Infertility-linked chemical found in Cheerios and Quaker Oats

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WASHINGTON, Feb 20, (Agencies): Cheerios and Quaker Oats have been found to contain a chemical, chlormequat, which is banned for use on edible plants in the United States, reveals a recent study published in the Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology. The study further indicates that 80% of Americans have been exposed to this chemical.

Chlormequat, identified as a chloride salt by the National Library of Medicine, is officially registered for use on ornamental plants in greenhouses and nurseries. While approved for use on edible plants in some countries, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) permitted the importation of plants treated with this chemical in 2018, according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG).

In response to the findings, General Mills, the manufacturer of Cheerios, assured that all their products comply with regulatory requirements, emphasizing their commitment to food safety. However, the study raises concerns as chlormequat, based on animal studies published by the National Library of Medicine, is linked to reduced fertility, reproductive issues, delayed puberty, and adverse effects on embryonic and postnatal health.

A report from the EWG, detailing the study’s findings, states that the chemical was detected in 92% of oat-based foods purchased in May 2023, including popular brands like Quaker Oats and Cheerios. This revelation underscores potential health implications and raises questions about the presence of banned chemicals in widely-consumed food products.

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