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Arkansas attorney general applauds FDA warning on unwashed poppy seeds

State AG

By Marian Johns | Aug 27, 2018

LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is applauding a recent warning by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding unwashed poppy seeds and online sales.

“I am pleased the FDA is taking steps to protect consumers from the hidden dangers of unwashed poppy seeds,” Rutledge said in a statement. “Its letter identifies one company’s continued claims that unwashed poppy seeds provide similar benefits to pharmaceutical drugs without any approval from the FDA, which is a violation of the law.

"This is an important first step to protecting consumers from reckless business practices, by addressing a company that markets washed, unwashed and unprocessed poppy seeds for medicinal uses not approved by the FDA."  

Rutledge had previously urged the FDA to require "clear label standards" for unwashed poppy seeds. She also wrote a letter to online retailers who sell the unwashed poppy seeds.  According to Rutledge's office, Bonanza, eBay and Etsy removed the unwashed seeds from their online catalogs. 

The attorney general's actions stem from a Arkansas state crime lab's findings that found one bag of unwashed poppy seeds contained enough morphine to almost fill a bottle of 110, 30-milligram morphine pills, according to Rutledge's office. 

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