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China begins phasing out mandatory animal testing on cosmetics
Cruelty-Free certification program applauds new policy

November 11, 2013
The Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics (CCIC), which manages the cruelty-free certification Leaping Bunny Program, is pleased with recent news of China’s intention to phase out mandatory animal testing for cosmetics, starting in June 2014. The new policy will first affect products manufactured in China and later may be expanded to cosmetics that are imported, including those from the U.S. and Canada, where CCIC operates.

“This is very good news,” said Sue Leary, Chair of CCIC. “The decisive ban on animal testing of cosmetics in the European Union certainly had an influence on this new position because Chinese companies that test on animals are not able to market their products in the EU. In addition, the cosmetics industry, animal welfare advocates, and a global community of scientists that agree animal testing is not necessary have done great work proving this to Chinese regulators. It’s evident that Chinese officials are advancing quickly to accept alternative, non-animal test methods.”

Currently, China’s regulatory agencies require the safety of cosmetics to be determined using animal tests conducted largely in government laboratories. The new policy will allow (although not require) companies that produce “non-special use cosmetics,” like shampoo and perfume, to use known toxicological data on ingredients or non-animal alternative test methods to assess safety. The next important step will be to extend this permission to imported cosmetics and “special use cosmetics,” such as antiperspirant and hair removal products.

Leary and members of the coalition are hopeful of what this may mean for Leaping Bunny certified companies. “Some companies lost their cruelty-free certification because they decided to sell in China,” she said. “Many others decided to stay steadfast in their ideals and refused to expand their market there until animal testing is no longer required. We look forward to the day when their compassion is rewarded by consumers worldwide.”

Cosmetic and household product companies certified through the Leaping Bunny Program make a voluntary pledge to clear animal testing from all stages of product development. The companies’ ingredient suppliers make the same pledge and the result is a product guaranteed to be 100 percent free of new animal testing. All Leaping Bunny companies must be open to independent audits, and commitments are renewed on an annual basis.

Since 1996, the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics has been connecting compassionate consumers with cruelty-free companies. The CCIC is made up of the following organizations: American Anti-Vivisection Society; Animal Alliance of Canada; Beauty Without Cruelty, USA; Doris Day Animal League; Humane Society of Canada; The Humane Society of the United States; and the New England Anti-Vivisection Society. CCIC's international partner is the European Coalition to End Animal Experiments. On the web at www.LeapingBunny.org.

For more information, contact Vicki Katrinak, CCIC Administrator at (888)546-CCIC or admin@LeapingBunny.org.

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