China to Ease Animal Testing

In U.S., testing remains legal.

    Photo: Tomasz Papuga/Thinkstock

The China Food and Drug Administration plans to do away with the requirement that certain domestically manufactured cosmetic products be tested on animals.

By June of next year, Chinese-produced shampoos, soaps, and certain skin products will be free to enter the market without "toxicological testing," whereby creatures such as rabbits and guinea pigs are subjected to trial-and-error.

This comes after the February decision by the European Union to ban imports and sales of cosmetic items that have been tested on animals—meant to pressure other parts of the world, including China, to pursue safer alternatives.

Although China's proposal does not extend to imports, a document posted on the website of the China Food and Drug Administration earlier this month indicated that China would continue easing regulations to allow more international firms opposed to animal testing to enter China's $22 billion cosmetics market.

In the U.S., meanwhile, animal testing is legal, as outlined in the Animal Welfare Act of 1966.

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