As posted via medscape.com:
The American Kratom Association (AKA) has petitioned the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to “review and correct” the agency’s public health advisory on kratom.
As reported by Medscape Medical News, on November 14, the FDA warned against the use of kratom, a plant with opioid properties, noting it is addictive and has been linked to 36 deaths.
The AKA, a consumer-based nonprofit organization, said the advisory is based on “discredited, incomplete, and mischaracterized scientific claims” and should be rescinded.
The organization has initiated a formal dispute resolution petition with the US Department of Health and Human Services challenging the “weak scientific basis” of the FDA advisory and seeking to have it overturned, according to a statement from the organization.
“For years, the FDA has published scientifically inaccurate information on the health effects of consuming kratom, directly influencing regulatory actions by the DEA [Drug Enforcement Administration], states, and various local government entities. AKA believes the FDA health advisory on kratom will lead to more state and local bans, all based on discredited, incomplete, and mischaracterized scientific claims,” the statement reads.
Kratom is derived from the leaves from the kratom tree (Mitragyna speciosa), which is native to Thailand, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea. Its popularity is increasing in the United States, with users claiming the botanical helps treat pain, anxiety, depression, and, more recently, opioid withdrawal.
But it is an unapproved drug and is being illegally promoted for those conditions, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, said in the public health advisory. He added that current evidence shows that kratom “has similar effects to narcotics like opioids and carries similar risks of abuse, addiction, and in some cases, death.”
A “Handful of Possible Deaths”
The AKA disagrees, stating that, contrary to the statement that kratom has narcotic opioidlike abuse potential and other effects, kratom is primarily used by millions of Americans not to get “high” but because it is beneficial.
The organization says it is “well documented” that kratom does not cause the lethal respiratory depressing effects that are a hallmark of narcoticlike opioids. “In stark contrast, among millions of users of kratom in America, probably dating back to the 1990s and earlier, there has not been a single documented actual kratom-caused overdose death.
“The handful of possible kratom-associated deaths in the US involved people taking multiple drugs, with apparent causes of death varying widely, quite unlike what is seen with narcoticlike opioids,” the AKA said.
“We care very much about the health and well-being of the kratom community and that is why we welcome a full-scale review and the eventual rescinding of the FDA’s latest attack on kratom,” said AKA President and Board Chair Dave Herman.
“We know from surveys that kratom consumers are concerned about being forced to seek relief by using illegal opioids in the event that kratom is banned. It would be an outrageous and unacceptable public health outcome if the effect of the FDA assault on kratom backfires and leads to more opioid addiction and death.
“The very real possibility of this kind of unintended consequence happening in the wake of FDA-inspired restrictions on kratom should give any responsible legislator or regulator real pause,” Herman stated.
The AKA’s petition is available online.
Above is a list of states that have been on the ban list for the last few years. Thanks to the American Kratom Association & Botanical Education Alliance as well as the amazing efforts of the kratom community, we have had a great many successes.
This list is to illustrate that we DO and CAN have an effect on the outcomes. We hope that this motivates those who do not feel empowered, with or without you we will fight on for our personal liberties but ‘with’ you, we have more of a chance. This country was based on
freedom and liberties, we can not let the ignorant and/or ill-willed entities further take these from us…
Please make a donation to one or both of the organizations fighting to keep kratom legal in ALL states. Every little bit counts, even $5, $10 or $20!
Available in 8 distinct colors!
Each purchase is a donation to the American Kratom Association.
We would like to bring to your attention that some of the aromas could be affected by the Indonesian forest fires. In case you notice some smokiness in the leaf material, this could very well be the reason. As always, thanks for your patience and understanding and keep in mind that this is a temporary situation. You can see the full image/map below. (as reported on the Guardian, please read full article here)
As satellite data of the fire hotspots shows, forest fires have affected the length and breadth of Indonesia. Among the worst hit areas are southern Kalimantan (Borneo) and western Sumatra. The fires have been raging since July, with efforts to extinguish them hampered by seasonal dry conditions exacerbated by the El Nino effect. As well as Indonesia, the acrid haze from the fires is engulfing neighbouring Malaysia and Singapore and has reached as far as southern Thailand. read more here“
by: Robert Engle, Director of Public Relations, World Coalition for Botanical Development (WCBD)
WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The following is an opinion editorial provided by Robert Engle, Director of Public Relations, World Coalition for Botanical Development (WCBD):
“This was the clarion call to wake up, smell the coffee (another botanical) and delve more deeply into natural agents and understand mechanisms of action and implement in my family medicine practice”
According to new research in the Journal of the American Medical Association, more Americans than ever are taking prescription drugs — close to 60 percent of U.S. adults. The research surveyed more than 37,000 adults to find that the percentage of people taking prescription drugs rose from 51 percent of the adult population in 1999 to 59 percent in 2011.
