Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

Due for a drug test? Stay away from poppy-seed bagels!

How Does a Poppy Seed Bagel Trigger a Positive Drug Test Credit Shutterstock
Samantha Long | 11 August, 2018, 19:05

Elaine Benes could get behind this: A new mom is asking a Maryland hospital to revamp its approach to drug tests for expectant moms after her poppy seed bagel breakfast resulted in a false positive for opiates.

The woman, Elizabeth Eden, ate a poppy seed bagel the morning she gave birth to her daughter in April, according to local news station WBAL.

"It was traumatizing", Elizabeth Eden tells WBAL of the saga that began when her doctor alerted her to the result of her drug test while she was in labor.

The Department of Health and Human Services raised the limit to 2,000 nanograms per milliliter ― meaning, according to one forensic scientist who the New York Times interviewed, that you could eat three large poppy-seed bagels and still pass the test. But maybe the real moral of the story is to stay away from poppy seeds if you're subject to random drug testing, or if you're applying for a job. However, they denied her request and reported her to the state. Then it dawns on her: was it because of the poppy seed bagel she had for breakfast? Eden had previously heard that poppy seeds, which come from the opium poppy plant, could cause misleading results.

Chelsea Misfit Michy Batshuayi Completes Season-Long Loan Move to Valencia
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"It is unlikely that a single poppy seed roll, or even a dozen rolls, would result in an individual ingesting enough morphine to have a pharmacological effect".

Therefore, it's possible for people to have a false positive test for the drug after consuming poppy seed-covered pasteries. "It's not very common, but it can happen", Nelson told Live Science. As she had read that seeds which come from opium poppies - can lead to false positives on drug tests, she requested the staff to run the test again.

In a 1987 study, five members of a lab baked cookies containing about 1 teaspoon (5 milliliters) each of a poppy-seed filling that they bought from the grocery store. I was on a Pitocin drip, and the doctor came in and said, 'you've tested positive for opiates'.

For years, experts have confirmed that poppy seeds can register as opiates in urine samples, as long as they were eaten within 48 hours of the test. In addition, labs use different cutoffs for a "positive" result, and a lower cutoff would be more likely to trigger a positive result, he said.

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