A company in the U.K. has developed a new type of poppy seed with lower morphine content.
It turns out what many people think is an urban myth is actually true: Eating poppy seeds can sometimes cause people who are drug free to test positive for morphine. Luckily, science has stepped in to solve this pesky side effect of eating one of the most-beloved bagel and muffin toppings.
According to Snopes, a whole slew of people failed drugs after eating poppy seeds in the Nineties and early Aughts (one woman even successfully sued after her newborn was removed from her custody following a drug test taken after she ate a poppy seed bagel), even though federal regulations were changed so that a positive test would have to contain 2000 ng/mL of morphine, eliminating most cases of a false positive.
Just last month even, Munchies reported that a television presenter named Angela Rippon tested positive for opiates after eating a loaf of poppy seed bread.
In order to combat the prospect of failed drug tests due to poppy seed consumption, a U.K. based company called FDL has created a poppy seed blend that eliminates any chance that morphine will show up.
FDL, which creates “specialist ingredients for the food, beverage, fragrance, and chemical” companies has developed a new type of poppy seed that contains morphine levels below 20 parts per million. Traditional poppy seeds typically contain 900 parts per million, according to Food Navigator.
Dr. Gareth Elwin, a divisional director at FDL, spoke to Food Navigator about the new poppy seed blend, which the company hopes to sell to bread companies in the U.K. He says that they were able to develop the new type of poppy seed by blending together seeds with a low morphine content that are grown in Eastern Europe, with those more commonly grown in the U.K.
“For the baking companies, they have been concerned about this for a while because it has the potential to have a negative impact on their brand image," Elwin explained to Food Navigator. He claims that FDL has already signed a deal with a major bread company to use the new poppy seeds on their products.
It might be a while until you’re able to eat poppy seeds stress-free here in America, but regardless, there are only a few grams of poppy seeds on foods that use the topping, meaning you’d only be consuming a few micrograms of morphine anyway.
If you’re still worried, at least now you know that FDL’s poppy seeds will ensure that you’ll never be in danger of losing your dream job over something as simple as a bagel.