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The Boston Globe

Nation

Poppy seeds blamed for drug test failure

PITTSBURGH — A first-time mother who says she failed a drug test while in labor because she ate poppy seeds has sued a Pittsburgh hospital, saying officials defamed her and violated her doctor-patient confidentiality by sharing the results with a child welfare agency.

Rachael Devore, 31, who gave birth at Magee-Women’s Hospital of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center on June 24, contends that the hospital staff tested her urine while she was in labor and turned over the ‘‘positive’’ drug test to county caseworkers.

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‘‘I just delivered and it’s supposed to be this beautiful, wonderful, happy time and I’m being accused of something that’s completely ridiculous,’’ Devore said. ‘‘To be accused of physically and purposely harming your child is a very tough accusation to swallow.’’

A medical center spokeswoman declined to comment on the lawsuit filed Tuesday.

Opiates like heroin are made from poppies, which is why the seeds can result in false positives on drug tests. But Devore said she did not realize what prompted the failed drug test until weeks later, when she bought the same kind of bread she had eaten the day before she went into labor and saw poppy seeds when she sliced into it.

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