UK police warn on DNP slimming tablets after woman’s death

By Annie Harrison-Dunn

- Last updated on GMT

“She was literally burning up from within," mother says of 21-year-old daughter's death
“She was literally burning up from within," mother says of 21-year-old daughter's death
Police in the UK have warned against buying diet pills containing the toxic fat-burner DNP following the death of a 21-year-old woman.

Eloise Aimee Parry, a university student from Shrewsbury, died after taking eight tablets that were said to contain 2,4-dinitrophenol (DNP).

No details have been given about the product but West Mercia Police said they were working to determine the exact contents of the pill and appealing for information on where she might have bought them online.

In a statement, chief inspector Jennifer Mattinson said: "We are undoubtedly concerned over the origin and sale of these pills and are working with partner agencies to establish where they were bought from and how they were advertised.

"The coroner's report will establish the exact cause of Eloise's death but we urge the public to be incredibly careful when purchasing medicine or supplements over the internet. Substances from unregistered websites could put your health at risk as they could be extremely harmful, out-of-date or fake.”

The UK’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) said: "We advise the public not to take any tablets or powders containing DNP, as it is an industrial chemical and not fit for human consumption. It can be extremely dangerous to human health."

Several fatalities​ have bought the chemical – often used by bodybuilders to burn fat – into focus over the past few years. In the past the FSA, as well as other EU national authorities​, have issued warnings on the substance and even threatened illicit online traders with prosecution​.

According to a report published last June​ in the Emergency Medical Journal​, the number of DNP poisoning cases had increased substantially in the last six years. Cases from toxic centre phone records increased from three in both 2007 and 2011 to 22 in 2013, while the number on online database TOXBASE rose from six in 2011 to 35 in 2012 right up to 331 in 2013.

The incident

In a statement to the public, Fiona Parry said her daughter had calmly driven herself to hospital after feeling unwell on 12th​ April.


“She had taken even more of these 'slimming tablets' than recommended on the pack and had no idea just how dangerous they really were. How many of us have ever thought 'If one tablet works, surely it won't hurt to take one or two more?'”​ she said. 

Although lucid when she arrived at A&E, panic hit when the toxicity report came back.

The drug was in her system, there was no antidote, two tablets was a lethal dose - and she had taken eight.”

Her metabolism soared and her temperature rose. Her mother said it was as if “she was literally burning up from within”​.

Eloise Aimee Parry stopped breathing independently and later her heart stopped.

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Posted by Bex,

i thought I Wud try this out after hearing this I have taken 8 dnpx tablets all at once twice now and took 6 all in one tonight, why the feck am I still alive I think either she took a lot more or had something else

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Posted by Angelo,

The websites that sell this are usually overseas sites that sell steroids and research chemicles (serms, clenbuterol, aromatased inhibiters, SARMS etc)They tell you exactly what is in it and what it does and the dangerous involved. She also may have gotten it from a place like alibaba. This is another case of stupidity. Someone taking something and not researching what there taking. She looked very thin as it is and have no idea why she would take this. The symptoms she described "felt like burning from the inside out" was perfect as that is exactly how you feel and what is happening.I'v used it and will continue to for only about 4 to 6 weeks a year. Of course I researched the hell out of it before I used it as I knew it could kill me.

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Will people never learn?

Posted by VMS Industry Tech Manager,

The average consumer has probably never heard of DNP, so even if it was listed on the webpage or product label the unfortunate girl would probably not have understood that she was about to consume something that is not an approved food ingredent in EU. The responsibility for keeping consumers informed of "dangerous" or illegal ingredients they may encounter must surely lie with the UK/EU regulatory agencies. (N.B. Simply posting a warning on a Regulatory Agancy website that few consumers ever visit does not, to my mind, constitute "warning the consumers". A far more proactive approach, via mass media should be considered.)

Secondly, if the product did not declare the presence of DNP, then the brand/website must bear some responsibility - though if the product was bing sold by an off-shore (i.e. non-EU based) entity then different labelling rules may apply in the state from which product was being sold? Again, maybe UK/EU regulators should do more to make it clear that buying food supplements from websites based outside EU carries risks due to diffrent approaches to labelling and product quality, rather than just implying that (all) web-retaillers are selling unsafe products?

Thirdly, unfortunately the consumer chose to ignore the dosage stated on the pack, so she too must be held partly responsible for her own demise. Again, Regulatory agencies should be warning consumers that they need to heed/follow the instructions on the product packaging, and not simply assume "if one tablet is good, then two must be even better...".

As ever the industry as a whole gets (re)branded as selling "unsafe" products, when many EU-based brands (including many web-based/mail-order brands), operate well within the applicable EU laws and regulations and thus sell products that contain only EU-legal food ingredients, that are correctly labelled, and that are safe so long as consumers follow the dosage instructions.

But no, the "Supplements are dangerous" bandwagon is off and running again...

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