Suspended jail sentence for Pontymister supplement seller
A 44 year old man from Trafalgar Street, Pontymister has been given a 26 week suspended prison sentence, following a Caerphilly Trading Standards investigation into his food supplement business.
Jeffrey Young, the Director of JY Nutrition Limited, which traded from Commercial Street, Pontymister was investigated after Trading Standards received a complaint from the parent of a young man who had taken weight loss pills purchased from JY Nutrition Limited which had made him ill.
As a result Trading Standards visited the shop, initially to advise that any suspect items be removed from sale, but when they were not, to seize and sample a large number of products – 48 in total.
Of the 48 products, 47 were found not to comply with various pieces of legislation.
The case was heard at Cwmbran Magistrates Court on 22nd February 2016. The company pleaded guilty to 15 charges under six separate pieces of legislation, namely:
- Three offences contrary to the Food Supplement (Wales) Regulations 2003 – relating to the omission of required information on labels, such as warnings not to exceed the recommended dose
- Six offences contrary to the Nutrition and Health Claims (Wales) Regulations 2007 – relating to the use of unauthorised claims, such as ‘zero carbs’
- One offence contrary to the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 – which related to the exposing for sale of a slimming product called ‘ReducTrim’. This product contained the active ingredient Sibutramine, which is not only a prescription only medicine, but also one which is banned in the UK because of its links to cardiovascular problems
- Two offences contrary to the General Food Regulations 2004 – relating to the failure of the business to be able to provide full details of where they sourced two of the products sampled. These products ‘JY Extreme Fat Burners’ were purchased loose and packed and labelled by JY Nutrition Limited, and was the product that had made the complainants son ill. Another product, ‘Limit Loss’ when analysed was found to contain traces of the Class B drug amphetamine
- Two offences contrary to the Food Safety Act 1990 – relating to mis-described food supplements, for example, a claim that a product contained vitamin B6 when it did not
- One offence contrary to the Food Intended for Use in Energy Restricted Diets for Weight Reduction Regulations 1997 – relating to the use of an unauthorised statement on the label of a weight loss dietary supplement
The company was ordered to pay £150 for each of the offences, totalling £2,250 together with prosecution costs of £5,000 and a £20 victim surcharge.
As a Director of the company, Young also pleaded guilty to 11 of the charges – and when dealing with the defendant, Magistrates concentrated on the two charges under the General Food Regulations 2004 and the failure to provide traceability details. The court said that the offences committed by Young were so serious that the only course open to them was to impose a prison sentence. Young was sentenced to 13 weeks imprisonment for each of two offences – to run consecutively (26 weeks in total), but suspended for two years. In addition, he was also fined a total of £500, ordered to pay prosecution costs of £2,137.65 and an £80 victim surcharge.
Cabinet Member with responsibility for Public Protection, Cllr Nigel George said, “This was an extremely serious case, and one which potentially could have put people’s lives in danger. Our Trading Standards team work relentlessly to ensure that people operating outside the law, and risking the safety of others in doing so, are brought to task over their actions. I am pleased that the courts emphasised the seriousness of this case in the sentence and fines imposed both upon the company and Mr Young”.
To report an issue to Caerphilly County Borough Council’s Trading Standards team, please visit www.caerphilly.gov.uk/tradingstandards or call 01495 235 291.
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