Coroner demands crackdown on lethal diet pills
A CORONER has called for tougher laws to halt the sale of illegal diet pills that claimed the life a 21- yearold man.
Vaidotas Gerbutavicius told his dad he feared he would be “dead within an hour” and that he felt a “burning sensation” after ingesting dinitrophenol ( DNP).
It was marketed as a diet pill in 1930s America but users can suffer high temperatures, nausea, abdominal pain, seizures and organ damage. DNP – also used in explosives – is banned for humans in the UK.
Senior coroner Nadia Persaud told the inquest in Walthamstow, east London: “The current legislation is wholly inadequate and in no way an appropriate means by which to deal
Illegal... drug DNP is banned for humans with offences that can result in the deaths of those who consume DNP.
“Those affected are often young and vulnerable people.” The court heard that Vaidotas, a Lithuanian construction worker, had been overweight until he was 18 but began to slim in 2016. His family put it down to him getting older and a new girlfriend. Only on the day of his death in March 2018 did they realise he had been taking the pills, purchased on the dark web.
He was rushed to Whipps Cross Hospital in Leytonstone, east London, but later died after suffering a cardiac arrest, pains and a high temperature. The coroner added: “DNP is not a drug, it’s a poison.”
Barry Wright, of North Carolina, who sold the drug, was sentenced to seven years in Florida in February.
Victim... Vaidotas Gerbutavicius, 21