So Can I Buy MAC Again? What Changes to Animal Testing in China Means For Us

china animal testin cosmetics

I’ve talked about cruelty free cosmetics before, and how the Chinese government demands that any cosmetics sold in China to be tested on animals. For us this has meant stopping using any products that claim to be ‘cruelty free’, but sell to China, such as Mac. But in June 2014 some amazing news was announced – China is ending compulsory animal testing! So can we happily by Mac again? Sadly not…

I do want to say that the changes to the animal testing laws are an AMAZING step forward. The Humane Society International’s Be Cruelty-Free China, amongst others, have worked so hard to achieve this milestone for animals and this means things will only get better from here. The amendments mean that companies manufacturing ’ordinary’ products within Mainland China will be given the opportunity to rely on the results of non-animal test methods. So for the moment, the changes don’t cover all cosmetics sold in China. So what does this mean for us?

Types of Products

Companies manufacturing “ordinary” cosmetics inside China will no longer be required to provide samples of new products to the government to be animal-tested. Ordinary products include make-up, fragrances, skin, hair and nail care products. So what will still need to be tested? Anything that is considered ‘special use’, such as hair dyes, antiperspirants, sunscreens or skin-whitening products will still be tested.

Domestically Made Products Only

The amendment does not apply to cosmetics manufactured outside of mainland China. So cruelty free cosmetics being exported from Australia, America or any other country will still need to submit to animal testing. But what about if a company can manufacture the products in China? Sadly it’s likely that they will still be tested, as the Chinese government will continue to carry out their own tests. With the focus on pre-market testing decreasing, post-market tests – where products are removed from shop shelves at random for “confirmatory” animal testing – will continue, and possibly be strengthened by Chinese regulators.

What’s next?

The goal of the Human Society International’s Be Cruelty Free China campaign is for animal testing to be completely banned as it has been in the European Union, Israel and India. So can we buy Mac again? Not yet… but with the amazing work that is being done, hopefully we won’t have long to wait.

Image from the Human Society

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