Bummer, Urban Decay

Sunjo sent me the news that Urban Decay has decided to sell to China. China - the very China that reserves the right to test cosmetics on animals before they can hit their market.  Well, their SFDA (State Food & Drug Administration) does.

From the Urban Decay posting:

For those of you unfamiliar with China’s policies, the sticking point is this: the Chinese government reserves the right to conduct animal testing with cosmetic products before the products are approved for use by Chinese citizens. The government has not told us if they have exercised this right with our products. So, our brand does not test on animals, but the Chinese government might conduct a one-time test using our products. 

They were stripped of their Leaping Bunny certification.

Urban Decay makes a few arguments for having their own spot in the Chinese marketplace, stating that having that will buy them a "seat at the table" in terms of pushing for change.  It seems they're alluding to influencing Chinese consumers to care about animal testing policies which will influence their spending and then hopefully the governmental stance on animal testing for cosmetics.

urban decay

I'm unsure what their plans are for doing that once in the market and how necessary it is for them to be in the market to do so.  (That was question I wrote in on their survey for the chat that's scheduled in two weeks.)  I am not sure what the answer is regarding influencing change on cosmetic animal testing in China but I don't get the sense it boils down to selling in China.

I did a minor amount of poking around in that area and found an article from February of this year mentioning that Mary Kay (and Avon) was called out by PETA for selling in China and consequently removed from PETA's Cruelty Free list.

The funny thing that popped up in that article was that Mary Kay, Avon and PETA financially support IIVS, who are trying to ramp up international outreach about non-animal tests for China.  (They hired the person who was previously responsible for developing animal testing alternatives at Mary Kay for the outreach role, actually.)  The article states that with the support of some cosmetics companies last April various Chinese health and regulatory agencies (including the SFDA) set up meetings to present and promote non-animal alternatives.  The most hopeful quote from the article was this:

The summary said it was clear that recognized alternative methods "would gradually be approved by the SFDA for evaluation of cosmetics."

Guillermo said, "We're hoping everyone can step it up so that it doesn't take 10 years for China to validate non-animal tests. It shouldn't take that long to adopt methods that don't poison animals."
I mean, that sounds more relevant to pushing for animal testing policy change in China versus selling your now-animal-tested-by-the-government product in the Chinese market, right?


  1. So.....they're saying whatever happens during the process is ultimately less important than a long term maybe/possible outcome? Far out. I was under the delusion that things were getting better for animal rights, not moving backwards. I find it difficult to believe that cosmetics companies no matter how honourable their intentions, are really going to be able to influence a country that has a very long, consistent and currently poor attitude towards animal exploitation. So much Chinese medicine relies on the poaching and annihilation of endangered animals as it is!!!!!! Anyway, that's just my view.

    1. I am with you! I don't understand their logic either.

  2. That is very unfortunate. I don't understand how companies who build themselves up as cruelty free would do something like this.

  3. I'm still pretty mad about this. Seems like money is really their top motivation.


Post a Comment

Hey there! Thanks for leaving a comment. Please don't apologize for writing a lot - I like long thoughtful comments so bring on the "wall o' text" if you wish and have no shame.

Short comments are, of course, also always welcome.