PETALING JAYA - Poppy seeds may be a harmless ingredient in baked goods and certain dishes, but it does cause people to test positive for drugs in urine tests.
Journalist C. Sheila recalled an incident four years ago when her brother C. Vinod, then 30, was travelling by bus and was stopped by Singapore Customs before being randomly asked to take a urine test.
"They made him take the test twice and both times he tested positive," said Sheila.
"Our parents cooked the briyani rice for him at home, and it's very common to use kas kas for the dish," she explained. Her brother had eaten briyani for lunch.
Poppy seeds are on the list of controlled goods, according to the Singapore Customs website, under the authority of the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB).
Vinod spent four hours with Customs as they checked his bags and questioned him.
"When the officers found out about the briyani, they quickly realised that there must be kas kas in it and let him go.
"After that day, I think my parents stopped using kas kas in their briyani and Vinod is careful not to bring any food when travelling to Singapore," Sheila added.