FDA Should Take A Fresh Look At Kratom Science

In an online press conference today, Dr. Jane Babin—author of a recent white paper disclosing numerous errors, omission, and misstatements committed by the FDA in analyzing deaths it erroneously associates with kratom—called upon FDA to “take a fresh look as scientists.”  Dr. Babin provided a litany of FDA mistakes and missteps related to its data and conclusions, including miscounting deaths, failure to cite deadly toxic substances that had been used to contaminate kratom and was found in decedents’ bodies, and even cases of suicide and homicide that FDA attributed to kratom.

Dr. Oliver Grundmann from the College of Pharmacy and Department of Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Floridacriticized FDA’s representation that kratom is an opioid and may lead to addiction.  “Mitragynine (the active ingredient in kratom) is unlikely to reach blood levels in unadulterated kratom products that would create adverse effects,” he said, explaining that while mitragynine binds to opioid receptors, the effects are “quite different” from classic opioids.  Those who use kratom are not inclined to use more, and research demonstrates that “those who have been using drugs before kratom seek out kratom powder to mitigate their dependence on drugs.”  According to Dr. Grundmann, “Kratom is used as a harm reduction agent—an important step that speaks against (the FDA’s claim) that kratom is a gateway drug.”

Read the full press release from the American Kratom Association here.

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