Poppy seed bagel triggers drug test (again), CPS gets involved (again)

Sitcom plots come to life: mom of newborn reported to state after poppy seed bagel triggers positive opiate test, baby kept in hospital for five days [Zuri Davis, Reason; Chaunie Brusie, Everyday Family; Baltimore County, Md.]

Longtime readers of Overlawyered know that this is not the first time around for this fact pattern. See “Mom ate poppy seed dressing, state holds baby for 75 days” and earlier; Radley Balko reported in 2014 that two lawsuits involving the same western Pennsylvania hospital and county children’s services department were both settled for substantial sums and a third case had been filed against another hospital in the same region. See also re-jailing of halfway house inmate from 2010 (Florida), as well as Dubai airport madness.


  • Don’t the Mythbusters have any fans in the public service? The MBs confirmed the poppy seed drug test thing in their first season.

    • You are assuming that they aren’t aware of the poppy seed false positive issue. It’s far more likely that they just don’t care.

  • The doc in the story has statist instincts. We can’t have the false negatives due to setting the bar too low. So we’ll just kidnap kids, and maybe they will be returned to the innocent parents.

    This is really evil stuff.

  • I had a boss who had worked in the White House during Bush 41 and he told me that was practically the first thing they all did when they left government service – went to the deli and got a poppy bagel or roll. If they ate them and had a drug test, there would be Trouble!

  • Wow. I’d heard the poppy seed drug test false positive thing in high school and thought it was just a dumb urban legend. Had no idea it was real with actual consequences for people.

  • I recall a story about an actual drug addict who kept failing his drug tests and claiming false positives being ordered by a judge to stop eating poppy seed bagels. (Which he may not have been actually eating, of course.)

    I couldn’t find that story, but I did find that in Medina County, Ohio, it is a condition of probation that you not eat poppy seeds.