Many international cosmetic makers are faced with ethical questions over whether or not to be present in the China market because of animal testing requirements. Pangea Organics chose not to stay, and has been commended for this.
The natural cosmetics maker was awarded Peta's Courage in Commerce Award last week, after it pulled out of the China market when the Chinese goverment introducted laws that included requirements that companies have to test cosmetic products on amial to fulfill market entry regulations.
In answer to this, The Boulder, Colarodo-based company announced that it would pull out of the China market and stop selling its products there, rather than carry out the tests, which include ocular tests on rabbits and force-feeding formulations to laboratory mice.
Pangea remains on Peta's safe list
"When Pangea Organics joined PETA's list of cruelty-free companies in 2006, it made a promise to its customers that it would never harm an animal—and by pulling out of the Chinese market, it is keeping that promise," says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk.
"Pangea Organics' brave decision illustrates how truly ethical companies will forgo profits rather than paying for animal testing anywhere in the world."
The compulsory requirement to test on animals to gain entry into the China market has presented a significant dilemma to a number of international cosmetic and fragrance companies, some of whom are already present in the market, and others that were either contemplating market entry, or else in the midst of fulfilling the regulations.
Peta, policing animal testing in China
Peta has previously applauded a number of cosmetic brands for pulling out of the China market, after the regulations were introduced, including names such as Urban Decay, NYX and Paul Mitchell.
However, other cosmetics companies have fallen foul of the animal rights group, due to the fact that they have chosen to stay on in the market.In particular the organization says that Mary Kay, Avon and Estee Lauder have been taken of its list of cruelty free companies on account of the fact that they have continued to stay on in the China market, which Peta says will lead to these companies being a part of animal testing in the country.
China takes steps towards seeking alternatives to animal testing
However, partly in reaction to the negative publicity that the animal testing requirement has bought, the China government now says that it is working towards finding alternatives to animal testing.
Indeed, Peta has been involved with this plans and has donated $33,000 (€25,914) to the Institute for In Vitro Sciences (IIVS), which used it to train scientists in China how to use the 3T3 Neutral Red Uptake Phototoxicity Test, which can replace the current animal testing system in place.
"This is the first step toward the end of cosmetics tests on animals in China," Peta stated back in November of last year, when the news was first announced.