The Leaping Bunny Program Certifies Cruelty-Free Cosmetics in China

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Learn about the Leaping Bunny Program that Certifies Cruelty-Free Cosmetics in China. Previously, cosmetics companies had to choose between selling in mainland China and maintaining their cruelty-free status, as the Chinese government required animal testing for all cosmetics imports. However, the introduction of the Leaping Bunny China Qualification Program allows Leaping Bunny-certified companies to enter the Chinese marketplace while adhering to strict cruelty-free standards. This program ensures that a company’s registrations in China do not include animal testing and require regular audits. To sell in China, brands must manufacture products in approved facilities, monitor risks of animal testing, and use only approved ingredients. Companies must also recall products if required by the Chinese government.

Animal testing is considered cruel and unnecessary, causing immense suffering to dogs, rats, rabbits, and guinea pigs. These animals experience painful side effects such as burns, blindness, and even death. Additionally, treatments that show promise in animals rarely prove effective in humans. Therefore, the use of human tissue donated from volunteers provides a more relevant and ethical alternative for studying human biology and diseases. Human tissue can be obtained from surgeries like biopsies and cosmetic procedures. Various non-animal testing methods, including skin and eye models, have been developed to replace traditional animal testing.

In January 2021, China implemented new regulations exempting imported “ordinary” cosmetics from animal testing for eye and skin irritation. However, certain cosmetics such as hair dyes, sunscreens, and products for children still require animal testing. Despite these exemptions, China’s new regulation is seen as a significant step towards a more “cruelty-free” and “animal-friendly” cosmetics industry. It is important to note that post-market animal testing can still occur in China, particularly in response to customer complaints.

The Leaping Bunny Program’s expansion into China provides an opportunity for cruelty-free brands to enter the Chinese market while upholding their ethical values. By supporting certified cruelty-free brands and encouraging others to join the Leaping Bunny Program, consumers can contribute to the reduction of animal testing in the cosmetics industry.

Sources: Leaping Bunny, Cruelty Free International

It’s interesting learning more about how Leaping Bunny Program Certifies Cruelty-Free Cosmetics in China. Historically, cruelty-free cosmetics companies could not sell their products in mainland China if they wanted to avoid the possibility of government-enforced animal testing, and if these companies decided to go ahead with the testing to sell their products in China, they would lose their Leaping Bunny cruelty-free status. Even if the companies were Leaping Bunny-certified to begin with, moving ahead with selling in China meant that would violate cruelty-free standards due to China’s previous animal testing regulations, which mandated animal testing for all cosmetics imports.

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Leaping Bunny Program Certifies Cruelty-Free Cosmetics in China
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Chinese officials can pull items off shelves for animal testing and don’t need a brand’s permission to do it. They also don’t have to inform the brand of these actions unless they belong to the new Leaping Bunny China Qualification Program. Right now it doesn’t appear there is along list companies getting involved in this.

Testing on animals for cosmetics is cruel and unnecessary.

Dogs (mostly beagles), rats, rabbits, and guinea pigs are restrained and have test chemicals rubbed into their skin or dropped into their eyes to observe the effects. Often tens or hundreds of times in volume what a human would naturally use. These terrified animals experience burns, painful ulcers, blindness, illness, or even death. If they survive the agonizing experiments, they are suffocated or have their necks broken and discarded like trash. 

Testing on animals for cosmetics is cruel and unnecessary

Treatments showing “promise” in animals rarely work in humans. Not only are time, money and animals’ lives being wasted (with huge amounts of suffering), but effective treatments are being mistakenly discarded and harmful treatments are getting through. Animal tests rarely translate in help for humans.

This why when Leaping Bunny Program Certifies Cruelty-Free Cosmetics in China it is so important

Both healthy and diseased tissues donated from human volunteers can provide a more relevant way of studying human biology and disease than animal testing. Human tissue can be donated from surgery (e.g. biopsies, cosmetic surgery and transplants). For example, skin and eye models made from reconstituted human skin and other tissues have been developed and are used to replace the cruel rabbit DRAZE irritation tests. Skin can also be lab grown now as well. There about 450 non-animal types of testing.

New Leaping Bunny Program Certifies Cruelty-Free Cosmetics in China

Leaping Bunny has recently introduced the Leaping Bunny China Qualification Program to help Leaping Bunny-certified companies enter the Chinese marketplace while maintaining strict cruelty-free standards. Leaping Bunny has partnered with regulatory experts in Shanghai, China, to ensure a Cruelty-Free company’s registrations do not include animal testing and post-market monitoring after its products are sold. To receive certification, companies must complete a pre-market audit and regular post-market audits. Companies must also agree to recall any products if the Chinese government requires testing of a product for any reason. 

All Leaping Bunny brands wanting to sell in China using this all-China path must agree with plans by Cruelty Free International, manufacture at approved facilities within China and maintain ongoing contact with their distributors and retailers to monitor any risks of animal testing. They should also only use ingredients that feature on the list of approved cosmetics and personal care ingredients in China, and not include special use cosmetics in their sales offer, notes Cruelty Free International.

Audit results, remain confidential, but are fully disclosed to Leaping Bunny administrators. Further, companies are required to sign an agreement promising to recall products rather than allow any animal testing, should the Chinese government require it for some reason.

Does your favorite brand abide by this Leaping Bunny Program Certifies Cruelty-Free Cosmetics in China?

Unless they are up front and bragging about doing this its likely they don’t AND Unless they are already cruelty free and have the leaping bunny logo on their packaging. You can always email that brand and ask if they do or are planning on getting involved.

Recent updates in China’s animal testing laws

Effective Jan. 1, 2021, imported ordinary cosmetics such as shampoo, blusher, mascara and perfume MAY no longer have to be animal tested for eye and skin irritation in Chinese laboratories. Cosmetics other than special cosmetics are ordinary cosmetics. Ordinary cosmetics make up the majority of personal care products imported to China.

China’s National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) has announced that all imported ‘ordinary’ cosmetics will be exempt from animal testing. ‘Ordinary’ cosmetics are products defined as those that do not have active claims, like anti-ageing or anti-acne.

In fact, companies selling in China (outside of certain online sales which, for now, may be done without animal testing) have not been able to be Leaping Bunny certified because of testing regulations that required the use of animals.

So-called “special” cosmetics will still require animal testing.

This includes products with SPF. Hair dyes, bleaching products, freckle-removal and whitening products, sunscreens and hair-loss products are ‘special products’ and still need to undergo animal testing in China. Products that are to be used by children or infants are also excluded from the no animal testing exemption. Animal testing needs to be performed in cosmetic products using new cosmetic ingredients (under a 3-year monitoring period). Even though it doesn’t cover all types of cosmetics, China’s new regulation is considered a major breakthrough and a step forward towards a more “cruelty-free” and “animal-friendly” cosmetic industry.

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Post-market animal testing still occurs in China

If the authorities want to perform addition safety tests on products. In the event of a customer complaint, the Chinese authorities would be able to test any cosmetic or skincare products on animals. No brand sold in China is exempt from this law.

While Chinas policies are not all encompassing in being entirely cruelty-free (neither is the USA by the way) its certainly better than it was is decades past. The new Leaping Bunny Program that Certifies Cruelty-Free Cosmetics in China is a step forward in lessening brutal animal testing.

Sources: Leaping Bunny, Cruelty Free International

CF list
 Database of companies that don’t test their products on animals

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