Although usually quick to recommend animal experiments for everything from asbestos to butter flavoring, a National Toxicology Program (NTP) expert panel nixed a call for animal testing of diethyl phthalate, an already thoroughly tested chemical compound widely used as a plasticizer in consumer products, including plastic packaging, cosmetics formulations, and toiletries. The NTP opted instead for a comprehensive study of data of humans.
Echoing PETA’s comments, the NTP expert panel, in what is to be hoped is a sign of a shift in attitude toward animal testing, questioned the relevance to humans of previously conducted animal experiments on DEP’s effects.
Had the unnecessary experiments been given the green light, 3,000 to 4,000 rats would have been fed or injected with DEP, then examined for changes in sexual behavior and development. At the end of the experiment, all the animals would have been killed and their reproductive organs removed for examination.