Food Use of Poppy Seeds Is Illegal?

Senator Tito Sotto wants to stop the trade and use of poppy seeds. It is used in baking as fragrant but it might pose bad effects, the start of drug addiction.  But Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) never want to take immediate actions to ban its use. Results of poppy seeds for opium content is positive but thorough scrutiny is needed to make the final decision.

Opium poppy is the origin of poppy seeds. To emphasize, poppy seeds are seeds of  Papaver somniferum L, commonly known as opium poppy. Poppy plant is the source of opium which is used to make the heroin, morphine, codeine and other opiates. The substance is extracted from fruit latex. Seeds and other parts also contain opium in small quantities.Why do they needed to test this poppy seeds for opium content? What for?poppy seeds ban

According to Tito Sen, opium trade is illegal. So I tried to look for the specific law and found the “Republic Act No. 9165 – The Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act Of 2002”. I hope it was the latest.

The law clearly states that opium poppy is illegal including any other parts unless authorized by law. I wonder how bakery owners are able to buy and use poppy seeds to their breads. Maybe they have licenses.

Sec. 4. Importation of Dangerous Drugs and/or Controlled Precursors and Essential Chemicals.- .The penalty of life imprisonment to death and a ranging from Five hundred thousand pesos (P500,000.00) to Ten million pesos (P10,000,000.00) shall be imposed upon any person, who, unless authorized by law, shall import or bring into the Philippines any dangerous drug, regardless of the quantity and purity involved, including any and all species of opium poppy or any part thereof or substances derived therefrom even for floral, decorative and culinary purposes.

Eating bread with poppy seeds can make you positive during drug test. Drug metabolites may stay on body system for two to four days.

Opium growing and trading are legal in other territories for medicinal purposes only. The practices are strictly regulated by authorities.


Finally, PDEA decided to ban the use of poppy seeds.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.

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