Search results for: animal test china

news on animal testing of cosmetics in China

animal testing and China

Lavera and animal testing in China

UPDATE (2014-05): see also

My thanks to a correspondent for the following item and consequent / future Food For Though (and further letter-writing, for any of you out there not working 60+ hour weeks right now…).

Marilisa: thank you VERY much, this is new information to me. Great to see rapid change… though this also casts some gloom on the Urban Decay song-and-dance routine on going into China than coming out of China. On which more coming up in a moment…

Also: I honestly don’t know if this is, as you put it, “gimicky” or not; if it’s honest, true, accurate; and what the hell is actually going on. Based on my own experience with
(a) administration, policy-making, and decision-making witin an organization;
and (b) marketing, branding, and propaganda:
my best guess is that negotiations are ongoing, have been going on since before the public (and indeed many industry insiders) were aware they were, and may continue for some time.

And that these negotiations are delicate, slow, and like peace processes in troubled areas, will have ups and downs and both sides (or however many sides there are) will look like they’ve betrayed their position, people, cause, and The Truth. That’ll doubtless happen many times. Accompanied by non-communication and miscommunication with outsiders (like Joe Public), obfuscation, veiled ambiguous non-statements, blustering rhetoric, empty verbiage, misdirection, the occasional outright untruth, and of course some hand-wringing and requests for patience. The best we can do is keep poking and prodding, whilst still “liking” (to continue the horrid FaceBook analogy). Like peace processes, there are immense gulfs in difference of opinion, perspectivem, point of view, way of seeing the world; differences in culture, language, way of thinking, ethics, politics, economics, and how these things all fit together (or not). The very idea of an “ethical minimal consumer” can be hard to fathom, even in a first-world environment. As witness, I’m sorry to say, way too much of what goes on on MakeupAlley, and one reason I’m limiting my writing there and even reading; sometimes the extent of selfishness, ego-centricity, and not giving a damn about anyone else (or anything, if you’ve decided other animate creatures are things/ojects and to be treated, used, and abused as such…).

Over to our correspondents. Names have been abbreviated and emails removed for privacy purposes…

From: marilisa […]
Date: Monday, 27 August, 2012 11:51 PM
To:  “” <>
Subject: enquiry about animal testing on Lavera products sold in China


I am a very loyal customer to Lavera products, I love them and since it is difficult to find and buy them in my city I even purchase Lavera products from overseas’ online shops just to not be without them. However, I am also very much concerned about animal tested products and I do not use them.

So, would you please confirm me that your stance of not carrying out test on animals is still valid and trustworthy and let me know whether or not do you distribute and sell your products in China where mandatory animal testing is required by law?I’ll be looking forward to your reply.

Thank you

Kind regards


From: [P…] <p…>
To: marilisa […]
Sent: Tuesday, 28 August 2012, 3:33
Subject: Re: enquiry about animal testing on Lavera products sold in China

Dear Marilisa,

Thank you for your email and your concern.

We stick to our claim not testing on animals and being against animal testing. We have never signed any document in China that we’re testing on animals or allowing anybody else to test on animals.
It is said that the Chinese FDA has been testing on animals in the past  during product registration but we have no proof and we have never seen any documents showing that tests have been carried out.

In May the China FDA authorities have announced that officially all animal tests will be ended.

Source: Organic Monitor, UK


China Accepts Animal-Free Testing Methods
The animal protection organization Peta (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has for the first time succeeded in persuading decision-makers in the People’s Republic of China not to use animal testing for cosmetics products.

According to Peta, by the autumn animal-free procedures to test for photo-toxicity will be introduced and will replace methods that have relied on the use of animals.

The animal-free method is already in use in the USA and Europe. It checks chemicals for potential toxicity when they come into contact with sunlight.Hitherto, all cosmetics manufacturers were obliged to test their products on animals before they could get official permission to market in China. In its search for alternatives, Peta has spent more than USD 1 million from donations to get research institutions to develop methods that do not use animals.

I hope this answers your question and concern.

Best regards,

P for lavera Hong Kong

Dear Ginger O’ Rama,

Hi, my name is Marilisa and I am a your blog’s subscriber as well as a regular and devoted reader of it.

I am contacting you to ask your opinion regarding the e-mail [above] which I received form Lavera HK in reply to my enquiry about Lavera’s current animal testing status since their choice of selling their products in China.

Do you think their statement reliable? or is it just a gimmicky attempt to cheat their customers?

I think that if China had really put an end to animal testing then all the fuss about the other cosmetic companies, see for example the great and furious debate and the outraged indignation caused by the UD’s decision to sell their make up products in China and their consequent shameful dodgy back down, would be just silly and meaningless, if I make sense.

