Tourist may have suffered poppy poisoning

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Sydney -

A 26-year-old Danish tourist was found dead in his camper van on Monday after drinking a brew believed to contain the heads of poppy plants, Tasmanian police said.

Tasmania grows half the world's legal crop of poppies used in the production of morphine and other opiate-based painkillers.

There were poppy-related deaths in Tasmania in 2011 and 2012 most likely caused by thefts from closely guarded poppy plantations.

The poppy harvest is currently under way.

The body of the Dane was discovered by his male travelling companion at their campsite in Oatlands, 80km north of Hobart.

“The death of this young man while on an overseas holiday is a tragedy for his family and friends,” Sergeant Nick Preshaw said in a statement.

“It is a sad reminder that the narcotics contained in poppy capsules are extremely dangerous, and ingesting poppy products can be lethal or cause serious illness.”

A report was being prepared for the coroner. - Sapa-dpa


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