Irish website selling poisonous weight loss product shut down

Chemical has been responsible for one recorded death in Ireland and 32 in the UK

An Irish website selling a potentially-lethal weight loss product has been shut down.

The Co Tipperary registered was found to be selling and marketing the highly toxic industrial chemical, 2,4-Dinitrophenol (DNP), implying the substance could be used for weight loss.

An inspector from the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI), who served the closure order in January, noted the industrial chemical "has caused fatalities when used for the purpose of weight loss".

The order, under European food legislation, was served to Vaidas Sabockis, of Ard Caoin, Clonmel.


DNP has been responsible for one recorded death in Ireland in 2015 and 32 in the UK since 2007.

"There are serious health risks from taking slimming products purchased online which are not linked to a registered food business and we are urging consumers to remain very cautious and to only buy from established food businesses," said FSAI chief executive Dr Pamela Byrne.

The chemical had been “abused as a ‘fat burner’ to achieve rapid weight loss,” she explained.

“It is illegal for DNP to be sold for use as a weight loss product and it is not allowed in food. Its use has serious and unpredictable side effects, including death.”

Separately, the FSAI issued a closure order on part of an unregistered Wicklow butchers selling wild game without the necessary post-mortem examinations of carcasses.

According to an FSAI inspection report, the outbuilding occupied by Christian Krummel of Woodlands in Greystones was also found to have rodent droppings.

It had no official authorisation and the inspection found the carcasses had not undergone the requisite veterinary post-mortem examinations, making the products demonstrably unfit for human consumption.

Food safety management procedures and associated monitoring records were also found to be missing. The inspection also identified concerns around the condition of a smoking cabinet and its ability to be kept disinfected.

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard is a reporter with The Irish Times