The Medicines Control Council (MCC) is not aware of the presence of any diet pills in South Africa containing a highly toxic “fat burning” substance known as 2,4-dinitrophenol (DNP) that can cause fatal hyperthermia, with body temperature rising as high as 44°C before death.

DNP is popular among people wanting to lose weight and those with eating disorders. Bodybuilders also use it to reduce their body fat percentage. It is not registered in South Africa as a clinical medicine, making it illegal to manufacture, promote, sell or use it.

No DNP in South Africa

“The MCC has to date not registered any medicine containing the active pharmaceutical ingredient 2,4 Dinitrophenol,” MCC head of inspection and law enforcement Dr Joey Gouws told Health24. She added that the regulatory body is also not aware of the sale of any product with the trade name eDNP within the legal distribution chain in South Africa.

Interpol put out a worldwide urgent notice to law enforcement in all 190 member countries, of which South Africa is one, after a sample of the drug, usually sold in yellow powder or capsule form, seized in Australia, was tested at a World Anti-Doping Agency laboratory.

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