Parents say 'diet' pills should be banned after daughter dies in agony

Parents say 'diet' pills should be banned after daughter dies in agony

January 31, 2023

Parents of woman, 21, who died after taking fat burning diet pills she bought online call for a ban as drug is classified as a poison

  • Bethany Shipsey died two days after taking tablets containing Dinitrophenol  
  • Bethany’s parents Carole and Doug are now calling for it to be banned in the UK 
  • Those  in need of support can contact charity the Samaritans by calling 116 123 

A couple who watched their daughter die in agony after taking ‘toxic’ diet pills have demanded the ‘heinous’ drugs are banned.

Bethany Shipsey, 21, died on February 15, 2017, following a cardiac arrest just two days after taking Ukrainian ‘fat-burning’ tablets containing Dinitrophenol (DNP).

Her horrified parents Doug, 58, and Carole, 63, said she was left ‘gasping for breath, like a marathon runner after the last sprint’ before she died.  Now the pair have demanded Whitehall toughens its stance on the drug and bans it entirely.

‘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,’ they said. 

Bethan Shipsey, 21, died on February 15, 2017, two days after taking Ukrainian ‘fat-burning’ diet pills containing Dinitrophenol (DNP)


Her heartbroken parents Doug, 58, and Carole, 63 (pictured above), have now demanded Britain bans DNP outright

The pair’s comments came ahead of a meeting with security minister Tom Tugendhat on Monday where they sought to argue their case to outlaw DNP.

Dealer, 25, who flogged a highly toxic industrial chemical as a diet pill for weight loss on the dark web is jailed – after it was linked to 33 deaths in the UK


The drug 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 but will still be legal to sell under certain circumstances.

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

Despite DNP being added to the list of regulated poisons under the Poisons Act 1972, Bethany’s parents are demanding an outright ban.

Father Doug said it was a ‘step in the right direction’ but insisted the legislation did not go far enough.  

‘We want to go for an outright ban because, during the years since we lost Beth, we can’t find any legitimate industrial uses — which is why the government has been saying for all these years that it’s still legal to sell DNP,’ reported The Times.  

Bethany’s mother, Carole, added: ‘We’ve lost one of the most precious things in our lives. And it’s really difficult because you watch her friends and within her peer group they’re getting married and having babies and she should really be part of that.’ 

The couple, from Worcester, told how they watched in horror as Bethany died in agony as the pills burned her from the inside out.

Carole, a nurse, said: ‘Bethany was bolt upright in bed, leaning forward, breathing faster than normal.

‘She said “I can’t see properly”. Her heart rate kept going up in increments and never did come back down again.’  

Bethany suffered a cardiac arrest and had been left ‘gasping for breath, like a marathon runner after the last sprint’ before she died

Parents Carole and Doug were due to meet with security minister Tom Tugendhat to lobby the MP to do more to ban DNP – which, despite being registered as a legal poison, can still be purchased legally through a pharmacist 

The couple begged A&E staff for ice to cool their daughter down but there was none so they filled rubber gloves with water and pressed them against Bethany’s burning skin.

Carole said: ‘I pushed her into the middle of the bed. She was white, really pale, eyes open and pupils were pin point.’ 

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

They said: ‘We watched every minute of our child fighting for their life, whilst their body temperatures unstoppably continued to heat up, causing profuse sweating from the inside out, causing them to become so agitated, that atop of their hospital trolley bed, they were literally like Olympic athletes running for gold.

‘Becoming redder and redder in the face, gasping for their breath like a marathon runner after the last sprint; until their heart and body could literally no longer sustain the effort to stay alive.

Bethany became ‘redder and redder’ as her pulse raced and body temperature shot up after taking the ‘fat-burning’ tablets, her parents said

‘The sheer heat and effort causing the muscles of the entire body to become rigid, including the chest wall, making it impossible to breathe. To the extent that not even intubation is possible. 

‘Leaving us only to watch, as the last flickers of life, drained out of our loved one’s eyes forever.’

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

English board chairman 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.

‘There is no reason that this is needed for human or animal use so we want to make sure that people can’t access it and those that are selling this and making money out of vulnerable people are held to account for it.’ 

Thorrun Goviind, of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, is also calling for an outright ban on the drugs. Pictured is Bethany before she died 

The 2018 inquest into Bethany’s death heard she was a rape victim who had previously taken 14 overdoses but was not considered a suicide risk.

Worcestershire Coroner’s Court was told she was left on a hospital trolley in a packed A&E corridor while the pills ‘burned her from in the inside’.

Shortly before she died, she sent a pal saying: ‘I have just overdosed on DNP.

‘I’m petrified of telling anyone because it is like my 15th overdose.’

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.

Those in need of support can contact charity the Samaritans by calling 116 123  

DNP, the ‘extremely dangerous’ drug sold as a weight loss aid

DNP is sold as a weight loss aid, but has been described as ‘extremely dangerous to human health’ by doctors.

It is sold mostly over the internet under a number of different names but contains 2, 4-Dinitrophenol.

It is marketed mainly to bodybuilders as a weight loss aid as it is thought to dramatically boost metabolism.

The manufactured drug is yellow and odourless and was previously used as a herbicide and fungicide.

It was launched as a slimming aid in the US in the 1930s but then banned in 1938, due to the severe side-effects.

Depending on the amount consumed, signs of acute poisoning could include nausea, vomiting, restlessness, flushed skin, sweating, dizziness, headaches, rapid respiration and irregular heart-beat, possibly leading to coma and death.

Source: Read Full Article