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Alarming News About Quaker Oats

Alarming News About Quaker Oats

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Toxic Chemical Discovered in the Food Chain

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.

What is Chlormequat?

In the United States, chlormequat is permitted exclusively for use on ornamental plants and is prohibited for application on food crops grown within the country. Therefore, the presence of chlormequat in Cheerios and other oat-based foods sold in the United States raises questions regarding its introduction into the food supply chain.

What Does it Do?
It prevents grains for growing tall so that their tassels will stand upright and sturdy.

How Did Chlormequat Enter the US Food Supply?

In April 2018 the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) allowed chlormequat into the food supply by establishing acceptable food tolerance levels for chlormequat chloride in imported oats, wheat, barley, and select animal products. This action allowed for the importation and sale of those agricultural products even if treated with chlormequat.

Consequently, U.S. consumers may unknowingly be ingesting tainted imported foods—potentially exposing themselves to chlormequat or its residues.

In 2020, the allowable chlormequat levels were increased for oats. In April of 2023, the EPA proposed allowing the first-ever use of chlormequat on barley, oat, wheat, and triticale grown in the United States. If passed, exposure levels may increase, raising concerns about its implications on health and food safety.

What are the Risks?
Fndings were observed in 1999 when male mice exposed to chlormequat through food or drinking water demonstrated “significantly diminished fertilization and cleavage rate” of sperm, indicating a decrease in sperm function, according to a study in Reproductive Toxicology.

Why the New Research?
The goal of the 2024 study was to assess the impact of the EPA’s decision to permit chlormequat in the United States food supply.

What do you think? 

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