Woman Who Lost Her Child Thanks to Poppy Seed Bagel Settles Lawsuit

A woman has settled a lawsuit after a hospital took away her child because she tested positive for drugs after eating a poppy seed bagel

It's common knowledge that poppy seeds birth opium, the drug, but most people will know that a poppy seed lemon pound cake is not a drug by itself.

Unfortunately, a hospital couldn't tell the difference.

Lawrence County's child welfare agency and Jameson Hospital have paid $143,500 to settle a lawsuit filed on behalf of a Pennsylvania mother who claims that  the her baby was seized after she failed a drug test, all thanks to a poppy seed bagel.

AP reports that in April 2010, Elizabeth Mort's three-day-old daughter was seized after Mort tested positive for opiates. Mort claims the hospital never informed her that she failed the drug test, and she was never asked if she had eaten anything that may have affected the test results.

Of course the hospital returned her daughter after local officials ruled there was no evidence of Mort using illegal drugs. But the American Civil Liberties Union hopes that this will encourage hospitals to note that testing pregnant women for drugs may be inaccurate, and shouldn't result directly in a newborn being taken from the mother. "We hope that this case will encourage hospitals that routinely test pregnant women for drug use to reconsider that practice due to the harm that can result from false positives," Pennsylvania ACLU staff attorney Sara Rose told AP.

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