Breakfast Cereals Scrutinized for Pesticide That May Harm Reproduction

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from The Epoch Times:

Linked to reproductive concerns, Chlormequat is not approved for use on U.S. crops—however, it is entering our food supply through imports.

Imagine starting your day with a bowl of cereal that could be silently affecting your family’s health. Recent studies show that chlormequat, a pesticide linked to reproductive issues, has been found in popular breakfast cereals like Quaker Oats and Cheerios. As this substance infiltrates the American food supply, the potential risks to our health and future generations loom larger, raising urgent questions about the safety of our everyday food choices.

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In a study published in the Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology on Feb. 15, 2024, researchers revealed alarming findings regarding the prevalence of chlormequat.

Chlormequat was detected in the urine of 4 out of 5 people or 80 percent of Americans tested. Additionally, 92 percent of oat-based foods tested contained chlormequat, including Quaker Oats and Cheerios.

This study—the first to report urinary chlormequat measurements in adults living in the United States—highlights the possible widespread presence of chlormequat and the necessity for transparency and further investigation into potential health implications for consumers.

 What Is Chlormequat?

Chlormequat, widely known in the salt form as chlormequat chloride, is an agricultural chemical first registered in the United States in 1962 as a plant growth regulator. Plant growth regulators are chemical substances employed to control and regulate plant growth, flowering, and fruit yield, according to a 2006 study in the International Journal of Andrology.

Chlormequat application in grain crops results in reduced stem height, thereby minimizing the occurrence of lodging (bending over), which can reduce the efficiency of the harvesting process.

Chlormequat is the world’s most common plant growth regulator according to a 2020 study published in Toxicology. “Chlormequat is often the most detected pesticide residue in grains and cereals, as documented by monitoring surveys spanning several years,” according to the 2024 study. It is approved for use in Europe and parts of North America.

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