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Updated February 16th, 2024 at 13:02 IST

Having Oats-Based Meal? 80% Americans Test Positive For Chemical Causing Infertility | Details Here

A new study found that four out of five Americans are being exposed to a little-known chemical found in popular oat-based foods.

Reported by: Digital Desk
US study finds 80% Americans test positive for chemicals found in popular oats brands
US study finds 80% Americans test positive for chemicals found in popular oats brands | Image:Unsplash / Representative
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Washington –  A new study found that four out of five Americans are being exposed to a little-known chemical found in popular oat-based foods that has the potential to reduce fertility, alter fetal growth and delay puberty. The jarring warning was raised in a study conducted by The Environmental Working Group which published their finding in the Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology on Thursday. The group found that a whopping 80% of Americans have tested positive for a harmful pesticide called chlormequat. The group claimed that this “highly toxic agricultural chemical” is usually used in oats and other grains that are imported to the United States. EWG also added that products that carry these chemicals are actually federally allowed to hit the US markets. 

“Just as troubling, we detected the chemical in 92% of oat-based foods purchased in May 2023, including Quaker Oats and Cheerios,” the nonprofit organization said in a report which was published alongside the group's findings. The US-based food company called General Mills, which makes Cheerios, and PepsiCo and is the parent company of Quaker Oats did not immediately respond to the matter. The chemical in question is chlormequat whose excess can affect the human body.  The group stated that chlormequat was detected in 69% of study participants in 2017, the number edged higher to 74%, between 2018 and 2022 and eventually spiked to 90% in 2023. 

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Group calls Biden's decision dangerous 

The EWG noted that the US Environmental Protection Agency under President Biden’s administration proposed allowing the first-ever use of chlormequat on barley, oat, triticale and wheat grown in the United States. The activist organisation responsible for the study stated that it opposes the decision and called it “dangerous”. It is important to note that chlormequat typically leaves the body within 24 hours. However, such a high concentration of positive tests indicated that Americans are regularly exposed to pesticides making the matter concerning.  The EWG also tested 20 more oat-based foods for chlormequat, plus seven organic, 13 non-organic, and nine wheat-based products. The US Food and Drug Administration has yet to respond to the matter.  “EWG recommendation for shoppers is to buy organic oat products since these oats are grown without the use of toxic pesticides such as chlormequat and glyphosate,” EWG’s vice president of science investigations, Olga Naidenko, told The New York Post after the study was made public. 

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Published February 16th, 2024 at 12:35 IST

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