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Again, fur flies over animal testing of cosmetics

Animal-rights groups are returning to a fight with cosmetic firms they believed was settled decades ago -- product testing on live animals.

The companies insist that they remain opposed to animal testing and don't use them in the U.S., but are paying for them to be done in Chinese government labs as required by that country's State Food and Drug Administration.

That stance, unchanged after several months of negotiations with animal-rights activists, prompted People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals to quietly remove Avon, Mary Kay and Estee Lauder products from its "no-test" list last fall.

The American Anti-Vivisection Society removed Mary Kay products from its "Compassionate Shopping List" in October after several months of discussions about the Chinese requirements, said society President Sue Leary. The other firms had never been on the list.

All three companies say they only use animal tests or allow them on their behalf, when "required by law," and are committed to expanding acceptance of alternative testing practices.

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