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article imageGlobal alert over 'diet drug' after Eloise Parry's death

By Karen Graham     May 6, 2015 in Health
Interpol. the international police agency, has issued a global alert over the "serious and imminent threat" of online diet pills believed to have caused the death of a Shropshire woman in April.
In issuing the global alert, Interpol cited the case of 21-year-old Glyndwr University student, Eloise Parry who died on April 12, 2015, as well as the case of a Frenchman left seriously ill after taking diet pills.
It is believed that in both cases, the "diet pills" taken contained the chemical 2.4-dinitrophenol (DNP), Commercially, DNP is used as an antiseptic, and in the production of some herbicides. DNP is also used in the manufacture of photographic developer and explosives. Its abuse as a diet pill is extremely dangerous and can easily lead to death.
Parry's death was reported in Digital Journal last month, along with her mother's plea concerning the danger of taking diet pills bought online.
An Interpol orange notice, which warns of imminent threats, has been sent to police departments in 190 countries. In a statement, Interpol says: "Although usually sold in yellow powder or capsule form, DNP is also available as a cream. Besides the intrinsic dangers of DNP, the risks associated with its use are magnified by illegal manufacturing conditions."
The agency also added: “In addition to being produced in clandestine laboratories with no hygiene regulations, without specialist manufacturing knowledge, the producers also expose consumers to an increased chance of overdose.”
History of DNP use as a diet pill
DNP was used extensively in the U.S. and other countries from 1933 to 1938. It was noted even then that the chemical increased a person's metabolism rate. An increase in lethal side-effects and the rapid development of cataracts lead to DNP being discontinued in the United States at the end of 1938. In the U.S., DNP is considered an important environmental contaminant.
The United Kingdom’s Food Standards Agency says DNP is “an industrial chemical known to have serious short-term and long-term effects, which can be extremely dangerous to human health.” The agency also advises "consumers not to take any product containing DNP at any level. This chemical is not suitable for human consumption."
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