80% of Americans test positive for chemical in Cheerios, Quaker Oats linked to infertility, delayed puberty

February 16, 2024

Four out of five Americans are being exposed to a little-known chemical found in popular oat-based foods—including Cheerios and Quaker Oats—that is linked to reduced fertility, altered fetal growth, and delayed puberty, reports the New York Post.

The Environmental Working Group has published a study in the Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology that found a staggering 80% of Americans tested positive for a harmful pesticide called chlormequat.

The “highly toxic agricultural chemical” is federally allowed to be used on oats and other grains imported to the United States, according to the EWG. When applied to oat and grain crops, chlormequat alters a plant’s growth—preventing it from bending over and thus making it easier to harvest.

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 published alongside the group’s findings.

General Mills, which makes Cheerios; and PepsiCo, which makes Quaker Oats, didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Research contact: @nypost