Also, I didn’t hear of this breakthrough news about China stopping their infamous mandatory animal testings from anyone else in the cosmetic industry, so what do you think about this?

I hope I didn’t bother you too much with my e-mail and that I made myself clear as I am writing in English but I am Italian and much more often than not I still have to translate in my mind from my own language to English to write it.

All the best


Dear Marilisa,

Thank you for this: I’ve put it up on the blog (names disguised, emails removed), we’ll see who else weighs in. I reckon this is tactics and diplomacy at work; might be delicate, and take time, but at least there’s *movement*. And hope for change.

Ginger xox

Sephora China

UPDATE (2014-05): see also

This is really just a FYI post. My thanks to Blushing Biddies for giving me the idea, via this comment: here are screenshots from, showing what brands they sell. I can’t believe I didn’t think of doing this before…

At present in China any imported cosmetics *may* be subject to animal testing. Note, MAY: that does not necessarily mean that they are, but it does mean that a company relinquishes control over and responsibility for their products by moving into the Chinese market. That is an unethical decision, position, choice, and action: whether or not the products are in fact / in practice tested on animals there. The more so, and morally worse, for companies that otherwise claim to be cruelty-free.

More on animal testing in China, for products sold on the Chinese market: see these other posts and posts in the “cruelty-free” category (there may be overlap).

So having a look at major sales-locations like Sephora China is a good way of seeing which companies are affected.

Screen Shot 2014-05-06 at 9.56.30 AM

Continue reading

animal testing: good news

[…] announcement by China’s Food & Drug Administration that from June 2014, China plans to remove its mandatory animal test requirements for domestically manufactured cosmetic products. For the first time ever, Chinese companies producing “non-special use cosmetics” such as shampoo or perfume will have the option to substantiate product safety using existing safety data for raw ingredients, or European Union-validated non-animal tests instead of having to submit product samples to the government for testing on rabbits, mice and rats.

China to phase out mandatory cosmetics animal testing
Human Society International, 2013-11-07

See also:

To celebrate, here is three minutes’ worth of happy bouncing “binking” bunny, accompanied by appropriate uplifting triumphant music:

And a classic happy bunny-themed Christmas message from the RSPCA:

the art of asking about animal testing

alternatives to animal testing

Urban Decay on why they’re going to sell their products in China

Straight from the horse’s mouth, verbatim, in full: I’ve copy-pasted the whole statement, to be completely fair, as any editing would result in highlighting what’s not been edited out, which could reflect bias on my part and could result in a greater chance of misreading and misinterpretation (from me, and from any other reader).


The statement:

Urban Decay is going to sell our products in China. Because of China’s policies on animal testing, we know that this will not be a popular decision with some of our loyal customers. But the decision is a thoughtful one.

For 16 years, we have been committed to two key causes: women’s rights, and the fight against animal testing. Our dedication to those causes will not waver.

For those of you unfamiliar with China’s policies, the sticking point is this: the Chinese government reserves the right to conduct animal testing with cosmetic products before the products are approved for use by Chinese citizens. The government has not told us if they have exercised this right with our products. So, our brand does not test on animals, but the Chinese government might conduct a one-time test using our products. Do we like China’s policies? No…and that is really the point. Going into China was a huge decision for Urban Decay. But, we believe that change cannot and will not happen by outside pressure alone in a closed market. Change can only happen from within. When we enter the Chinese market, we will do our part to help make those changes.

When we were considering expanding into China, a group of marketing consultants told us to remove the section of our company history that describes our crusade against animal testing. “It doesn’t mean anything to the Chinese beauty customer,” they said. Of course, we refused. Our “no animal testing” policy is part of who we are, and has been since day one. The news that animal issues don’t even register with the average Chinese consumer was one of the biggest factors in our decision to go there. During Urban Decay’s infancy, we worked hard to inform consumers about animal rights in the United States and Europe. The battleground for animal rights is now in China, and we want to be there to encourage dialogue and provoke change.

We also hope to shed some light on women’s rights issues in China. As a company that caters to a female customer, this is extremely important to us. For one thing, going into China is a way for us to advance women into important professional positions. We will help grow the cosmetics industry, which primarily employs and creates career paths for women. Although workers’ employment rights are a relatively new concept there, progress has been made partially because of pressure from businesses, consumers, and advocacy groups from other countries. Based on this, our belief is that both an outside force and inside pressure for change can result in helping transform both the importance of women and animal testing policies in China. And more importantly, we hope to influence the perspective of the citizens on both of these issues.

If we don’t go to China, other companies without our beliefs will, and the culture will never change. We want to encourage a culture of consumers who care enough to buy cruelty-free products, and who view professional women as role models who influence their lives on a daily basis.

