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Chemical in some weight-loss remedies and drugs listed as poison; sale of such products restricted in Singapore

SINGAPORE - A chemical found in some weight-loss remedies has been listed as a poison, with the sale of any such products now restricted.

2,4-Dinitrophenol (DNP) and its salts that are intended for human consumption were added to the Poisons Act on Nov 1, according to The Straits Times' (ST) checks.

The legislation has been put in place to control the import and supply of health-enhancing products, such as health supplements and traditional medicine, that contain substances specified in the Poisons List.

"(DNP) is an industrial chemical, which is not suitable for human consumption. It is prohibited in all health products in Singapore," said the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) in a reply to ST.

It added that it has detected DNP being sold as weight-loss products on local e-commerce platforms, and has worked closely with the platforms' administrators to promptly remove these online listings to minimise harm to the public.