11th June 2024

Warwickshire TS seize muscle drugs

Half a million pounds’ worth of SARMs were found at a local fulfilment house.

By JTS Staff
Journal of Trading Standards' in-house team
These products are both illegal to sell and potentially dangerous to consume

Officers from Warwickshire County Council Trading Standards have seized £500,000 worth of illegal muscle-building drugs which are unsafe for human consumption.

The drugs, known as SARMs (selective androgen receptor modulators) are unauthorised ‘novel foods’ which have the potential to cause a range of health problems, including an increased risk of heart attack or stroke, psychosis and hallucinations, sexual dysfunction and infertility, and liver failure.

A sample of the illegal products seized (image credit: Warwickshire County Council)

Officers were alerted to their presence by staff at the fulfilment house in north Warwickshire, and on investigation discovered 5,577 SARMs and 38 Turkesterone products, which contain plant-derived ecdysteroids.

SARMS are synthetic chemical substances that mimic the effects of testosterone and anabolic steroids. They were originally developed as an experimental drug to treat muscle-wasting conditions. In the UK SARMS are illegal to sell, but can still be found for sale, often marketed in both a liquid and tablet form to bodybuilders as ‘steroid alternatives’ or even ‘legal steroids’ and used to build muscle. However, the bottles seized by Warwickshire Trading Standards clearly stated ‘not for human consumption’.

On 22 May at Coventry Magistrates Court, Warwickshire County Council was granted a Food Condemnation Order under the Novel Foods (England) Regulations 2018. The products will now be destroyed to prevent them from being used for human consumption.

Councillor Andy Crump, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety at Warwickshire County Council, said: “These products, which are being promoted on some social media sites as a way for gym-goers to build muscle and shed fat, are both illegal to sell and potentially dangerous to consume.

“I’m delighted that Trading Standards has taken this action to protect consumers. I would also like to thank the fulfilment house for its vigilance in identifying these products and alerting Trading Standards.”

At court, Ellis & Gallagher Ltd of Kenton Lane, Harrow, was deemed to be the owner of the product. The court awarded Warwickshire County Council costs against Ellis & Gallagher Ltd in the sum of £2,827.50.


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