[A] series of searches, carried out in a multi-agency effort across three premises in England, have uncovered a significant amount of what is believed to be 2,4 dinitrophenol, (commonly known as DNP). DNP is known to be sold illegally online and in gyms, as an aid to weight loss. Consumption of DNP has resulted in eight deaths in the UK since 2015.
Coordinated by and acting on intelligence from the National Food Crime Unit of the Food Standards Agency, the operation involved three local authorities, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and two police forces.
Gateshead, South Shields and Allerdale local authorities conducted searches on three properties in Gateshead, Hebburn and Wigton, alongside Northumbria and Cumbria police.
A significant quantity of what is believed to be DNP was seized at premises in Cumbria, along with associated machinery and tablet presses. Further evidence was seized from another premises.
Enquiries are on-going to identify and speak to those connected with this seizure.
DNP illegal for human consumption
FSA Chairman, Heather Hancock, said: ‘DNP can and does kill. We are relentless in pursuing those seeking to profit from the illegal sale of this toxic substance for human consumption. This operation succeeded because of the close working partnership between the National Food Crime Unit and local authorities, law enforcement agencies and internet companies in the UK and abroad. We have been able to disrupt supply routes and close down websites. That stops people being put at risk from the severe harm that comes from consuming DNP.’
Earlier this year, NFCU intelligence led to the conviction of John Walker of Belfast for the illegal sale of DNP, in the first UK conviction of its kind.
DNP has legitimate uses in areas such as biochemical research and in manufacturing chemicals. For this reason, DNP is not illegal for sale but it is illegal where sold for human consumption. However, the highly toxic ‘fat burning’ substance continues to be sold in capsules and powders, and continues to be consumed. This can and does kill.
That is why we are urgently warning the public not to take any tablets, capsules, powders or liquids containing this deadly ingredient. DNP is an industrial chemical that is not fit for human consumption.
The National Food Crime Unit
The FSA’s National Food Crime Unit (NFCU) works with partners to protect consumers from serious criminal activity that impacts on the safety or authenticity of the food and drink they consume.