All the controversies that revolve around Kratom ban make it a highlighted subject in the media. It has been years now that we are hearing about Kratom being a deadly drug, DEA banning the Kratom and FDA sending notices to Kratom vendors to shut their business. What is it all about?
All the calls sent out to ban Kratom has made a misconception amongst the masses, people fear the effects of Kratom and consider it to be responsible for many fatal incidences.
With such air around, it’s hardly possible to look at the positive aspect of this wondrous substance, but I am here to share my journey with you, and I am here to connect you with the reality about Kratom ban controversies.
FDA/DEA Kratom Ban Attempt Controversy
It was two years back when the news of banning of Kratom came out. I was a regular user back then, and I knew how effective Kratom is.
I had a back injury after I fell off the stairs at work. I was bedridden for weeks. After I started moving, I had intense pain. I took morphine and pethidine for the management of pain.
For a while, it worked, but somehow it was more a solution to my addiction that I gradually developed to it and less of management for my pain.
Then, a friend of mine told me about Kratom. I started taking it, and to my surprise, it worked.
I was better than ever, my mood improved and gradually I started getting back to life. It was a miracle.
I never thought I’d be back to normal life. For me, it was heaven.
And then, I read the news about Kratom banning. It was devastating for me.
This was when I started advocating for Kratom with many others who knew how beneficial it was.
For the DEA and FDA, Kratom was one of those drugs that can cause fatalities. They even reported events, without the slightest trace of information that all those incidents were more due to mixing of drugs then exclusively Kratom intake.
The legislation was expected to pass, and we as Kratom advocates would not let that happen.
It’s like taking life from a person who needs it. Our major outcry worked, the DEA and FDA slowed down, and they went for further reports and scientific evidence against Kratom.
Kratom support movement has recently spurred in many parts of America, mainly due to the contributions of Dave Herman, the man behind American Kratom Association (AKA).
His regular call for actions has evoked a sense of responsibility in Kratom users and vendors.
In 2016, the DEA (the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration), temporarily moved Kratom to the Schedule I substances after they associated Kratom to some incidents involving fatalities.
Schedule I drugs are illegal to carry and sell as they have a high potential for abuse and have no medicinal benefits.
When this was made public, Kratom supporters all over the US got together and started a pro-Kratom campaign.
They signed a White House Petition to keep Kratom legal, and the petition reached 120,000 signatures.
They were of the view that Kratom has medical uses and one cannot just place it in a category where harmful drugs like LSD, ecstasy,and heroin are placed.
The DEA reversed its decision later in the same year. Currently, Kratom is a legal substance in various states and is available mainly online.
However, it is not permissible to sell in six US states that include: Wisconsin, Indiana, Arkansas, Alabama, Tennessee, and Vermont. The legislation about Kratom is pending in many states – Ohio, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, New Jersey & New Hampshire.
To this day, however, Kratom is regularly attacked by the FDA, and they make false claims about it on social media accounts of notable FDA persons.
An army of bureaucrats is supporting the misinformation spread by the FDA.
The AKA, however, has not stepped down. They won the support of leading scientists to do more research on the safety of Kratom and gathering lobbyist to stop Kratom ban proposals from being incorporated into the legislature.
Is it enough? This is something that we need to investigate.
AKA has been pointing out repeatedly that a set of legislation must be followed to ban Kratom, and mere claims on Twitter and lack of evidence in FDA reports cannot lead to the banning of Kratom.
It is very accurate that there is very little research about Kratom. However, this doesn’t mean that it is not safe.
The users out there take Kratom daily; they have never come up with any serious side effects.
The cases where Kratom was held responsible for fatalities, involved the mixing of many drugs.
In its pure form, Kratom cannot cause deaths. An overdose of Kratom may cause side effects but not very serious ones.
In all the 44 deaths, that the FDA claims to be due to Kratom, various substances and drugs like narcotics, fentanyl, and benzodiazepines were found in the bodies.
But, to ensure that Kratom stays legal, we need valid scientific research to strengthen our claims about Kratom’s use in various ailments and its efficacy and potency.
According to the recent reports of FDA, Kratom is said to have properties like that of opioids which makes it a harmful substance.
All over America, Kratom advocates are urging the FDA to look more into the properties of Kratom and not label it as an opioid.
Some Kratom proponents have started questioning the soundness of the sources of FDA while others are convincing researchers and scientists to study Kratom in detail.
FDA Junk Science & Fabricated Warnings
The FDA Kratom warnings started in Nov 2017 when they issued an announcement on their website about the risks associated with the Kratom use.
