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China Rethinks Animal Testing Requirement

November 14, 2013

Shampoos, soaps and some skin products could get a reprieve next year.

China may relax some testing rules to allow the sale of some cosmetics without requiring them to be tested on animals, opening up a potential route into the Chinese market for international firms opposed to the practice, according to Reuters. Under the potential changes, "non-specialized cosmetics" manufactured in China—such as shampoos, soaps, nail products and some skin products—could be sold from June 2014 without undergoing animal testing, according to the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA).

This may enable firms which do not allow animal testing to enter the country's 134 billion yuan ($22 billion) cosmetics market.

"Under the proposal, non-specialized cosmetics produced in China could avoid toxicological testing when going through risk and safety checks. This would include animal testing," the CFDA said in comments emailed to Reuters on Wednesday. They clarified a statement published on its website last week when it sought public opinion on the proposed changes.

Imported cosmetics of all types and "specialized cosmetics" made in China will not be not covered by the proposed change, the CDFA said. Specialized cosmetics include sun cream, deodorants, skin bleaching products, hair dyes and hair growth and hair removal products, according to Chinese regulations.

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