Chinese authorities this week denied having reached any agreement that would alter the country’s strict laws on mandatory animal testing on imported cosmetics products.
The China Food and Drug Administration was reacting to reports that the UK-based animal protection group Cruelty Free International (CFI) had come to an agreement with Shanghai’s Fengxian District to operate a local pilot scheme allowing foreign cosmetics companies to sell their products in China without having to undergo animal testing on their products.
In a statement on its website CFI says that it has launched a “ground-breaking” scheme that could “pave the way for Leaping Bunny certified (CFI’s cruelty-free scheme and label) cosmetics companies to sell in China”.
The statement continues: “By partnering with Knudsen&Co and Fengpu Industrial Park our project will help remove the remaining barriers of entry for cruelty free cosmetics brands looking to manufacture and market their products in China. International brands will be able to avoid testing on animals by producing cosmetics in China that don’t need post-market testing.”
Interviewed recently by Australian Financial Review CFI’s chef executive Michelle Thew, said: “We will be inviting brands into a pilot programme and guaranteeing through supervision of their filing process with an agreement with the government that they will not only have to not conduct animal testing to file their product but they won’t run a risk of automatic post-market testing”.
Thaw added that the development was “hugely significant because never before has there been an MoU with a regulatory agency and an NGO and the government for this to happen”.
But an official from China Food and Drug Administration told China’s English language daily newspaper Global Times that no new agreement had been reached on the sensitive issue of animal-testing. The official told the newspaper: “We did not reach an agreement with any international organization and our management is based on regulations published in 2014.”
Picture: Cruelty Free International discussed the China pilot with representatives from Leaping Bunny companies and the UK Department of International Trade at the China-Britain Business Council in London. Photo, Cruelty Free International, via Facebook