Pentagon issues warning to soldiers: do not eat poppy seeds

Alarm bells are ringing as U.S. soldiers are reminded of their old, duplicitous enemy: the menacing poppy seed bagel. Whether shmeared with butter or cream cheese, they may seem innocuous, but the Department of Defense warns the treacherous snack is not to be trusted.

"Out of an abundance of caution, I find protecting Service members and the integrity of the drug testing program requires a warning to avoid poppy seeds," cautioned Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Gilbert Cisneros Jr. 

From CBS News:

Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Gilbert Cisneros Jr. reminded personnel in a memo posted Tuesday that natural poppy seeds can be contaminated with morphine and codeine, which can be detected in drug tests if the seeds are ingested.

As a result, poppy seed consumption could "undermine the Department's ability to identify illicit drug use," the memo read.

Poppy seeds are derived from the poppy plant, and some seeds, as a result of harvesting, can contain levels of morphine and codeine that surpass the DOD's threshold for allowable amounts, the memo stated. The Defense Department has cutoffs intended to distinguish between levels of opiates appearing as a result of poppy seed ingestion and illicit drug use. 

Because new data shows that higher levels of codeine than previously reported may occur in some poppy seeds, Cisneros directed all service members to avoid consumption of all poppy seeds, including those that coat bagels and other baked goods.