Exploring the Impact of Chlormequat, a Chemical Found in Quaker Oats and Cheerios, on Fertility

Credits: Fast Company

A recent study by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has identified the presence of the chemical pesticide chlormequat in oat-based foods sold in the United States, raising questions about potential health impacts for consumers.

Chlormequat, recognized as a growth regulator for plants, is approved for use on commercial cereal crops in Canada and various other countries, and these crops can be imported into the U.S.

The EWG’s investigation discovered chlormequat in 92% of 25 non-organic oat-based food samples tested, including well-known brands such as Quaker Oats and Cheerios.

Chlormequat, a Chemical Found in Quaker Oats (Credits: CBS News)

Additionally, the study analyzed 96 urine samples collected from 2017 to 2023, detecting the chemical in 77 of them, with levels showing an upward trend in recent years.

The group cites animal studies linking chlormequat to potential adverse effects on fertility, harm to the reproductive system, and altered fetal growth.

Despite these findings, experts urge caution and advise against fixating on immediate concerns, emphasizing the need for further in-depth and prospective studies to fully comprehend the potential implications for human health.

Dr. Tomer Singer, Chief of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Northwell Health, acknowledges the significance of the EWG study as a preliminary step in the right direction.

However, he emphasizes that it is too early to draw definitive conclusions, calling for more extensive and time-consuming prospective studies.

Dr. Singer suggests a practical approach for individuals trying to conceive, emphasizing the importance of a healthy, balanced diet, including the consumption of fruits and vegetables, while awaiting further research outcomes.

As discussions around the study continue, staying informed and adopting a well-rounded dietary approach remain crucial considerations for concerned consumers.

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