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We Don’t Want Chlormequat in our Food

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) sounded the alarm several years ago about the health risks associated the use of the pesticide chlormequat. Chlormequat is a petrochemical that can disrupt fetal growth and harm the reproductive system. This pesticide is a highly toxic agricultural chemical that works by altering plant growth. When Chlormequat is applied to oats and grain crops while they are growing, it stops the plants from bending over, which can make harvesting grains more difficult. 


Animal studies show chlormequat can damage the reproductive system and even disrupt fetal growth, creating concerns about how ingesting it might harm babies and young children. Many parents give Cheerios to their babies, which poses a risk to babies, who have not yet fully developed a robust digestive system. Equally important, parents should be extremely cautious introducing honey from Honey Nut Cheerios to babies, due to the risk of infant botulism. Botulism spores can reproduce in a babies digestive tract and can cause muscle weakness and affect muscle movement.


To make matters worse, despite the health risks associated with using chlormequat, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), proposed a rule in 2023 that would allow chlormequat to be applied to barley, oat, triticale, and wheat crops. You can learn more about the health risks associated with chlormequat in our foods by reviewing the short video clip provided by the EWG. The Environmental Working Group aims to shine a spotlight on harmful agricultural practices and industry loopholes that pose a risk to our health and the health of our environment.   


YouTube Video Clip -




The Environmental Working Group (EWG). (2024). New peer-reviewed EWG study finds little-known toxic crop chemical in four out of five people tested. Retrieved from:


Van Horn NL, Street M. Infantile Botulism. [Updated 2023 Jun 12]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2024 Jan. Retrieved from:

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