WASHINGTON - If your employer requires random drug tests you may want to avoid eating Chobani Yogurt's "Blueberry Power Chobani Flip" because it could lead to a positive test. The yogurt contains a side of hemp seed - as well as walnuts and chia.
The Air Force surgeon general posted a press release on the Air Force's website on Thursday stating military members have been told to avoid the product because hemp seed contains THC, an active ingredient in marijuana, which is detectable under the Air Force drug testing program.
"The Air Force has a long-standing policy in place that prohibits military members from ingesting any product, regardless of manufacturer, that contains or is derived from hemp seed or hemp seed oil," Capt. Adam Koudelka, legal adviser for the Air Force Drug Testing Laboratory, Air Force Medical Operations Agency, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, said in a statement.
If an airman is found to have consumed hemp seed or oil, he can be punished for disobeying the regulation, according to Gregory Girard, a deputy director with the Office of the Judge Advocate General.
Chobani has said it is changing the recipe of the yogurt and will be removing hemp seeds as an ingredient.
Chobani recalls 'swelling,' 'bloating' yogurt
Earlier this week Chobani announced that the company has voluntarily recalled some of its yogurt from store shelves in response to customer complaints about swollen or bloated packages. A statement released Thursday indicates that some instances of illness have been reported.
The New Berlin, New York-based company released a statement Wednesday on its blog saying in part:
"Our thorough investigation has identified a type of mold commonly found in the dairy environment. The product in question is less than 5% of our production and is limited to products produced at our Idaho facility, which accounts for only one third of our production capacity."
The company initially worked with retail partners to voluntarily withdraw the majority of potentially affected products, which bear the code "16-012" and have expiration dates between September 11 and October 20 of this year. A voluntary recall is now in effect.
Consumers who have purchased the affected yogurt are advised to contact Chobani's Customer Loyalty Team directly at chobani.com/care or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to coordinate replacements.
Strained, Greek-style yogurt has increased wildly in popularity in the United States over the past several years. Recently the U.S. Department of Agriculture kicked off its National Greek Yogurt Pilot Program, offering it as part of school meal programs. The creamy treat offers higher nutritional benefits than traditional yogurt with less sugar, carbohydrates, sodium and lactose, as well as an increase in protein per ounce.
The ballooning demand for the dairy option has created a $2 billion industry, and raised some controversy about the waste products potential effects on the environment.
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