Animal testing labelling

Can you trust a cosmetic company's claims that its products aren't tested on animals? If it sells them in China, possibly not.
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01.Testing cosmetics on animals


In an attempt to differentiate their products from the competition, companies may proclaim that their products aren't tested on animals. But all is not as it seems.

In this report, you'll find:

    China's stance on cosmetics testing

    China’s increasing wealth has seen a rise in consumers with a growing disposable income, and a sizeable chunk of that money is being spent on cosmetics. Additionally, recent economic downturns and consumer belt-tightening in the west, coupled with reduced tariffs and taxes associated with selling cosmetics in China, have proven a tempting combination for cosmetic and personal care brands.

    "All cosmetic products sold in China must be registered with the authorities," explains Dr Alain Khaiat, president of the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association of Singapore, vice president of Scientific Affairs of the ASEAN Cosmetic Association and CEO of SEERS Consulting, a consultancy for manufacturers of personal care products. “In order to become registered, companies are required to submit a dossier to the relevant government authority, along with product samples for the authority to test. The authorities then do a number of tests, including for pH [levels] and viscosity. They also do some skin and eye irritation tests. And at the moment, these tests are done on animals.”

    So samples of products that are currently sold in China must, by law, be provided for animal testing by cosmetic companies.

    Video: Animal testing for cosmetics

    We take a close look at some confusing and sometimes misleading labelling practices when it comes to animal testing in the cosmetics world.



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