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The Epoch TimesBreakfast Cereals Scrutinized for Pesticide That May Harm Reproduction

Rising Prevalence and Implications of Chlormequat in the US Food Supply

Recent research highlights a concerning trend in the presence of chlormequat, a pesticide not approved for use on food crops in the US, in the nation’s food supply, particularly in popular breakfast cereals. This study, the first of its kind to measure chlormequat in human urine across multiple states, underscores the urgent need for enhanced transparency and monitoring of food safety regulations, given the compound’s documented reproductive and developmental toxicity.

Key Points:

  • Chlormequat chloride, primarily used as a plant growth regulator, has been linked to reproductive issues in animal studies and is found in significant quantities in popular oat-based breakfast cereals in the US
  • Despite its prohibition on US food crops, chlormequat has entered the American food chain through permissible levels set for imported grains and potential EPA regulations changes.
  • A 2024 study discovered chlormequat in 80% of urine samples from participants in three US regions, indicating widespread exposure among the population.
  • Analysis of oat and wheat-based food products revealed 92% of conventional oat-based foods contained chlormequat; brands like Quaker Oats and Cheerios were included.
  • Regulatory actions taken by the EPA in 2018 and subsequent increases in allowable chlormequat levels may have contributed to its prevalence in food products.
  • Health concerns related to chlormequat include impaired reproduction and developmental issues in animal studies, with impacts such as decreased sperm motility and testosterone levels.
  • Recent regulatory proposals may increase chlormequat use on domestically grown crops, raising concerns about broader exposure and health implications.
  • The study calls for immediate action towards greater transparency and stricter monitoring to protect public health and ensure food safety.

According to the US Geological Survey, pesticides similar to chlormequat have been detected in more than 90% of waterways in agricultural areas across the United States, underscoring the pervasive issue of chemical residues entering human environments.

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