Woolworths denies 'toxic' Discovery Garden seedling claims

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Woolworths has denied that one of its Discovery Garden seedlings may be toxic after a warning was posted on its Facebook page despite health authorities describing it as ‘inedible’.

“A word of warning to the little planters from Woolworths… toxicity of snapdragons,” the post on Woolworths Facebook page from earlier this month read.

“For humans, it is believed that all parts of the snapdragon are poisonous if ingested,” the post continued.

However, despite the strong words, it appears that snapdragons are not as dangerous as they sound.

Woolworths promptly addressed the concern in a response to the Facebook post on the social media platform.

“It is not recommended consuming edible flowers in large quantities as these may cause gastrointestinal distress,” a spokesperson for the grocery giant responded.

The Discovery Garden is full of seedlings from oregano to carrots, but also includes flowers like pansies and snapdragons, which some chefs use as garnish, while others consider these as inedible.

A warning about snapdragon (photo on left) seedlings included in the Woolworths Discovery Garden set (photo on right) was recently posted on Facebook by a disgruntled customer. Source: Getty/Woolworths Supplied
A warning about snapdragon (left) seedlings included in the Woolworths Discovery Garden set (right) was recently posted on Facebook. Source: Getty/Woolworths Supplied

When the promotion was announced in August, Woolies described the Discovery Garden as “a new collectable designed to give Australians of all ages the opportunity to grow their very own fresh food”.

The NSW Poisons Information Centre advised Yahoo News Australia that while the flower is “not considered toxic” if ingested, “snapdragons can cause mild stomach upset”.

The service also said they consider snapdragons as “inedible matter”.

‘Consuming them in large quantities not recommended’

Woolworths told Yahoo News Australia that “Snapdragons (Antirrhinum Majus) are generally safe”, adding that warnings are clearly listed.

“As stated on the packaging, Woolworths Discovery Garden components should not be consumed, other than fruit, vegetables or herbs,” a spokesperson for Woolworths said.

The seedlings in the Discovery garden are designed to only allow a small amount of each variety to grow.

“Although Snapdragon flowers are considered edible, they may have a bitter taste and consuming them in large quantities is not recommended,” Woolies added.

The NSW Poisons Information Centre advised that “treatment is not normally required following ingestion of this plant” but to offer a small drink of water if somebody has eaten them.

If you are still concerned, call the Poisons Information Centre on 131126.

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