A warning about a potentially lethal chemical being sold as ‘fat burner’ pills via social media in Ireland has been issued by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland.
The FSAI says an intelligence-led investigation of online sales of the pills in Ireland has prompted fears that these so-called diet pills are being used here by unsuspecting members of the public.
The pills, which have been marketed through social media by online vendors including www.FatBurney.com, contain 2,4-dinitrophenol (DNP).
The authority says this is a highly toxic industrial chemical with legitimate uses, but it is not intended for human consumption.
“2,4-dinitrophenol (DNP) has been abused as a ‘fat burner’ to achieve rapid weight loss through accelerating the metabolism. Its use has serious and unpredictable side effects, with a number of fatalities recorded.”
“DNP is a yellow powder, often put into capsules before being sold to the consumer as a fat loss aid,” the urgent notice from the FSAI warns.
“Following an intelligence-led investigation by the FSAI, in cooperation with other State agencies, a quantity of capsules containing DNP were seized.
“These capsules were made available via the website www.FatBurney.com”
The advice to consumers from the FSAI is: “Do NOT consume any DNP capsules obtained via this website or any associated social media site.
The “miracle fat burner” is sold via many online vendors – but it has been directly linked to a number of deaths in the UK and the US.
In the early hours of the morning on 12 April, 2015, 21-year-old English student Eloise Parry swallowed eight capsules of weight loss pill ‘DNP’. Less than 12 hours later, she was dead.
Parry was bulimic and had bought the 2,4-dinitrophenol (DNP) pills online from a website run by a man in London who later faced charges of manslaughter.
At a trial three years later, the court heard that the accused had been importing the chemical in 24kg drums from China and repackaging it into capsules, making a profit of £200,000 per drum.
His lawyers said he admitted selling Parry the pills but insisted he had never intended that they were for human consumption and said a warning on his website indicated this.
This high-profile case led to calls for stricter controls of the sale and distribution of this highly toxic chemical.