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Narcotics

Drug Tests Are Flagging Natural Health Products for Narcotics

Tuesday, July 07, 2009 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
Tags: narcotics, health news, Natural News


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(NaturalNews) Police in the United States and Canada have been arresting people when their natural health, food and body products falsely test positive for drugs.

Police widely rely on narcotics identification kits (NIKs) to test suspect substances for drugs -- the problem is, these kits have a strong tendency to identify benign substances as narcotics.

"The NIK's false positive rate is about 10 percent," said Adam Eidinger of Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps. "This is an estimate from the hundreds of times I've experimented."

To use an NIK, law enforcement officers mix the suspicious substance with liquid in a vial then watch to see if it turns purple, indicating the presence of narcotics.

In 2007, punk musician Don Bolles was arrested by Newport Beach police for possession of the date rape drug GHB. Bolles did not have any drugs on him, however -- police had relied on an NIK test that falsely flagged his Dr. Bronner's peppermint castile soap as positive for the drug.

Another notorious case includes the experience of Nadine Artemis and Ron Obadia, owners of the natural health company Living Libations. In August 2008, the pair were cited by Canadian Border Services for possession of marijuana when a sample of their Living Libations organic chocolate tested positive.

In September 2008, the pair was arrested again while trying to cross the border north from New York. This time, not only their chocolate but also a natural disinfectant and a bottle of tea tree oil all tested positive.

"The FBI agent had never heard of tea tree oil, so it was comical and frustrating at the same time," Obadia said.

The Living Libations duo eventually got both sets of charges dropped, but only at great legal cost. Obadia later purchased an NIK online and tested several different brands of chocolate with it. All tested positive.

Consumer health advocate Mike Adams also tested a number of natural health products with an NIK, finding two nutritional powders that turned purple.

"With these tests, anyone can find anything they want in the results," he said.

Sources for this story include: www.nowtoronto.com.

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