The Guardian festival blog: Two ‘deadly’ samples found in pill-testing trial at Canberra music festival | Australia news

Australia’s first pill-testing trial has been hailed as a “tremendous” success by the Australian Capital Territory’s chief health officer, police commissioner, paramedics and drug reform advocates. The trial screened out two potentially deadly samples and found that half the drugs tested at a Canberra music festival over the weekend contained no psychoactive substances at all.

Dr David Caldicott, an emergency doctor and ANU academic who supervised the trial at the Groovin the Moo festival on Sunday, said 128 participants and 85 samples had been tested, greatly exceeding organisers’ expectations.

Two samples were “red-flagged” for their potential lethality.

Half of tested drug samples had no pyschoactive ingredients, but were made of other substances like toothpaste, milk powder, glue and paint, he said.

The majority of other samples were found to be high purity MDMA, known colloquially as ecstasy.

“Many of…


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