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China's NMPA approves two animal-free cosmetic testing methods but still a long way to go

Updated: Jun 17

March 2019


China’s National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) has approved two further cosmetic non-animal test methods for cosmetic ingredient pre-market approval.


These tests are:

· Direct Peptide Reactivity Assay for skin sensitisation

· Short-Term Exposure test for eye irritation


Important considerations:

· These newly introduced non-animal tests (along with previously approved non-animal test NRU 3T3 phototoxicity assay) are for the testing of raw ingredients only. They are not approved for use on final product formulations

· These non-animal tests do not replace any existing animal tests. They are simply alternatives, and the existing animal tests are still approved for use


The approval of non-animal testing is a positive step. However, this does not constitute a ban, nor does it replace animal testing. Therefore, there is a risk that Chinese laboratories and scientists who are well-equipped to undertake existing animal testing methods may simply continue to do so. It may take some time for Chinese scientists to become proficient in the new testing methods.

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