Online diet pills warning after death of Shrewsbury student

A leading consumer lawyer has warned of the dangers of unlicensed diet pills after a 21 year old student died after taking tablets she purchased online.

According to the BBC, Eloise Parry died on 12 April 2015. Her mother told how Eloise began to feel unwell shortly after taking the pills and drove herself to the hospital.

A toxicology report revealed that she had ingested Dinitrophenol or ‘DNP’ which is toxic and has no antidote. Whilst at the hospital, her metabolism began to soar and, despite doctors trying to stabilise her, her body began to overheat and she died just 3 hours later.

The cause of Ms Parry’s death will be confirmed by a coroner at a later date.

According to lawyers at Leigh Day, this is not the first time DNP has been linked to deaths. In 2013, 18 year old Chris Maplecroft died after taking weight loss pills which contained the toxin, as confirmed by an inquest.

According to a report published last June in the Emergency Medical Journal, the number of poisoning cases from DNP has increased substantially in the last few years. Cases reported by online database TOXBASE rose from six in 2011 to 331 in 2013.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has offered the following information concerning the dangers posed by DNP: '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.'

Brian McFerran, a Product Liability Lawyer at Leigh Day, commented: “It is very concerning to learn that persons in the UK are still able to easily purchase this extremely dangerous product online.

"The UK regulator is powerless to act as the chemical is not classified as a medical product and online retailers exploit a loophole in the law by stating the substance is not for human consumption. We call for a change in the classification of this chemical so that it can be properly regulated by UK authorities.”