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Product safety lawyer welcomes landmark 'Diet Pill' decision

Seller of industrial chemical disguised as diet pills convicted of manslaughter.

Posted on 04 July 2018

A leading product safety lawyer has welcomed the decision by the Inner London Crown Court to find Bernard Rebelo guilty of manslaughter and supplying an unsafe food supplement. The Court sentenced him to to seven years imprisonment.
 
Rebelo had been selling Dinitrophenol or ‘DNP’ via the internet, labelling them as “fatburner” and “slimming aid”. 
 
DNP is an industrial chemical unsuitable for human consumption that was brought to media attention in 2015 when 21 year old student Eloise Parry died after taking the pills to lose weight. She had purchased the pills from Bernard Rebelo. The Food Standards Agency issued urgent advice about DNP, however, Rebelo continued to sell his product online and when Harrow Council environment health officers raided his flat in 2016 they found enough chemical DNP to make 200,000 capsules, as well as thousands of home-made DNP capsules ready to be sold.
 
Michelle Victor, of the consumer law and product safety department at Leigh Day, commented: 
 
“This is a very welcome decision not only for those directly impacted by the death of Eloise, including her friends and family, but also by the many campaigners who have fought to have these deadly pills taken out of circulation. 
 
“The decision of the Court sets a marker that skirting around guidelines and trying to hide the implications of selling poison online via confusing and convoluted disclaimers will not protect you from the law.”