By Sydney Evans, Alexis Temkin, Ph.D., and Olga Naidenko, Ph.D.
- Environmental Working Group (EWG) commissioned lab tests of 14 popular oat-based cereals, granola and other everyday products and found concerning amounts of the chemical chlormequat.
- Chlormequat exposure in animal studies has caused a host of reproductive and other health problems, suggesting the potential for harm to human health.
- Unless and until federal regulators act to get chlormequat out of our food, buying organic can help reduce your potential exposure to the chemical.
A new EWG investigation finds for the first time troubling concentrations of the toxic agricultural chemical chlormequat in oat-based products sold in the U.S., including everyday brands marketed to adults and children. The chemical may be harmful to human health.
Chlormequat was discovered in all but one of 13 non-organic oat-based cereals, granola and other products in EWG-commissioned tests conducted by an independent laboratory.
Eleven products contained chlormequat levels higher than the amount we think is safe for children’s health, and one sample contained exactly that amount.
This level — EWG’s health benchmark — is 30 parts per billion, or ppb, equivalent to a blade of grass on a football field. It’s the most chlormequat we think someone can eat every day without facing potential health risks. The benchmark is based on a typical serving size.
This EWG standard derives from studies in animals that showed chlormequat exposure during pregnancy altered growth and development in early life….