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Chinese Restaurant Owner Caught Using Opium Poppies as Spice

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A self-employed individual in China has been caught using opium poppies as a spice for hot pot.

Newsis

South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported on the 14th that the police in Taijiang County, Guizhou Province, southwestern China, arrested a restaurant owner who was using opium poppies as a food ingredient.

According to the report, the police discovered nearly 900 opium poppies on the roof of a building while surveying the area with a drone and conducted an on-site investigation.

A Chinese woman confessed that she was growing opium poppies to use as a spice in her hot pot restaurant. Last month, she was sentenced to six months with a one-year suspension and fined 3,000 yuan (approximately $470).

In China, 35 famous restaurants were also caught adding opium poppy powder to hot pots in 2016.

Refining poppy juice is strictly controlled locally, as opium or heroin-like drugs can be made. Chinese law stipulates that cultivating 500 to about 3,000 poppy plants can be sentenced to up to five years in prison.

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