A lot of companies have run into problems with China. China’s rules on cosmetics are quite different to those in most other countries. They require products to be submitted prior to launch to a body called the SFDA, short for the State Food and Drug Agency, which is a bit like the USA’s FDA. They then either approve or reject them.
This is fair from a rubber stamp exercise, they look closely at the data that is submitted. They are thorough enough to pick up a spelling error I hadn’t noticed on one pack that I sent in. They have the option of carrying out animal tests on the products if they deem it necessary. There seems to be a perception that they routinely test everything. I don’t think that is actually true, but it is a bit difficult to work out what happens over there what with the language barrier and them being a Communist dictatorship and so on.
But whatever the details, animals rights activists have simply concluded that any cosmetic company that trades with China is effectively colluding with animal testing. This seems a fair enough conclusion and it must be galling having had so much success in Europe to see it all being undone in another economic area. There isn’t much anyone can do to influence the Chinese government so they have concentrated on criticising companies that have got their products onto the shelves in China.
Surprisingly though, the Chinese seem to have rethought what they are doing and are going to shortly be offering a non-animal test route to their market. Most stories like this have some kind of balance between the good and the bad, but this one seems to be all good news. I can’t see a downside to it at any rate. It is a good example of how activism pays off. The Chinese it appears are not immune to the tactics of campaigners in the West and are pragmatic enough to react to them.