South Korea passes law to mandate alternatives to animal testing

HSI welcomes the move

South Korea has passed a law mandating the use of non-animal alternative tests for cosmetics. The alternative methods will have to be accepted by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety.

Humane Society International’s #BeCrueltyFree Korea campaign has welcomed the move as a promising first step. Although, the group warned that approved alternatives must be adopted swiftly in Korea in order for the new law to effectively reduce the number of animals suffering as a result of cosmetics testing.

Animal testing is expected to continue in Korea wherever non-animal alternative methods are not yet available.

The ultimate goal of #BeCrueltyFree remains a full ban on cosmetics animal testing. Claire Mansfield, Global Campaigns Director for HSI’s #BeCrueltyFree, said: “Korea’s new law is a promising first step towards ending cosmetics animal testing, but it is by no means the end of the road. Increasing the acceptance of validated alternatives must be a priority if Korea is to embrace the animal welfare, scientific, economic and efficiency benefits of 21st century research methods.”

Mansfield added: “Phase two of our effort here sees us expanding our alliance with South Korean scientists to accelerate the pace of change, and working with members of the General Assembly and relevant ministries to secure increased public funding for alternatives development to fill remaining gaps, not only for cosmetics, but other regulated product sectors as well. Replacing out-dated animal tests with human biology-based approaches is where the future of science is headed, producing more reliable results in a fraction of the time. So we’ll be working hard to ensure that Korea invests in these state-of-the-art technologies.”

The global in vitro testing market is expected to be worth up to $9bn by 2017. Countries in the EU have made-up the largest share of this market since 2013. This growth is largely attributed to the cosmetics animal testing ban now in place.