Scottish Food Crime Unit secures first conviction

The Scottish Food Crime and Incidents Unit (SCFCIU) has obtained its first major conviction since the agency was set up in 2015.

Food Standards Scotland (FSS) welcomed the conviction of Jamie George, who was supplying the public with a potentially deadly substance sold as a weight loss diet pill.

The 32-year-old was sentenced to 37 months in prison at Stirling Sheriff Court for distributing 2,4-dinitrophenol (DNP), a toxic industrial chemical. The gym boss was convicted on July 4 after pleading guilty to supplying DNP, a yellow powder usually made in tablet or capsule form.

George pleaded guilty to the charge that between May 1, 2017 and October 8, 2021 he provided 2,4-dinitrophenol to the public for consumption at various premises, including Muscle Hut in Camelon, although he knew it unsafe and harmful was hazardous to health and potentially fatal if swallowed.

reaction to the conviction
Ron McNaughton, head of the SFCIU, said the ruling underscores the work of the unit, local authorities and Scotland’s Police to keep people safe.

“Jamie George’s conviction is a clear signal that there are consequences for those who are willing to risk people’s lives to financially benefit from the provision of DNP. DNP is not fit for human consumption under any circumstances. If you consume DNP, there is a high risk that you will become ill, possibly seriously, and there is a real possibility that you may die from it,” he said.

The conviction resulted from an inquiry between the FSS’s Scottish Food Crime and Incidents Unit, Police Scotland and Falkirk Council’s Environmental Health Unit. It is the first DNP-related case to be prosecuted in Scotland. As part of the investigation, the authorities seized 5 kilograms of DNP, 120 filled capsules and 10,000 empty capsules. It is believed that 1 kilogram of DNP is enough to make 5,000 capsules.

DNP has been linked to at least 33 deaths in the UK since 2007, including two in Scotland. Other side effects include nausea, vomiting, sweating, dizziness, headache, rapid breathing, and irregular heartbeat.

Detective Chief Inspector David MacGregor of Forth Valley CID said it was vital George’s operation was stopped to prevent further poisoning.

“Jamie George acted recklessly, with no regard for the lives of those he delivered it to. It’s important for the public to understand how deadly DNP can be, and that’s why this belief is so important. It sets a precedent for anyone who finds it acceptable to break the law and risk lives by supplying these products.”

From October 1st, DNP is subject to the Poisons Act 1972, meaning anyone wishing to purchase it must be licensed and employ a registered pharmacist. This law applies in England, Wales and Scotland.

Cecil Meiklejohn, leader of Falkirk Council, hopes the conviction will act as a deterrent.

“The investigation, in which our environmental health officials were involved, required significant effort to execute search warrants, review evidence, interview witnesses and screen fitness centers. The goal was to disrupt and stop the manufacture and sale of this hazardous chemical for human consumption.”

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Jake Nichol

Jake Nichol is a 24ssports U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Jake Nichol joined 24ssports in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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