Protecting the rights of animals has become a big issue in many countries, Chinese law currently requires all cosmetics products to be tested on animals -- meaning some international brands have stayed out of the mainland. But the Chinese Government says that from this summer, cosmetics companies will be able to choose whether or not to test on live animals. Ahead of the move, Chinese scientists are now learning about alternative test methods.
Cosmetics are big business in China.
Until now, the fourth-largest cosmetics market in the world has mainly relied on animal-testing to ensure consumer safety.
Each year, some 300-thousand live animals undergo painful testing in Chinese laboratories. But the Government now wants to adopt alternative methods, that have proven track records in other countries.
"Alternative methods use complicated techniques and need more international cooperation." Dr. Cheng Shujun, Guangdong Inspection and Quarantine Bureau said.
Global institutes and experts can help us build advanced labs and improve our experimental ability.
Each year millions of animals, such as mice, rabbits and monkeys are tested worldwide for scientific purposes.
The new regulation will allow both Chinese and foreign companies operating on the Mainland the option to avoid animal testing, if they use ingredients that have already been tested as safe.
Until now, Chinese scientists have had limited access to non-animal testing techniques and facilities. But China is now set to learn from international expertise, and become better equipped.
In-vitro and other non-animal techniques will be widely used.
"This alternative method training is very helpful. We mainly focus on experimental practice." Kang Hua, Researcher of Zhejiang Food and Drug Inspecton Inst. said.
The country is rolling out the welcoming mat to companies that refused animal testing and couldn’t get a slice of China’s cosmetics pie.
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