Knudsen&Co is proud to announce the first Leaping Bunny Pilot Project in China in collaboration with Shanghai Fengpu Industrial Park and Cruelty Free International. The project will involve selected Cruelty Free member companies that will produce and sell their products in China without the use of animal testing. The project is the first of its kind, helping not only to provide access to the Chinese market without animal testing, but also to initiate a more informed dialogue on the advancement of substituting animal testing in China.
The market for cosmetics in Chinese is booming; in just a few years, China is expected to be the world’s largest cosmetic market. Despite the lucrative market, many foreign brands are unable to sell their products in China due to Chinese regulations requiring animal testing on all imported cosmetics. Domestically, however, many Chinese companies are able to avoid animal testing since the regulation was repealed in 2014 for “non-special use” cosmetics, like makeup and skincare products. Through the Leaping Bunny China project, companies may manufacture their products domestically in China to avoid animal testing, while not requiring a “Made in China” label.
The Leaping Bunny China Program
The Leaping Bunny certification is recognized as the leading global standard for ensuring that no animal testing has occurred throughout the supply chain. To withhold The Leaping Bunny’s rigorous standards, the project will involve strict supervision of the mandatory safety assessment tests. The partnership with Oriental Beauty Valley in the Shanghai Fengpu Industrial Park will provide an additional safeguard of the process as manufacturing and testing will take place within this cosmetic manufacturing zone just outside of Shanghai. Finally, Knudsen&Co will supervise the manufacturing and the safety assessment testing. Participating companies are required to ensure that all products pose no safety hazards to Chinese consumers.
The Status of Animal and Alternative Testing Methods in China
In 2014, the Chinese Food and Drug Administration waived animal testing on domestically produced, non-special-use cosmetics. Non-special use cosmetics includes products such as moisturizing skin-care, nail care and perfume. Animal testing is still required on special-use cosmetics, including skin whiteners, hair dyes, and sun-screen products. All imported cosmetics also require animal testing.
The Post-Market Test Debate
Even though the option of avoiding animal testing by domestic production has been available for several years, many foreign companies have been hesitant to enter the market due to the perceived risk of post-market animal testing. Chinese regulations for post-market testing do not explicitly exclude animal testing, and therefore have the potential to include animal testing. After conducting extensive research, Knudsen&Co has demonstrated that no animal testing has occurred in the last few years as part of a post-market test, mainly due to the high costs and long testing times. Theoretically, however, a product that is suspected to pose a safety hazard for consumers could be tested on animals. The Leaping Bunny Pilot Project therefore requires that all participating companies perform an immediate product recall in the event of a safety concern to avoid triggering post-market animal testing.