Wine drinkers may be imbibing illicit drug

Drinkers of wine, sherry and port may be unknowingly breaking the law and consuming small doses of the party drug fantasy, an illegal class B drug.

The revelation has brought calls for wine to be tested to see if there are traces of gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), or its precursor gamma-butyrolactone (GBL) – the active ingredient in fantasy.

Concerns have also been raised about beauty products containing GHB, which have been sold here for years.

The Ministry of Health has only just been made aware of the issue and is working through how to deal with it.

National Addiction Centre director Doug Sellman said it seemed likely that some wine contained GHB, and called for more research.

“It raises the bizarre conclusion that many wines in New Zealand may, in fact, be technically illegal.

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