Chinese Symposia on Alternatives to Animal Testing
The growing international interest in non-animal testing methods was demonstrated recently during a series of symposia held in the People's Republic of China. Between April 11th and 15th, Chinese scientists and regulators organized three major meetings which were held in Beijing and Guangzhou. Dr. Rodger Curren (IIVS) and Dr. Brian Jones (Mary Kay Cosmetics) were invited to the symposia and gave presentations on behalf of the IIVS Science
The First International Symposium on Cosmetics - Alternatives to Animal Experimentation for Cosmetics took place on April 11-12 in Beijing. The meeting was organized by the China Cosmetic Research Center with major support from the Food Licensing Department of the SFDA - the department which regulates cosmetics in China. The purpose of the symposium was to increase communication and cooperation within the international cosmetic community and to remove technology barriers to cosmetic safety assessment. The symposium had over 100 attendees and speakers from the SFDA, Beijing Technology and Business University, China CDC, Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau, and industry speakers from Asia, Europe and the United States. It was clear during the meeting that internationally recognized alternative methods would gradually be approved by the SFDA for evaluation of cosmetics.
Two days later the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention of Guangdong Province, and the Laboratory Animal Center of Southern Medical University organized the International Symposium on Technology and Application of Alternatives to Animal Testing. This meeting brought together over 100 delegates from industry and several CDCs (where much of the safety testing of chemicals and cosmetics is conducted) to discuss the current state of the art of non-animal testing, and research/validation efforts by the CDC in this area. The meeting also included a tour and laboratory demonstration of several assay systems by the CDC, as well as a demonstration of reconstructed human skin produced in China by L'Oreal.
The third meeting took place at the Food Lab of Guangdong Inspection and Quarantine Technology Center which supports the administrative functions overseeing import and export of cosmetics in China. This laboratory has been extremely active in helping set National Standards for alternative testing methods such as 3T3 NRU phototoxicity,
Dr. Brian Jones of Mary Kay gives a presentation on the BCOP assay during the meetings in China.
keratinocyte cytotoxicity, and the mouse embryonic stem cell test. The advantages of scientific collaboration between IIVS (and other industry laboratories) and the Technology Center was an important discussion topic.
At each of these venues Dr. Curren presented the "Routine Use of Non-Animal Methods by Cosmetic and Personal Care Product Manufacturers in the United States" and Dr. Jones presented information on the Bovine Cornea Opacity and Permeability Assay. The discussions and interactions with numerous Chinese scientists and government regulators were extremely encouraging, and it would not be surprising to see China quickly become an important player in the growth of in vitro methods internationally.