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Food and Drug Administration urges people not to eat unknown mushrooms

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yesterday urged people not to collect or eat unknown species of mushrooms in the mountains, noting that people will face penalties should they illegally possess mushrooms that contain restricted ingredients.

The FDA's remarks came after media outlets reported that a man recently mistakenly ate psilocybin mushrooms that he picked on Yangmingshan, Taipei City and afterward experienced hallucinations for over two hours.

The soon-to-be-married man recently went to Yangmingshan to shoot wedding photographs with his fiance and noticed that there were many unknown white mushrooms growing on cow dung. The man reportedly picked a bunch of the unknown mushrooms, took them home and stir-fried them together with vegetables as a meal.

The man was quoted by the Apple Daily as saying that an hour after finishing the mushrooms, he started to feel light-headed and had hallucinations for a period of two hours involving him flying around in the air.

In response to the incident, the FDA yesterday said that after examination of the mushrooms they found that they were psilocybin mushrooms, more commonly known as magic mushrooms. The FDA said this type of mushroom contains the psychedelic drugs psilocybin and psilocin, adding that in Taiwan both of these ingredients are listed in the same narcotic category as amphetamines and marijuana.

FDA official Liu Shu-fen (劉淑芬) said psilocybin will affect the human body's central nervous system, noting that consuming a large amount of psilocybin can lead to involuntary spasms or even myocardial infarction.

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