A Maryland woman says she failed a drug test the day she gave birth to her daughter and was reported to state social workers, all because she ate a poppy seed bagel for breakfast.
WBAL-TV in Baltimore reports that Elizabeth Eden ate a poppy seed bagel for breakfast on the morning of April 4. She went into labor later that day and went to St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson to deliver her daughter.
However, while she was in labor, a doctor told her she had tested positive for opiates.
Poppy seeds come from the same plant which is used to make opium, heroin and other drugs, so it's common for drug tests to pick up on trace amounts of opiates.
However, while the federal government measures a positive test at 2,000 nanograms a milliliter, St. Joseph Medical Center measures a positive test at 300 nanograms a milliliter. The hospital says the lower threshold for a positive test means they can treat more children born with drugs in their system — the Baltimore Sun reports that the number of babies born with drugs in their systems increased by 56.6 percent between 2006 and 2015.
Eden says the hospital refused to release her daughter to her for five days following the false positive. She also says she was assigned a caseworker, who promptly dropped the case when learning of her breakfast on the morning of April 4.
Eden isn't alone. In 2017, an Edgewood, Kentucky woman was assigned a social worker after she tested positive to opioids, saying she ate bagel chips with poppy seeds shortly before giving birth. She later filed a lawsuit against the hospital