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China gives green light to new animal-free cosmetics tests

The Chinese government has approved two non-animal methods for testing cosmetic products in China. The two newly approved tests are the direct peptide reaction test to measure skin sensitization, and the short-term exposure test to analyze eye irritation potential.
This breakthrough is the result of groundbreaking work by scientific experts and regulatory specialists from Institute for In Vitro Sciences (Institute for In Vitro Sciences, or IIVS), with which PETA provided initial funding to train Chinese scientists and managers in modern non-animal methods.

"The acceptance of these two modern, ethical tests is a huge step forward for China," says Kathy Guillermo, vice president of PETA USA. "No animal should be poisoned or blinded for a consumer product - or for any other reason."

In 2012, PETA USA revealed that some companies, previously not using animal testing, had quietly begun paying the Chinese government to test their products on animals in order to be able to sell them in that country. At the time, animal testing was required by law for all cosmetics sold in China. PETA USA immediately contacted the leading experts in the field of non-animal testing methods at IIVS and provided them with the initial grant to launch their work in China. IIVS scientists successfully collaborated with Chinese authorities to get the first animal-free testing method approved, phototoxicity test in vitro 3T3 NRU (neutral red fixation)used to test the potential toxicity of cosmetic products when they come into contact with sunlight.

In 2014, the Chinese government announced that it would accept the results of non-animal testing methods, but only for special-use cosmetics manufactured in China. Animal testing is still required for all imported cosmetics and special-use cosmetics, regardless of where they are manufactured.

The Beauty Without Bunnies database PETA USA currently lists over 3,800 companies that have made the compassionate choice by committing not to test on animals anywhere in the world.
PETA, whose motto states that "animals do not belong to us and [that] we do not have to use them for our experiments", is opposed to speciesism, an ideology that postulates the superiority of humans over other animals in order to justify treating them as if they were mere commodities.

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