If you're an everything bagel fan, you may have experienced the shock of taking a work-mandated drug test, only to fail it because of poppy seeds. However, that awkward situation may soon be a thing of the past, because a British company has engineered poppy seeds that contain comparably low amounts of morphine that won’t trigger a false positive. The Washington Post reports that FDL, a company that "supplies the food service industry with specialized ingredients," decided to create the seeds after a "number of high-profile incidents" that led to positive test results. FDL's seeds have morphine levels at approximately 20 parts per million, and the average regular poppy seeds have 900 parts.
According to The New York Times, testing can rule out the biggest offender, heroin, but not other opiates. If you eat a lot of baked goods and dishes with normal poppy seeds, you can test in a range that could get you fired. "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," FDL divisional director Gareth Elwin told FoodNavigator.
Elwin added that poppy seeds' sordid reputation surrounding failed drug tests "should not be used as a reason to reduce or remove this popular seed in bakery products, but should force the UK bakery industry to reassess" their financial prioritizing in sourcing.
Not like we’d be able to give up poppy seeds anyway, but this is a major relief. Though if you're getting drug tested soon, you should still steer clear of everything bagels for the time being. Elwin says that FDL has signed a deal with a bread company. No word yet on whether the seeds will be used by any major companies anytime soon, but here’s hoping Whole Foods—or should we say Amazon?—gets on board.