The FSA’s National Food Crime Unit initiated this investigation playing a key role in identifying and tracing the suspects. The unit then worked with Harrow Council which, as the competent local authority, took the investigation forward.
DNP sold online for profit
Bernard Rebelo, 30, of Gosport in Hampshire, was convicted of a charge of manslaughter by gross negligence, and selling unsafe food. This is the first-ever manslaughter conviction of a seller of the industrial chemical ‘2,4 dinitrophenol’ (DNP) for human consumption.
He was on trial, accused of killing Eloise Parry, 21, by selling her DNP for consumption as a slimming aid. Rebelo operated from a flat in Harrow, north west London, where he put the dangerous pesticide into capsules, then marketed and sold the poison online as a slimming aid, at a considerable profit.
A student at Glyndwr University, Wrexham, Eloise Parry took the DNP before she died at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital in Shropshire in April 2015.
Conviction sends a clear message
Dr Colin Sullivan, Chief Operating Officer of the FSA, said: 'This guilty verdict sends a strong message to anyone seeking to profit from the illegal sale of this toxic substance for human consumption. We will continue to be relentless in pursuing and bringing to justice those who are endangering the public and breaking the law. We acknowledge the great work that Harrow Council, working with our National Food Crime Unit, has done in preparing this landmark case for trial.'
Rebelo will be sentenced in due course.
Death of a young student
The court were told that Eloise Parry began taking the chemical in capsule form in February 2015. She died in hospital after having taken eight capsules.
DNP is an industrial chemical which should not be consumed under any circumstances. Doing so can and has been fatal. Selling it for human consumption is illegal under food law. Any member of the public suspecting anyone of selling DNP for human consumption should call Food Crime Confidential on 020 7276 8787.