Director of online and in-store retailer JY Nutrition Limited Jeffrey Young, 44, was investigated after Trading Standards received a complaint from the parent of a young man who fell ill after taking ‘JY Extreme Fat Burners’ bought at the store.
Trading Standards initially told the business to remove the suspected products from sale, but after it failed to do so the authority seized 48 products for sampling.
The tests revealed 47 of the products were in violation of six different pieces of legislation including the nutrition and health claims regulation and laws against the use of pharmaceuticals in food.
A total of 15 charges were brought against the man and his company in Cwmbran Magistrates Court in South Wales.
These offences related to the omission of required labelling information like dosage warnings, the use of unauthorised claims like ‘zero carbs’, the claim to contain vitamin B6 when it did not and energy restricted diet claims.
Tests also revealed the slimming product ‘ReducTrim’ contained the active pharma ingredient sibutramine, which is banned in the UK because of links to cardiovascular problems.
Another product ‘Limit Loss’ was found to contain traces of the class B drug, amphetamine.
'An extremely serious case'
The company was ordered to pay £150 (€194) for each of the offences, totalling £2,250 (€2,915) along with prosecution costs of £5,000 (€6,482) and a £20 (€25) victim surcharge.
Young pleaded guilty to 11 of the charges and was sentenced to a 26-week suspended prison sentence for two violations relating to the failure to be able to provide full details of where the products ‘JY Extreme Fat Burners’ and ‘Limit Loss’ – purchased loose and repackaged under the retailer’s branding – were sourced.
These two offences formed the main basis of the case.
He was also fined a total of £500 (€647) and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £2,137.65 (€2,769) and an £80 (€103) victim surcharge.
Local councillor Nigel George, responsible for public protection, said in a statement: “This was an extremely serious case, and one which potentially could have put people’s lives in danger.
“Our Trading Standards team work relentlessly to ensure that people operating outside the law, and risking the safety of others in doing so, are brought to task over their actions. I am pleased that the courts emphasised the seriousness of this case in the sentence and fines imposed both upon the company and Mr Young.”
Under UK law a suspended prison sentence means an individual must stay away from a certain place or person during a certain period and do unpaid community service.
If they fail to meet the conditions of their sentence they can be sent to prison.
According to local media reports, in 2014 Young was issued a 18-week suspended sentence, 200 hours of community service and ordered to pay nearly £600 (€777) in costs for selling counterfeit boxing equipment through the same JY Nutrition business.
The company did not respond to our request for comment in time for the publication of this article.