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South Korea May Be Ending Animal Testing for Cosmetics

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Reports are circulating that South Korea's Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (MAFRA) has published a "5 Year Plan for Animal Welfare" that establishes a plan to phase out animal testing for cosmetic products and eventually cosmetic ingredients.

Many of the reports are based on a press release from Cruelty-free International, one of the companies lobbying MAFRA in collaboration with Assembly Member Moon Jeong-Lim. According to the animal protection organization, Jeong-Lim was successful in getting approval for a animal testing ban for cosmetics in South Korea from MAFRA and the country's Ministry of Food and Drugs Safety (MFDS).

MAFRA reportedly based its five-year plan on Jeong-Lim's bill; however, neither a bill nor a plan can be found on MAFRA's website.

Nine alternative methods to animal tests have already been validated in Korea and two more are in the pipeline. Once these have been validated for use, the MFDS will publish official guidelines on the full set of alternatives.

A number of sources report that finished cosmetic manufacturers in South Korea no longer use animal testing, so the real breakthrough would be the banning of animal testing on ingredients. Regardless, the proposal to ban animal testing as part of MAFRA's plan needs to be approved by the MFDS, Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning as part of a consultation period before being finalized.