Opiates in our food supply

Poppy seed pods and flowers

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Congress Must Act to Prevent Harm from Contaminated Poppy Seeds

Poppy seeds and heroin originate from the same plant - the opium poppy. The seeds themselves naturally contain negligible amounts of opiate alkaloids, but other parts of the plant produce substantial amounts, including morphine, codeine, and thebaine. Because seeds can become contaminated with opiates from the plant’s sap and dust during harvest, thorough washing and processing are needed to reduce the opiate content of the seeds to safe levels.

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