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July 01, 2013

India Makes Move on Cruelty-Free Cosmetics

At The HSUS and HSI, we are pushing for the application of 21st century science in support of a vision in which cell cultures, “organs on a chip,” and other methods substitute for the use of animals in harmful and often deadly tests. In addition to saving lives, these alternative techniques can provide better results, on a faster time frame, and with a cheaper price tag.

The HSUS recently announced a mission-related investment in Hurel Corporation, a leading developer of technology that can replace animals in drug development and chemical testing. We also work closely with companies and other stakeholders by spearheading the Human Toxicology Project Consortium, which seeks to replace animals in all toxicity testing by spurring development and implementation of non-animal alternatives and lobbying to increase the government’s investment in technological advancements that don’t involve animals.

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Alamy

Be Cruelty-Free is our ground-breaking global campaign to end animal testing in the cosmetics sector. Thanks to campaigning by HSI and others, testing cosmetics on animals in Europe and Israel is now illegal. And our Be Cruelty-Free team in Brussels led the fight to achieve a Europe-wide ban on selling cosmetics if newly tested on animals anywhere else in the world.

Now I am pleased to announce that we’ve achieved another major milestone in our global campaign: an end to animal testing for cosmetics in India.

Humane Society International/India worked with political leaders throughout the country to convince regulators that animal testing practices are archaic and unnecessary. As a result, the Bureau of Indian Standards has approved the deletion of any mention of animal tests from India’s cosmetics standards. Mandatory use of modern non-animal tests is now the national standard, replacing invasive tests on live rabbits and mice.

Now we’ll turn major attention to China, where animal testing of cosmetics is still required by law and where many internationally-approved non-animal tests are not yet accepted by regulators. Last week's launch of Be Cruelty-Free China marks the beginning of a dynamic process of consumer outreach and regulatory policy discussions. And in collaboration with the Institute for In Vitro Sciences, HSI, The HSUS, and the Human Toxicology Project Consortium are funding hands-on training for China’s regulators. In a country with an astonishing appetite for innovation and cutting-edge technology, we hope to find fertile terrain to make gains there, too.

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