A recent study conducted by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has revealed the presence of a toxic chemical, chlormequat, in popular oat-based foods such as Cheerios and Quaker Oats. Chlormequat, is an agricultural chemical used to modify plant growth.
Past research has linked chlormequat to adverse reproductive and developmental effects in animals. More specifically, the studies have linked the chemical to reduced fertility, altered fetal growth, and delayed puberty.
EWG’s recent research also highlighted a troubling trend: Chlormequat has been detected in a significant majority of Americans tested, with detection rates steadily rising over the years. In 2017, chlormequat was detected in only 69% of EWG’s study participants; however, in 2023 it was detected in 90% of participants. Considering the chemical’s short half-life in the body (24 hours), the findings suggest ongoing exposure among the population.