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Global alert issued for deadly diet drug

8/24 9:59:00
Duncan Noakes - Fotolia

Deadly diet drug

INTERPOL has issued a global alert for 2.4-dinitrophenol (DNP), an illicit and potentially lethal drug used as a body-building aid and diet drug.

Diet drug killed British woman

The warning about DNP, which is also used as a raw material for explosives, was published after one woman died in the UK and a French man was left seriously ill after taking the substance.

Under its anti-doping project, INTERPOL collaborated with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and received additional information from the global anti-doping organisation after one of the WADA-accredited laboratories received a sample of the drug following a seizure in Australia.

Issued at the request of the French Ministry of the Interior’s Central Office for the Protection of the Environment and Public Health, the alert has been circulated to law enforcement in all 190 member countries, and a public version has also been made available to help raise awareness.

Why this diet drug is so dangerous

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.

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.

In the 1930s DNP was used to boost metabolism and encourage weight loss, but it was taken out of circulation because of several deaths.

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