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'Toxic' diet pills will be classed as poison after grieving parents' campaign

MISSED: Bethany Shipsey <i>(Image: Shipsey family)</i>
MISSED: Bethany Shipsey (Image: Shipsey family)

A 'slimming pill' which caused the death of a Worcester woman is to be added to the list of regulated poisons after six years of campaigning by her grieving parents.

Tragic Bethany Shipsey, 21, purchased the "fat-burning" tablets, which contained Dinitrophenol (DNP), from Ukraine.

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Beth was rushed to hospital two days later but suffered a cardiac arrest and died on February 15, 2017.

DNP is sold illegally as a weight-loss supplement and can cause organ failure and be fatal.

From October 1 this year, it will be classified as a poison.

Anyone wanting to buy it, or products that contain it, must do so through a registered pharmacist.

DNP has been added to the list of regulated poisons under the Poisons Act 1972.

Her father Doug, 58, and mother Carole, 63, are today meeting with Security Minister Tom Tugendhat to argue their case to outlaw DNP.

They said: "It is clear to all those of us who have lost loved ones to this heinous chemical substance, that the UK Government have more than demonstrated, they are totally incapable of being entrusted, to regulate and control such a deadly toxic Poison, as 2,4 Dinitrophenol.

“So the only acceptable and safe option available to the Home Office, is to prohibit DNP for any uses whatsoever i.e. Ban DNP, and remove its accessibility from the Internet.”

At the time, the couple, from Worcester, said: “We lost one of the most precious things in our lives in Bethany.

“It’s really difficult because you watch her friends and within her peer group getting married and having babies and she should really be part of that."

Carole and Doug have joined forces with other parents whose loved-ones also died from DNP in calling for the pills to be banned.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has also demanded an outright ban.

English Board Chair Thorrun Goviind said: "It’s killing people and that’s why we’re so concerned about it.

"We're really pleased that it’s been put on the poisons register but we want to see it banned completely."

An inquest heard Bethany had suffered mental health problems after she was trapped in an abusive relationship.

She was sexually assaulted by her ex-boyfriend Barry Finch, who was jailed for six years in August 2016.

Coroner Geraint Williams recorded a narrative verdict, including a finding of suicide.

The toxic chemical known to have killed at least 33 people.