Mom Who Ate Poppy Seeds Sues Over Failed Drug Test
Hospital informed child welfare agency
By Newser Editors and Wire Services Suggested by T.A.R.D.I.S
Posted Mar 12, 2014 12:52 PM CDT
Poppy seeds.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – A first-time mother who says she failed a drug test while in labor because she ate poppy seeds has sued a Pittsburgh hospital, saying officials defamed her and violated her doctor-patient confidentiality by sharing the results with a child welfare agency. Rachael Devore, 31, who gave birth at Magee-Women's Hospital of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center on June 24, contends in her lawsuit that the hospital staff tested her urine while she was in labor and then turned over the "positive" drug test to county caseworkers. That led to weeks of random visits to her home.

Opiates like heroin are made from poppies, which is why the seeds can result in false positives on drug tests. But Devore said she didn't realize what prompted the failed drug test until weeks later—when she bought the same kind of bread she had eaten the day before she went into labor and saw poppy seeds when she sliced into it. "I just delivered and it's supposed to be this beautiful, wonderful, happy time and I'm being accused of something that's completely ridiculous," she says. "To be accused of physically and purposely harming your child is a very tough accusation to swallow."

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Showing 3 of 88 comments
Mar 13, 2014 8:26 PM CDT
sue win big good luck!
Mar 13, 2014 12:27 PM CDT
I always wondered about them poppy seeds ?
Mar 13, 2014 11:25 AM CDT
This absolutely can happen, and does. When I was in the Navy, one of our Chiefs ate some poppy seed cake that his wife had baked - and then he failed a drug test that revealed he had consumed an opiate. The kicker was that he was the designated guy who provided drug training and even implemented the drug tests. After the Navy tested the cake he presented, he was cleared and allowed to carry on.