PETALING JAYA: There have been no reports of dietary products containing 2.4-dinitrophenol (DNP) in the Malaysian market, says the Health Ministry.
The Ministry’s pharmacy enforcement division deputy director Mazlan Ismail said, however, that the situation was being monitored closely, especially after Interpol’s global alert on Monday.
“Based on the monitoring and post marketing activities conducted by the department, we have yet to come across any pharmaceutical products containing DNP being marketed in Malaysia,” said Mazlan when contacted on Thursday.
He explained that DNP is an organic compound and is usually used in the manufacturing industry as an industrial chemical and might also be used as antiseptic.
He said that legally, any products containing DNP that are meant for consumption could not be sold in the country.
“This chemical is not suitable for human consumption and can be extremely dangerous to human health.
“Currently, no products containing dinitrophenol are registered with the Drug Control Authority of the Health Ministry.
“(So) legally there should not be any products containing dinitrophenol available in the market,” he said.
He added that dinitrophenol can only be brought into the country with a valid licence.
When contacted, Malaysian Pharmaceutical Society told The Star that pharmacists in Malaysia are careful and do not sell drugs containing DNP.
“Pharmacists are very careful as safe custodians of medicines,” she said.
Malaysian Medical Association president Datuk Dr Krishna Kumar added that although there have been no reports of deaths caused by DNP, the association’s pharmaceutical division was working to identify international websites selling products containing DNP.
“Our pharmaceutical division is working with the Interpol and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MSMS) to identify and take these websites down,” he said.
The Interpol alert was issued after a woman died in the UK and a French man was left seriously ill after taking products containing DNP.
The agency said that DNP was found to have been sold in the form of yellow powder or capsule form and as a cream marketed as dieting and body-building supplements.
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