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Gym owner jailed for supplying toxic ‘diet pills’ in landmark Scottish case

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Jamie George, from Denny, was arrested following a joint investigation between the Scottish Food Crime and Incidents Unit (SFCIU), Police Scotland and Falkirk Council’s environmental health department.

By Jenness Mitchell, Scotland reporter @Jenster13


A gym owner has been jailed for three years for supplying a diet pill that can be lethal to humans.

Jamie George, 32, admitted distributing 2,4-dinitrophenol (DNP), a highly toxic industrial chemical that is often advertised as a slimming aid.

However, it can kill as well as cause harmful side effects such as multiple organ failure, coma and cardiac arrest.

Food Standards Scotland (FSS) said the conviction for supplying the substance is the first of its kind in Scotland.


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George, from Denny in Falkirk, was arrested following a joint investigation between the Scottish Food Crime and Incidents Unit (SFCIU), Police Scotland and Falkirk Council’s environmental health department.

During the probe, officers recovered 5kg of DNP, 120 filled capsules and 10,000 empty capsules.

It is suggested that 1kg of DNP is enough to create around 5,000 capsules.

There have been more than 30 recorded deaths across the UK associated with DNP consumption, two of those in Scotland.

There is no antidote, with sufferers having to endure their symptoms until they recover.

George admitted culpably and recklessly supplying the product between May 2017 and October 2021 at various premises, including at Muscle Hut Falkirk in Camelon.

He was sentenced at Stirling Sheriff Court on Tuesday.

Ron McNaughton, head of the SFCIU, said: “We welcome today’s sentencing as we know that DNP has tragically been responsible for at least 33 deaths in the UK since 2007 and it remains of critical importance that we continue to highlight the dangers of DNP again and again.

“DNP is not safe for human consumption under any circumstances.

“If you consume DNP you are very likely to become ill, potentially seriously ill, and there is a real possibility that you could die as a result.

“I cannot be more clear.”

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Detective Chief Inspector David MacGregor, Forth Valley CID, said it was vital George’s operation was brought to a halt to prevent any further misery.

He said: “Jamie George acted recklessly, without regard for the lives of those he supplied it to. It’s vital the public understands how lethal DNP can be and that’s why this conviction is so important.

“It sets a precedent to anyone who thinks it’s acceptable to break the law and put lives at risk by supplying it. It also underlines our commitment to the country’s Serious Organised Crime Strategy.

“We are committed to tackling substance misuse and will continue to work with partner agencies to target those involved in the distribution.

“Anyone with concerns about the supply of DNP, or any other potentially harmful substance, is urged to contact Police Scotland and we will investigate thoroughly.”

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