US soldiers have been issued with a warning from the Pentagon over the consumption of poppy-seeded bagels, muffins and other baked goods.
In a recent letter to troops, Gilbert Cisneros Jr, Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, warned that poppy seeds could potentially cause soldiers to fail their routine drugs tests due to opiate levels.
Some poppy seed varieties used within baking can contain trace amounts of codeine and morphine as a result of the farming process.
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If soldiers eat enough poppy-seed goods they could test positive for codeine in uranalysis, which could result in their dismissal from the military.
Cisneros said the consumption of poppy-seeds could cause issues for “the Department’s ability to identify illicit drug use.”
As a result, Cisneros ordered troops to stop eating foods containing poppy seeds, until the military can find a solution.
The Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness said: “Out of an abundance of caution, I find protecting service members and the integrity of the drug testing program requires a warning to avoid poppy seeds.
“The Military Departments are hereby directed to notify service members to avoid consumption of all poppy seeds to include food products and baked goods containing poppy seeds.”
This is not the first time poppy seeds have been raised as a problematic food in the US.
Pregnant women have similarly faced false accusations over drug use after eating poppy-seeded goods before routine toxicology checks.
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The consumption has resulted in false positives and triggered social services to withhold newborn babies from parents until they can prove their innocence.
In 2010, child services took a newborn baby away from their parents in Pennsylvania for five days after the mother tested positive for drug use from eating a poppy-seed bagel.
The incident eventually resulted in the parents receiving a $143,00 settlement from a lawsuit filed against child services for acting on the false poppy-seed-induced positive.
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