Yes, we are a for-profit company. And yes, we would eventually like to make money in China. But we don’t stand to turn a profit in China for quite a while, partially because the market isn’t quite ready to sustain an untraditional brand like ours. If it were only about the money, we would wait a few years. But our foray into this market is also about participating in an amazing time of change in China. We don’t like animal testing (and neither do the 13 dogs in our office), but we are trying to change the world… even if it is one eye shadow at a time! Sitting on the sidelines isn’t our style. We understand that you might not like our decision, but we hope you can respect it.

Any editors or advocacy groups interested in interviews with Urban Decay founding partner Wende Zomnir may contact us at

For any advocates or Urban Decay fans interested, Urban Decay founding partner Wende Zomnir will host a live chat in 2 weeks to answer questions about our entry into China. Please click here if you would like to sign up to be notified.

Mascara: a perverse holy grail

long time no see…

Life here in Vancouver continues. There has been the bad: heavy workload, work stress, and recent events in the outside world; that is, The Big Bad World that lies beyond my work-place, and indeed Vancouver, and well beyond the little bubble of pulchritudinous morosophy, such as the world of MakeupAlley. Some of the Bad Shit Going Down made me stop reading MUA altogether, because I just wanted to shake and spank MUAers for being vapid vacuous ****s.

“Spanking,” metaphorically-speaking–obviously one can’t actually go around and physically personally assault every irritating individual–and besides, however bad Things get, I absolutely must remain anti-violence. Also, it would be impossible in practice. Metaphorical spanking means expressing anger and home truths, calling a foolish spade a foolish spade. But I would be kidding myself if I thought for a minute that’s not violent too: it can hurt people. Like it or lump it, one’s own intentions are partly a selfish urge to express anger: to expel it from oneself, get it off you, no matter what the consequences are, not caring if anyone else is affected. That’s selfish. It’s uncaring: no care for others, and I think that I (and we all) have a duty of care towards others. It’s unthinking and reckless, not giving any consideration to consequences and to other people. All of these things make metaphorical spanking Bad, Immoral, and Unethical. So it is a thing that one should not do.

Also, in the online version, it’s one of the classic forms of trolling. It may start out as sincere trolling, but damn it, it’s still trolling and there’s the additional danger that one might get Into It. Keep doing it for the sake of doing it. Become more involved with goading other people and interested in their reactions (thus also: less angry, losing that original raging serious edge), invested in trolling itself (rather than one’s message). It could be enjoyable and addictive. As with certain very heavy and very illegal drugs, it may be a cowardly move, but better not to start at all… You all know my relationship with chocolate. I could be one of those addictive-personality types, I’d rather not risk finding out the hard way.

Furthermore, saying mean things to other people is mean. No matter what your intentions are, and no matter they have said and done. And meanness is something to be avoided. (Critical comment is different, but if and only if it is constructive and with the intention of opening, engaging, and continuing conversation.) Just like it’s wrong to murder satirical cartoonists. And that is all, on here anyway, that I’m going to say about that recent event in The Big Bad World outside.

And finally: it’s actually really nice and good to see everyday life continue, in its simple and often sweet way. One of the finest things about the online beautyverse, including fora like MakeupAlley, is that simplicity, continuity, and humanity. It’s peaceful. That peace is precious. Vapid and vacuous can be–usually is–wonderful.

On MakeupAlley, I often don’t have anything to contribute for good reasons (besides sitting back and enjoying normal human peaceful interactions). It’s great to just read what other people say, instead of blabbering on yourself. Sometimes I have nothing to say because the conversation is about something I know little or nothing about, and on which I have no personal experience: I can listen and learn. Sometimes I could say something useful, but by the time I read a thread–several hours later, or a day, or a week, or even longer–the moment has passed, and nearly every time someone else has said exactly what I would have said. Often better and in fewer words. Silence can be positive.

So I’m more at peace with myself, and the world, and the online world; however godawful yoga-selfie-Vancouverite that sounds.

There has also, as ever, been The Good of living in Vancouver and the happy positive uplifting aspects of my work. As ever, I don’t want to talk about work-stuff on here–I prefer to keep it and at identity separate, also it’s not really that relevant. It’s nice to have other places to talk about other things, relaxing, and helping to maintain perspective. Life in Vancouver is always brilliant, and the non-work stuff helps: simple things like going out the door and enjoying a pleasant walk in woods or along the beach, these too help with perspective, mood, thanking one’s lucky stars for the good things one has in life, going “OMG isn’t life brilliant!” at least once a day, and other aspects of basic good mental health and hygiene. Even if, as recently, it can be very foggy for days on end and it looks like our lovely mountains have disappeared.

So what’s up on the Products front? Continue reading