Benzoic acid (BA) was administered in the diet to male and female Sprague Dawley Crl:CD(SD) rats in an OECD Test Guideline 443 Extended One-Generation Reproductive Toxicity (EOGRT) study to test for effects that may occur as a result of pre- and postnatal exposure. The study included cohorts of F offspring to evaluate potential effects of benzoic acid on reproduction, the developing immune system, and the developing neurological system with the inclusion of learning and memory assessments. Benzoic acid was incorporated in the diet at concentrations of 0, 7,500, 11,500, and 15,000 mg/kg diet (ppm). These concentrations were selected based on the results of preliminary studies, and based on average food consumption, were intended to supply BA doses of approximately 0, 500, 750, and 1000 mg/kg bw/day. To avoid exceeding these target dose levels, the dietary concentrations were adjusted (based on historical control body weight and food consumption data) to maintain the target mg/kg bw/day dose levels during life periods when food intake per unit of body weight was increased to support milk production by females (gestation and lactation) and rapid pup growth (post-weaning). In the parental (F) generation, survival, clinical observations, organ weights, pathology, hematology, serum chemistry, urinalysis, and bile acids were unaffected by BA administration. Reproductive parameters were also unaffected by BA administration. In the F generation, survival, growth and developmental landmarks, organ weights, pathology, immunotoxicity assessment, and neurotoxicity and neurobehavioral parameters such as auditory startle response, locomotor activity, learning and memory assessments were unaffected by BA administration, as were clinical pathology (hematology, serum chemistry, urinalysis, bile acids and thyroid hormones) and reproductive performance. Similarly, no adverse effects or systemic toxicity were observed in the F generation. Overall, the highest dietary concentration (15,000 ppm), providing a dosage of approximately 1000 mg/kg bw/day, was the NOAEL for benzoic acid in this EOGRT study.
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