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Toxic slimming pill drug DNP to be declared poison

A highly toxic chemical compound sold illegally in diet pills is to be reclassified as a poison, a government minister has said.

Pills containing DNP, or 2,4-dinitrophenol, were responsible for the deaths of 32 young vulnerable adults, said campaigner Doug Shipsey.

His daughter Bethany, from Worcester, died in 2017 after taking tablets containing the chemical.

The deaths were down to a "collective failure of the UK government", he said.

DNP is highly toxic and not intended for human consumption. An industrial chemical, it is sold illegally in diet pills as a fat-burning substance.

Experts say buying drugs online is risky as medicines may be fake, out of date or extremely harmful.

Mr Shipsey said he had targeted the minister following the death of another young man who had taken the drug sold as a slimming aid.

Prior to this, following the inquests of dozens of young people who had suddenly and unexpectedly died from DNP toxicity, the government had "ignored numerous coroners reports" to prevent future deaths, he said.

"So, at last after 32 deaths and almost six years of campaigning, the Home Office (HO) finally accept responsibility to control DNP under the Poisons ACT 1972," he added.

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Source: BBC News, 28 January 2023


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