Anti-Fertility Chemicals Found in America’s Top Cereals

A troubling new study has found that a staggering 80 percent of Americans have been exposed to anti-fertility chemicals that have been discovered in popular cereals.

The study has found that vast numbers of Americans have tested positive for a chemical that was found in Cheerios and Quaker Oats cereals.

According to the study, published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology, four out of every five Americans tested positive for the chemical.

Researchers examined urine samples from American citizens to determine their exposure to chlormequat chloride, a plant growth chemical.

Exposure to a certain chemical can lead to reduced fertility.

The chemical also harms developing fetuses even when it is present in doses that are below the acceptable levels recognized by regulatory authorities.

According to researchers, chlormequat was found in 80 percent of urine samples collected between 2017 and 2023.

Additionally, they noted a significant increase in concentrations observed in samples collected in 2023.

The study was conducted by the Environmental Working Group (EWG).

The chemical was detected in “92 percent of oat-based foods purchased in May 2023, including Quaker Oats and Cheerios,” EWG said of the findings.

According to the study, 23 out of 25 conventional oat products tested had detectable levels of chlormequat.

In addition, one in eight organic oat products and two in nine wheat products had low concentrations of chlormequat.

The study also collected 96 urine samples.

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Of those samples, 77 showed the presence of chlormequat.

These findings suggest that the subjects were likely exposed to the chemical continuously.

Chlormequat leaves the body approximately 24 hours after ingestion, the researchers note.

The percentage of samples containing chlormequat increased over time from 69% in 2017 to 74% in 2018-2022 and 90% in 2023.

The study suggested that the higher chemical concentration in 2023 samples “may reflect the likely recent introduction of chlormequat into the U.S. food supply.”

Such changes include “establishing limits on chlormequat in food in 2018 and raising those limits for oats in 2020,” it said.

“These actions permitted import and sale of agricultural products that had been treated with chlormequat, for example, from Canada.”

At present, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) only allows the use of chlormequat in the United States for ornamental crops, not for food crops.

The agency allowed the chemical to be present in imported oats in 2018—raising the allowable limits in 2020.

Following a 2019 application submitted by chlormequat manufacturer Taminco, the EPA proposed in April last year to allow the use of chlormequat on oats, barley, wheat, and triticale grown in the United States for the first time.

EWG said it “opposes the plan.”

The study suggested that if domestic use of chlormequat were approved, “chlormequat levels would likely continue to increase in oats, wheat, and other grain foods, leading to higher levels of exposure for the U.S. general population.”

The research was funded by the Skyline Foundation.

The authors declared no competing interests in the study.

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By Frank Bergman

Frank Bergman is a political/economic journalist living on the east coast. Aside from news reporting, Bergman also conducts interviews with researchers and material experts and investigates influential individuals and organizations in the sociopolitical world.

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