With the morally aware world that we now live in, more and more people are becoming conscious of the way their small actions affect those around us. So people are cutting down on plastic to save the oceans, cutting down on meat and dairy to save the animals (and the planet) and switching from animal testing to cruelty-free and vegan makeup products. And while many big corporations have made the switch, there are still a lot who haven’t.
Companies such as L’Oreal, MAC and Benefit, may claim to be cruelty free, but their desire to sell to the Chinese consumer market means that their products must be tested on animals first. This is due to China’s law that all foreign cosmetic products must first go through animal testing before they can be sold in the country. So while these brands may not directly test on animals, they knowingly consent to it happening in order to gain access to a wider customer base. Which is not going down well with vegans and cruelty-free advocates.
But is that all set to change? Recently, China’s National Institute for Food and Drug Control (NIFDC) stated that the research, development, and standardisation of alternative options to animal testing are now a top priority. This news is huge, given that a decision like this would cut short the suffering of hundreds of thousands of animals now used in testing, and prevent any more from the same fate.
Given how far science has progressed, it’s no longer as difficult to find cruelty-free methods of testing. For example, tests using artificial human tissues and the test tube method which can distinguish toxic from non-toxic ingredients.
It’s been a slow process but actually, China slowly began changing their cosmetic laws in 2014. So since then, they’ve allowed domestic brands to sell their products without testing on animals but unfortunately the change didn’t stretch to foreign ones. While it may take years, it looks like that could be set to change. And it’s a change that people are passionate about. Not only would it allow cruelty-free advocates to access a wider range of brands, but it would also open up new markets for brands that are already cruelty-free.
With nearly 40 countries already having banned the testing of cosmetics on animals, only time will tell if China will be the next name on that list.