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Two ‘deadly’ substances found during pill testing at Groovin the Moo

Two “deadly” substances were detected during Australia’s first pill testing trial in Canberra on Sunday, a member of the group conducting testing says.

Thousands of people descended on the University of Canberra for the ACT leg of the Groovin the Moo music festival on Sunday.

The STA-Safe consortium received a last-minute green light to offer free pill-testing in a mobile laboratory in one of the festival’s health tents, with the endorsement of the ACT government and ACT Policing.

Noffs Foundation chief executive Matt Noffs, a member of the STA-Safe consortium, said 128 festival goers took part in the trial and 85 samples were tested.

Tests found potentially-deadly substances in two samples, while 50 per cent of pills contained substances such as lactose or paint.

Detective acting superintendent Rohan Smith from ACT Policing said one man had been arrested at the festival on drugs charges.

“During the festival we took four males and one female into custody in relation to anti-social behaviour, being intoxicated,” he told 2CC Canberra.

“We have one person that will be summonsed to appear at the ACT Magistrates Court in relation to drugs.”

The pilot program allowed medical professionals to analyse illicit drugs with an infrared spectrophotometer and inform participants of their contents, in an effort to reduce drug-related harm.

Detective Smith said police did not enter the pill testing tent at any point during the festival.

“In relation to the tent itself, we had nothing to do with that, it’s a [Health Directorate] issue. We just established normal policing protocols at the event,” he told 2CC.

“No police entered that tent at any point in time.”

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