Although there are strong evidence of Kratom safe use for opiate withdrawal backed by many scientists (Marc T. Swogger, Jack E. Henningfield, O. Hayden Griffin,C. Michael White), the FDA mentioned that Kratom could expand the opioid epidemic and expressed their concern on the Kratom use as an alternative to opioids.
In Feb 2018, the FDA revealed that they had developed a computational model called Public Health Assessment via Structural Evaluation(PHASE) to evaluate the abuse potential of Kratom alkaloids.
Through this model, the structures of the alkaloids were assessed and compared to the formation of scheduled substances like Opioids. Then the binding of this alkaloid with mu-opioid receptors is studied,and the affinity with which it binds to the receptors is noted.
The results from testing Kratom in this model reported that it is even more dangerous than Opioids as it binds stronger than opioids to mu receptors and that it has no medicinal properties or can be included in the treatment regimen of chronic pain and Opiate withdrawal.
The FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb warned the masses not to use as its safety could not be ensured.
When the report surfaced, the American Kratom Association labeled it as ‘junk science.
Dave Herman, chairman AKA stated that FDA has provided inaccurate information and is targeting Kratom without evidence based on experiments involving animals or humans as subjects.
He also presented an in-depth report about the causalities associated with Kratom.
Surprisingly, the 44 deaths reported had taken place over nine years, and death certificates for some showed causes like heart issues, homicide, and poisoning from other drugs.
Meanwhile, when many of us were struggling with legalizing Kratom, we heard of the Kratom contamination issue. A multi-state outbreak of Salmonella infections in early 2018 was associated with Kratom.
In all the cases, the FDA reported that the patient had to encounter Kratom from certain brands. The FDA quickly came into action, investigated the incidents and called for action.
Contaminated Kratom products were removed from the market, and a press release was made notifying the general masses about the Kratom contamination and why one should avoid it.
This was a significant setback to all the Kratom lovers. Just because some companies weren’t conscious enough about proper processing and packaging, the entire Kratom community had to suffer.
The American Kratom Association immediately asked all the vendors to trace back their products and get rid of them if they have Salmonella traces.
The association also urged to meet the regulatory requirements of Kratom packaging and selling to ensure it is safe.
The good thing is that vendors and community want to work with the federal agencies for proper quality assurance in the dietary supplement industry. But the FDA doesn’t want to dialogue with the Kratom advocates, and they ignored many meeting requests submitted by the American Kratom Association.
Kratom Hysteria Created By Big Pharma
The beneficial plant “Kratom” has gained much popularity among those who want to stop addicted drugs without experiencing any serious withdrawal harm.
According to American Kratom Association, there are more than 3 million active kratom users and the industry is rapidly growing.
The numbers of vendors (local and online) exceed 10,000 just in the US, and the worth of the Industry is over $1.13 billion (source: BEA).
Prescription medications (Methadone, Buprenorphine, and Naltrexone) help addicted people to withdraw from opiates. Kratom is a cheap alternative to both prescription painkillers and opiate withdrawal medications, and it threatens the pharmaceuticals who want to earn a significant profit in this opioid crisis.
The fear of losing money in US opioid crisis has led the big pharma to pour billions of dollars in funding congress members and federal agencies over a decade.
The pharmaceuticals are actively working to isolate the 3 most important Kratom alkaloids (Mitragynine, 7-hydroxymitragynine, Speciofoline) so they can manufacture synthetic opioids and earn a big profit from it.
Since drug makers can’t patent a natural plant which can be grown in your backyard, the pharmaceutical companies are pushing FDA to create Kratom hysteria.
They are working hard to criminalize the kratom sale and that only possible when the Gov bans it nationwide.
See what the famous American Attorney “Mike Papantonio” talk about the big pharma influence on the FDA for a Kratom nationwide ban.
Kratom Ban Controversies By The Media
We see the media spreading all sort of talks about Kratom, but are they authentic?
Just because a specific lobby is against Kratom, the propaganda about Kratom has been on the rise. As Kratom advocates, it is our job to identify how true these controversies are and ensure that we educate people about this baseless propaganda.
The coverage Scott Gottlieb, commissioner FDA is getting on his stance against Kratom is shocking to most of the Kratom users.
We understand he’s creating panic and ushering the masses to discontinue the use of Kratom by evoking fear. This doesn’t however, mean that Kratom can be banned just like that.
