existing ingredient toxicology or tissue culture data when they conduct their risk assessments. While the rule does not apparently apply to imported products or special-use products such as hair dyes and sunscreens, animal welfare advocates still welcomed the change.
Some cosmetics companies, including Lush and Urban Decay, do not sell their products in mainland China, refusing to compromise their standards. Other companies do export to this market; China’s cosmetic imports reportedly grew more than 10 percent from the year before to $1.7 billion in 2013. A Lush spokesperson said, “Lush and other cruelty-free companies are still unable to trade in China currently, as this legislation does not allow for fully non-animal tested cosmetics to come to market. We look forward to further progressive legislation in this area which . . . would allow Chinese cosmetics companies to trade into Europe and allow us to operate cruelty free in China.” See The New York Times, June 30, 2014; Humane Society International News Release, July 1, 2013; CosmeticsBusiness.com, July 8, 2014.