Should You Be Worried About Fertility-Damaging Chemicals In Your Oats?

Why the recent news about chlormequat isn’t nearly as scary as you might’ve heard

Gideon M-K; Health Nerd


Pictured: Safe, unless you’re a celiac. Photo by micheile henderson on Unsplash

Humans have a love/hate relationship with modern farming techniques. Most of us wouldn’t be alive today if we hadn’t invented things like pesticides and herbicides, but also there is quite a lot of history showing that overuse of these chemicals is disastrous for our health.

This tentative relationship is very clear this week, with numerous headlines proclaiming that nasty chemicals are making us all infertile. Specifically, the media stories are about a new study that has apparently shown that 80% of Americans have the little-known chemical chlormequat in their urine, and that this chemical is also present in many common brands containing oats that you’d find on grocery shelves.

But as with many of these stories, the hype far outweighs the findings. Yes, there are some chemical residues in common foodstuffs, but these are almost certainly safe and well under regulatory limits.

Pictured: Almost certainly safe. Photo by Łukasz Rawa on Unsplash

The Study