Illegal muscle drugs worth half a million pounds seized by trading standards in Warwickshire

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Half a million pounds worth of illegal and potentially dangerous muscle building drugs have been seized by Warwickshire County Council Trading Standards.

SARMS (Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators) are an unauthorised ‘novel food’ the consumption of which may cause a range of problems including an increased risk of heart attack or stroke, psychosis and hallucinations, sexual dysfunction and infertility, and liver failure.

Trading Standards Officers were alerted to the existence of the products by a North Warwickshire fulfilment house and investigated. There they found 5577 SARMS and 38 Turkesterone food supplements.

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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.

Some of the seized products. Picture courtesy of Warwickshire Trading Standards.Some of the seized products. Picture courtesy of Warwickshire Trading Standards.
Some of the seized products. Picture courtesy of Warwickshire Trading Standards.

"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.”

SARMS are synthetic chemical substances that mimic the effects of testosterone and anabolic steroids.

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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'.

At Coventry Magistrates Court on Wednesday May 22 , 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.

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At court, Ellis & Gallagher Ltd of Kenton Lane, Harrow, was deemed to be the owners of the products.

The court awarded Warwickshire County Council costs against Ellis & Gallagher Ltd to the sum of £2827.50.