The NZ Herald reports that: “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.”
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. There’s been no research done on New Zealand wines, and only one article in 2005 in the international literature.”
Wellington alcohol and drug counsellor Roger Brooking came across this research after being advised about it by one of his clients. He notes that Prof Sellman has made previous media comments that because of the death and social destruction caused by alcohol, it is the legal equivalent of a Class B drug anyway. It seems wine that wine drinkers can now get two class B drugs for the price of one.