Baby Steps for China, or Lilla May Get to Use Estee Lauder Again

According to CNN’s article China may be relaxing some of its regulations regarding animal testing. The law would allow domestic Chinese brands to forgo the mandatory animal testing as long as they ran other risk and safety checks. International brands selling to the Chinese market would still be subject to the regulations, but the “document indicated that China would gradually ease regulations on animal testing”. So unfortunately no MAC or Bobbi Brown just yet, but maybe in a couple of years we may just get lucky!

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So Urban Decay Won’t Be in China After All…

According to a recent press release that I found on Temptalia.com (see press release here), Urban Decay has decided not to sell to the Chinese market and therefore open themselves up to the possibility that they’re products may at some point be tested on animals by the Chinese government before release onto the market. The reason Urban Decay gave for its sudden change of heart was that they felt that they really could not honor their “core principles” if they were to sell to a Chinese market. I’m sure this will be fantastic news to those of you who did not feel they could support the brand whilst they sold in China!

To see my earlier post on the deal with China, click here.

What To Do About China

**UPDATE** Urban Decay has decided to pull out of the Chinese market, see post here.

So as you may know, the cruelty-free world has had some controversial news: some highly respected cruelty-free companies such as Estee Lauder (owners of many brands, including MAC and Bobbi Brown) and Urban Decay are expanding into China. “So what?” you ask. Chinese law allows the government to test products going onto the market without the knowledge of the companies, according to Urban Decay’s press statement. And yeah, those would be animals they would be testing on. This has pretty much pissed off a bunch of people that supported the brands because they were cruelty-free. I don’t really like the fact that these products in China may have been tested on animals at some point (Urban Decay still does not test on animals themselves, but by expanding into the Chinese market they open themselves up to the risk), but I also see this as a good opportunity, as does Urban Decay. As I have said before, I do not want my money being used to test on animals. However, I do want my money to go for making a change in the way things are run. Apparently the Chinese market is a very closed market, so the only way to change the policies regarding animal testing would be from within. From what I have heard, it seems like Chinese consumers really don’t think about it at all, there is very little awareness of the horrible things that are done in the name of beauty. I am willing to support these companies expanding into China if they will try to promote cruelty-free testing methods to the Chinese government. And according to their press statement, that is exactly what they plan to do. OK, so Urban Decay is going to try to work some changes, but is Estee Lauder? I have not found a statement regarding promoting change in China in particular (it may exist, though, I just haven’t come across it), but in the FAQ section of their website where they state their policy regarding animal testing, they do stress the point that they work hard to promote alternative testing methods. There really cannot be enough promotion out there, so if a company is doing their fair share, I am not going to boycott them and endanger their campaigns.

And China is already starting to change. PETA sent out a press release that stated that the Chinese government is in the last stages of approving their first-ever non-animal test for cosmetic ingredients, and are working with scientists from the Institute of In-Vitro Sciences, a program which PETA supports. Whether this step has anything to do with Urban Decay or Estee Lauder is hard to say, but nevertheless it is still great. If nothing else, this is a brilliant stepping stone for the companies to use to jump-start their campaigns.

I, for one, am willing to continue to support these companies, but you may not. It is your decision to make, and I am not going to push anything on you, I merely ask for you to do your research before you condemn anyone. For those that have decided to revoke support of these companies, in my list of non-animal-testing companies, I have specially marked out all the brands who have expanded into China, or are owned by a company expanding into China. Where possible, I will suggest alternatives from brands who have not expanded into China, so no matter what your beliefs on the subject, you can still look and feel fabulous.

PETA Press Release:

http://www.peta.org/mediacenter/news-releases/China-Poised-to-Accept-First-Ever-Non-Animal-Test-Method-for-Cosmetics.aspx

Urban Decay Press Statement (found on Temptalia.com)

http://www.temptalia.com/urban-decay-press-statement-animal-testing-and-china

Urban Decay Chinese Expansion Q&A (also on Temptalia)

http://www.temptalia.com/qa-with-urban-decay-a-follow-up-on-animal-testing-and-entry-into-china

Estee Lauder Animal Testing Policy

http://www.esteelauder.co.uk/cms/customer_service/faqs.tmpl#companytest