The main ingredient in fake Viagra seized by New Zealand customs officers was guano - bat and bird droppings - according to a scientist quoted in a newspaper on Saturday.
Other medicines intercepted contained whole insects, dust mites, hair and charcoal, Dallas Mildenhall, principal scientist at the state-owned GNS Science research organisation, told The Press, of Christchurch.
The paper said a Viagra pill could cost about 25 New Zealand dollars (17 US dollars) in New Zealand, but they could be ordered on the internet for just 1 or 2 dollars.
"It's a big public safety risk," Dr Clare Strachan, a researcher at Otago University, said.
She said a study of intercepted imported medicines found many were mouldy and contained more or less than the amount of medication stated on the packet, while some contained a completely different drug than the one ordered. - (Sapa-dpa, March 2010)