Animal Testing in the Cosmetic Industry

Animal cruelty and the cosmetic industry…a sad subject most of don’t know much about.  After some lengthy research today I came across some eye opening information and wanted to share since I personally would rather be informed than not. Here at SMD Cosmetics we are animal cruelty free and all products are made in South Korea, but apparently that is not the case with many cosmetic companies.

Humane Society International estimates that as many as 500,000 animals are still being used each year around the world in cruel and outdated tests for cosmetic ingredients and products. By far the largest proportion of these animals—more than 375,000 in 2015—are used to meet pre-market test requirements in China alone.

“China’s Food and Drug Administration requires all imported cosmetics, new cosmetic ingredients, and “special-use” cosmetics such as hair dyes, deodorants and sunscreens, to undergo animal testing before being sold. Companies are required to submit finished product samples to the government for testing in a CFDA-recognized laboratory. Once approved for sale, provincial authorities also conduct post-market inspections of cosmetic products, which can include a further layer of animal testing.”

In 2012 it was discovered that China was requiring animal tests for cosmetics to be funded by cosmetics companies—including Avon, Estée Lauder, and Mary Kay. In June 2014, the CFDA introduced regulatory reform that removed the mandatory requirement for pre-market animal testing for non-special-use or “ordinary” cosmetics manufactured in mainland China but little movement has been made.

After four years of hard work persuading the Chinese government to accept non-animal methods for cosmetics testing, scientists at the Institute for In Vitro Sciences, whose work in China was first funded by a grant from PETA, are celebrating an important victory!  Chinese government officials have stated that they will soon, for the first time ever, be recognizing data from a completely non-animal test method for safety evaluations of cosmetics.  Currently, the Chinese government requires cosmetics companies to pay for cruel tests on animals in order to sell imported and special-use cosmetics in China – a practice PETA exposed in 2012.  The government’s acceptance of the 3T3 Phototoxicity assay means that cosmetic companies selling in China will be able to submit data on cosmetics for this particular test, involving exposure to light, without having to harm animals.  PETA is proud to have contributed to this effort, and congratulates the scientists at IIVS for their critical work helping to end the Chinese government’s requirements for tests on animals for cosmetics. Yey PETA!!

Here is a list of companies that DON’T test on animals:

While we all look to the day when cosmetics animal testing is relegated to the history books, we’re not there yet, especially in China. By continuing to uphold the integrity of cruelty-free standards we can applaud the progress China has made while continuing the necessary pressure to facilitate further change and put an end to cosmetics cruelty around the world, once and for all. Caring consumers, and the suffering of hundreds of thousands of animals each year, demand nothing less.

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