May 19, 2014
HSI and Institute for In Vitro Sciences Address Lawmakers at Tokyo Conference to End Japan’s Cosmetics Animal Testing
TOKYO — Experts in non-animal testing from global animal welfare leaders Humane Society International and the world-renowned Institute for In Vitro Sciences were guest speakers at a conference of Japanese legislators in Tokyo this week, to discuss the “Science and Regulation for Ending Cosmetics Animal Testing” in Japan. Japan is the second stop on HSI’s Be Cruelty-Free Asia science tour that also includes Hong Kong, Taiwan and China and focuses on high-level meetings with policy makers and scientists.
The Tokyo event was an opportunity for cross-party Japanese diet members (policy makers) to gain a global perspective on legislative, scientific and corporate efforts from HSI’s Be Cruelty-Free campaign, the largest campaign in the world to end animal testing for cosmetics. The event was hosted by Kusuo Oshima (Upper House member, Democratic Party of Japan), Ryuhei Kawada (Upper House member, Yuinotoh Party), Mizuho Fukushima, (Upper House member, Social Democratic Party), and Tomoko Abe (Lower House member, Independent).
With a growing global trend towards cruelty-free cosmetics, Japan is being urged to support similar moves. Japanese law does not require most ordinary cosmetics to be tested on animals, however it doesn’t prohibit it, either. Companies can still choose to animal test, and companies producing ordinary cosmetics can be required to animal test if they use certain new chemicals such as new preservative agents or UV absorbing agents. Medicated cosmetics (quasi-drug) also require animal testing if new ingredients are used.
Troy Seidle, HSI’s director of research & toxicology, who oversees the Be Cruelty-Free campaign, said: “Countries across the globe are moving toward eliminating animal testing from the beauty industry, and as a key cosmetics market, Japan has an opportunity to show real leadership. With the global in vitro testing business set to be worth $18 million by 2018, a test ban would create a powerful incentive for Japan’s science sector to develop even more advanced technologies. Japan epitomizes state-of-the-art technology, so eliminating scientifically unreliable animal tests that belong to a bygone era is the natural progression. And Japanese consumers would benefit too, because cosmetics developed using long-established ingredients and human-relevant test methods mean improved product safety.”
Public support is growing in Japan for an end to cosmetics animal testing. Diet members were presented with a giant Be Cruelty-Free pledge card signed by hundreds of citizens. The signatures were collected in collaboration with cruelty-free retailer LUSH Japan during Earth Day Tokyo 2014.
- Testing cosmetics on animals is already banned throughout the European Union, Norway, Israel and India and in recent months legislative bills have also been introduced in the United States, Australia and Brazil. In New Zealand the Parliament is considering a test ban under its review of the country’s Animal Welfare Act.
- In China animal testing for ordinary, domestically-produced cosmetics is due to become optional instead of mandatory in June. For the first time Chinese companies can choose advanced non-animal tests over outdated animal methods. IIVS senior scientist Dr. Quanshun Zhang explained the impact of China’s evolving cosmetics regulation to diet members.
- Earlier this month Chinese scientists from various sectors including national regulatory agencies, testing services, cosmetics companies and universities received training from IIVS experts in how to safety test cosmetics using state-of-the-art non-animal methods. The training was funded by HSI, the HSUS and the Human Toxicology Project Consortium.
Be Cruelty-Free Japan is part of the largest campaign in the world to end cosmetics animal testing. HSI also has Be Cruelty-Free campaigns in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Korea, New Zealand, Russia, Taiwan and Be Cruelty-Free USA is spearheaded by The Humane Society of the United States.