There’s a proper way to bring about legislation, and it means you must go by the constitution to get Kratom banned.
The rampant of Scott Gottlieb on Twitter has been nothing less than accusing Kratom of something that it is not.
Kratom should not be used to treat medical conditions or as an alternative to Rx opioids. https://t.co/rSsLSgNwbN— Scott Gottlieb, M.D. (@SGottliebFDA) March 10, 2018
It’s good to be vigilant and to be responsible, but there’s nothing to panic about because Kratom banning cannot just happen based on some tweets.
Also, the FDA and the DEA need to go through a specific criterion before placing Kratom in Schedule I substances. They have to go for an 8-factoran alysis test.
A notable physician, Dr. Jack Henningfield conducted this test on Kratom and found that Kratom is as addictive as coffee and as harmless as coffee.
The fake news of 17 deaths in Georgia due to Kratom is an example of how media is spreading controversies without any evidence and proper research.
Most of the media persons are blindly following the federal agency announcements and re-posting that on their websites for gaining new visitors.
Controversies By Kratom Merchants
There are vendors out there who would do anything to increase their sales. You must have come across a lot of them.
Their controversial statements about Kratom make one think if Kratom is safe or not and prompts the FDA to act against such fraudulent businesses.
For example, many vendors will claim that Kratom is an anti-cancer therapy without any sound proof and others will argue that it is the only therapy for depression.
These are ideas and require sound research before the Kratom vendors share them with people.
Vendors usually do this to attract customers but end up having the attention and action of the FDA. It is very crucial that responsible advertisements are made, and vendors avoid such claims.
FDA had issued a warning to several Kratom companies who claim that these supplements can “treat opium addiction, anxiety, pain, depression, diarrhea, blood pressure, obesity,and several other ailments.
Recent Ban Attempts
The Ohio Board of Pharmacy has recently voted to classify the Mitragyna Speciosa as a schedule 1 substance. Police in Ohio conducted raids on Kratom stores selling various products marketed as for human consumption.
Mark Bruce who is from Agriculture Department and leading the raids, said that Kratom couldn’t be sold in the form of pills or candies which are clearly for human consumption.
However, it can be sold in the form of pure powder.
AKA’s recent misleading bulletins of Kratom shipment seizures and blockage to the US is creating panic among needed consumers. According to AKA president Dave Herman, the FDA is working on running a shadow ban on the Kratom, which can’t be possible through direct scheduling.
These alarming bulletins of Kratom shipment ban could incite fear among people, and there are chances of hike in Kratom prices due to stock up and shortage.
Recent news published on the statnews.com website states that the Department of Health and Human Services has recommended the DEA a ban on the Kratom alkaloids that have “a high potential for abuse.”
However, DEA spokesperson “Rusty Payne” has declined to say that they will follow the HHS Kratom ban recommendations sent to them in a letter on Oct. 17, 2017.
How To Stop Kratom Ban Attempts?
- First, the vendors need to market their products more responsibly. Stop using any medical claims. Stop telling customers that Kratom is the treatment for opiate withdrawal. Don’t make any claims until unless you can prove it with scientific research.
- Second, all users must start sharing positive reviews about Kratom, in the form of blog posts or YouTube videos.
- Remember, humans cannot be used as subjects many experimental trials, so your reports are critical to prevent the banning of Kratom.
- Third, start donating to organizations that support Kratom. All the legal processes require money, so we need to donate to organizations like American Kratom association.
- These donations will also help in initiating research projects. Recently, Dave Herman has sent out a call for donations.
- The donations will be used to hire a legal team to counteract the FDA on Kratom seizures and import alerts.
- Try to understand that you are not just fighting some government factions, and there are faces that we are not even aware of.
- Their Kratom ban game is getting stronger by day, so we need to employ all ways to educate people about the misinformation being spread.
- To actively support Kratom, start writing positive blog posts, write emails to people, call them and educate them, share facts with them because that is the only weapon you have in this advocacy fight for Kratom.
- Whether Kratom is safe or not, we must act as responsible citizens. Even paracetamol if not appropriately taken can cause death.
It is our responsibility to take Kratom properly, in optimum dosage to avail the medicinal benefits.
If we use it irresponsibly, the entire Kratom community suffers.
To support Kratom more actively, connect to the American Kratom association, sign their most recent petition and donate!
About The Author:
Jennifer Kurtz is a co-founder of KratomGuides.com, medical writer, and having a great experience of Mitragyna speciosa industry. I love to report everything about the Kratom and share the most authenticated information.