KUALA LUMPUR: There is no truth to the myth that consumption of poppy seeds or kas-kas in food such as curries, nasi kandar and cakes will make a person “high”, says Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya.
The Deputy Health Minister acknowledged that although poppy seeds contain morphine, its continued consumption in such foods would not result in addiction.
“Malaysians commonly use poppy seeds or kas-kas in nasi kandar and curry dishes as well as cakes.
“The seeds contain morphine, but there is no effect of addiction as the morphine content is very low,” he said when replying a question by G. Manivanan (PKR-Kapar) in Parliament Wednesday.
Dr Hilmi said that international medical studies have shown that it is safe to use poppy seeds in food.
“Even the US Food and Drug Administration generally recognises kas-kas as safe,” he added.
Datuk Dr Noor Azmi Bin Ghazali (BN-Bagan Serai) wanted to know if there were any studies done on the medical benefits of marijuana here.
“There are studies showing that cannabis is used to threat epilepsy or that its euphoric effects have medical use,” he said.
Manivanan also asked if cigarettes should be classified as a prohibited substance, on par with marijuana, due to its addictive and harmful effects.
In his reply, Dr Hilmi said that cannabis or ganja was classified as a prohibited drug.
He said that was no study done here to determine the medical use of ganja.
While acknowledging the harmful effects of cigarettes, he said that they were deemed a commodity and not a drug.