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Q: Urine drug testing ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Urine drug testing
Category: Science > Instruments and Methods
Asked by: durangoskier-ga
List Price: $15.00
Posted: 31 Aug 2006 15:32 PDT
Expires: 30 Sep 2006 15:32 PDT
Question ID: 761222
Is it possible for the ingestion of poppy seeds to result in a
positive test for opiates?  Secondly, the lab claims their GC/MS
method rules out poppy seeds.  I have learned that the initial method
of testing can be fooled by poppy seeds but the GC/MS method cannot. 
I have had a positive drug test for opiates and I know for a fact that
I did not injest any opiates.  I did, however, eat some poppy seed
muffins prior to the test. I had never heard of this until this test
came up.  Can anyone help?
Subject: Re: Urine drug testing
Answered By: kriswrite-ga on 31 Aug 2006 15:53 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello durangoskier~

According to Dominion Diagnostics, "the molecular structure of
morphine is identical whether it is derived from heroin,
pharmaceutical morphine, codeine or poppy seeds," and  a GC/MS test
cannot tell from what source the morphine may be coming from.
(Frequently Asked Questions: )

PubMed also reports that "in urine, all on-site tests were...positive
to morphine by GC/MS...morphine was detected by GC/MS in all cases."
("Poppy seed consumption and toxicological analysis of blood and urine

On the other hand, the Varian website claims that "eating poppy seeds
(e.g., a poppy seed bagel) can result in a 'true' positive result for
opiates, more specifically, morphine. At the new cutoff levels
required by the federal government in testing for opiates and the
subsequent search for a metabolite that is exclusive to heroin called
6-acetylmorphine (6-AM) during the confirmation testing phase, it is
very unlikely a false positive for heroin will occur." (FAQ: )

Nonetheless, this all depends on how much poppy seed is consumed, as
"Poppy Seed Bagels and Urine Tests" explains:

"A preplacement urine screened positive for opiates by
radioimmunoassay and EMIT. Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry
(GC/MS) identified 487 ng/ml morphine. The individual denied opioid
abuse. Inquiry by the examining medical center revealed a diet
consisting of a Burger King hamburger the night before the specimen
was taken and a breakfast, apparently usual, of two bagels from the
university snack bar...A toxicologist volunteered to eat the bagel and
collect urine post dose. The first urine, three hours post dose,
resulted in an opiate level, as determined by Roche radioimmunoassay
(RIA), of 250 ng/ml. By six hours post dose the level had dropped to
about 60 ng/ml and was negative (sensitivity 30 ng/ml) by 12 hours
post dose.

"Thus, using the DHHS opiate cutoff of 300 ng/ml, a person ingesting a
single bagel would be reported negative. The individual in question
ate a two bagel breakfast and had urine levels at approximately 500
ng/ml..."  (

Therefore, it appears that if you consume enough poppy seed, it is
possible for a GC/MS test to pick up opiates in your sample.

Kind regards,

GC/MS "poppy seeds"
durangoskier-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Very good answer - thanks for the quick response.

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