Consumer group wants to know what FDA is doing about poppy seed safety

– OPINION –

A 12 months in the past the Heart for Science within the Public Curiosity urged the Meals and Drug Administration to protect consumers from unprocessed poppy seeds contaminated with naturally occurring opiate residues. In a regulatory petition filed together with medical consultants and 6 households injured by contaminated poppy seeds, we requested the company to scrub up America’s poppy seed provide by setting a most restrict for opiate contamination and establishing controls on imported seeds.

CSPI is asking the FDA for an update on the petition. Apart from issuing professional forma responses and gathering comments on a public docket, the FDA has taken no public motion, regardless of elevated curiosity on this challenge from shoppers, state officers, and members of Congress from each events. The overwhelming majority of the almost 3,300 feedback to the docket had been submitted by particular person shoppers involved that the FDA was permitting opiate-contaminated poppy seeds into the meals provide.

Poppy seed muffin

European regulators established most ranges of morphine and codeine in poppy seeds and baked items final 12 months, that are scheduled to take impact in July. Within the U.S., whereas the Division of Justice has pursued enforcement towards not less than one particular person distributor of poppy seeds for allegedly violating drug management legal guidelines, that enforcement has not been ample to dam even that one firm from promoting seeds.

Final 12 months, researchers at CSPI and Connecticut Poison Management Heart co-authored a study documenting injuries associated to poppy seed consumption. The group estimates that there have been 20 non-fatal overdoses and 19 deaths in america attributable to opiate-contaminated poppy seeds, most of which have occurred since 2015. In a letter to Susan Mayne, director of the FDA’s Heart for Meals Security and Utilized Diet, CSPI mentioned that creating requirements for poppy seeds would assist deal with the issue.

“The time is overdue for the FDA to ascertain requirements that may shield U.S. shoppers from ingesting harmful ranges of opiates by means of the meals provide,” CSPI wrote. “Accordingly, we’re requesting a gathering with you to assessment the proof supporting our requests, and to obtain an replace on the standing of our petition.”

If you need extra info from CSPI scientists or legal professionals about our work on this space, or wish to discuss to households injured by contaminated poppy seeds, click here.

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