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IPFS News Link • Food

Americans Exposed to Fertility-Lowering Chemicals in Cheerios, Quaker Oats

• - Dr Mercola

In a pilot study1,2,3 conducted by the Environmental Working Group and published in the February 15, 2024, issue of the Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology, findings revealed that 80% of Americans tested positive for chlormequat chloride, an agricultural chemical used as a pesticide and plant growth regulator.4

Moreover, the chemical was detected in 92% of oat-based foods examined, including popular brands such as Quaker Oats and Cheerios. As reported by the EWG:5

"The groundbreaking analysis of chlormequat in the bodies of people in the U.S. rings alarm bells, because the chemical is linked to reproductive and developmental problems in animal studies, suggesting the potential for similar harm to humans."

EPA Considers Expanding Chlormequat Use in Crops

In the U.S., chlormequat chloride is currently only registered for use as a plant growth regulator (PGR) in ornamentals, but the Environmental Protection Agency recently proposed to expand the registration to barley, oat, triticale (a hybrid cereal grain derived from the crossbreeding of wheat and rye) and wheat as well, to give farmers another tool to increase yields.6 As explained by the EPA, chlormequat:7

"… works to control plant size by blocking the hormones that stimulate growth prior to bloom. In small grains like wheat, barley, oats, and triticale, lodging (the bending over or breakage of small grain stems) is a major production issue.

Lodging can severely limit grain yield and harvestability and have detrimental effects on grain quality. As a PGR, chlormequat chloride application decreases the height of the grain plant stem, resulting in reduced lodging and potentially increased grain yield."