Non-animal test methods for cosmetics ingredients are likely to go ahead in China. This has been possible thanks to the support from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) scientists.
The 3T3 Neutral Red Uptake Phototoxicity Assay, which tests chemicals for their potential toxicity when exposed to sunlight, is already in widespread use in the US and the European Union countries. It is scheduled to be accepted in China by late summer.
Until now, China required cosmetics companies to test ingredients and products only on animals, according to a statement of Institute for In Vitro Sciences (IIVS), US.
PETA awarded a grant to scientists at the IIVS late last year after learning that China had asked cosmetics companies Avon, Estee Lauder and Mary Kay -which had been on PETA's list of companies that don't test cosmetics on animals for decades - to pay for tests on animals in order to market their products in the country.
Scientists from the IIVS travelled to China several times to offer their expertise and guidance. "We're delighted that this grant has helped jump-start the acceptance of non-animal tests in China and grateful to Chinese officials for being so open to these discussions," says PETA vice-president of lab investigations Kathy Guillermo.