Further, more people are taking five or more drugs at once. In 1999, 8.2 percent of adults did. In 2011, 15 percent of adults did. The research found that it is particularly notable among older adults 65 and older — that’s 39 percent of the age group. Another issue with pharmaceuticals is that they are one of the leading causes of death in this country, killing one American every 19 minutes — as well as a major cause of emergency room visits.
We at the World Coalition for Botanical Development (WCBD) are shocked at these numbers and believe that safe, natural alternatives are an answer to the spike in pharmaceutical over-treatment for so many ailments. A particular focus is the continued availability of kratom as an effective natural supplement. Kratom, a 100 percent natural plant and herbal supplement from Southeast Asia, has been used safely for hundreds of years as a natural analgesic, muscle relaxer, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and opioid withdrawal treatment.
Dr. Phil Schoenwetter, a family practitioner in Southern California, saw first hand the “stunning” benefits kratom had in treating his wife’s severe migraines, which before required heavy doses of prescription medications.
“This was the clarion call to wake up, smell the coffee (another botanical) and delve more deeply into natural agents and understand mechanisms of action and implement in my family medicine practice,” he said. “Kratom now is a ‘must have’ adjunct to numerous long term conditions and its role in my practice already exceeds ‘usual and customary’ uses.”
Another kratom advocate in the medical profession is Dr. Gerald Wall, a retired New Jersey pharmacist. He discovered kratom while searching for a holistic and alternative cure for chronic fatigue and a near life-time of severe pain in his legs. As a pharmacist, he had access to all kinds of pain pharmaceuticals, and like many, didn’t like their side effects. “With kratom there are no negative side effects or responses,” he said.
He found that with kratom, he could move with no pain, had increased energy and stamina, and could exercise vigorously.
Ryan Estevez, MD, PhD, MPH is a psychiatrist and psychopharmacologist who has worked for years in emergency rooms, community health centers, and prisons adds: “In fact, there is emerging evidence that kratom can be helpful in alleviating symptoms of opioid withdrawal.”
So, instead of the usual medical industry knee-jerk reaction in prescribing drugs for all ailments, let’s focus on beneficial, 100 percent natural botanicals that have proven remedies and could help many, many more.
(Article as seen on WatchDog.org) The CSB has the authority to deschedule kratom and make it legal again in Wisconsin. Bloom wants the board to do it.
Another board member, Dr. Timothy Westlake, said there could be a real public benefit in descheduling kratom.
“We’re trying to decrease the amount of opiates that are prescribed for pain. (Kratom) is not a panacea, but the addictive potential seems a heck of a lot less than that of opiates,” said Westlake, a physician from Oconomowoc.
But science alone won’t be enough to deschedule kratom. There are also a series of bureaucratic hurdles that must be overcome.
First, the CSB will have to follow a procedure originally created by the Food and Drug Administration in the 1970s to determine the potential dangers associated with a scheduled substance, before it can use its administrative rule-making authority to deschedule kratom.
Then a statement regarding the scope of the proposed rule change must submitted to the governor’s office.
If Gov. Scott Walker approves the scope statement, the CSB can formally vote to adopt the rule.
Then the rule must submitted to the state legislature’s Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules for approval before it can take effect.
It’s a process that will take months or possibly years to complete, and not all members of the CSB are convinced it should use its rule-making power to reverse an act of the Legislature, but the board voted unanimously Tuesday to take the first step.
The CSB voted to have staff members research why the chemicals in kratom were placed on the list of substances to be scheduled.
It’s a small step, but Kerry Biggs was pleased…Read More
Thanks to the Botanical Legal Defense & our hard work in keeping Kratom legal in Florida and elsewhere, we were able to find proponents of kratom in the professional world cutting through the ignorant hype machine that is the media’s misinformation. Of these professionals is:
Ryan Estevez, MD, PhD, MPH, a psychiatrist and psychopharmacologist in the Tampa area who has worked for years in emergency rooms, community health centers, and prisons, says: “I am well versed in both ‘good’ drugs that help people on a daily basis, and ‘bad’ drugs that are epidemically abused and create a tremendous burden on society. Kratom is [a natural herbal supplement] and not one of these ‘bad’ drugs (I have yet to admit anyone for kratom-addiction) and efforts to ban it are misguided and wasteful. Grieving parents, well intentioned policy makers, and opportunist politicians often seize on opportunities to assign blame and then offer a ‘quick fix.’ The proposal of an absolute ban of Kratom perfectly illustrates what can happen when hype trumps science, as this plant has been benefiting millions of people for decades of time. I have been troubled by an increase in news reports and misinformation that has been disseminated about the ‘dangerous’ and ‘addictive drug’ Kratom. Even worse is the subsequent careless and knee-jerk response by many legislators and policy makers to ban Kratom. I believe much of the negative publicity surrounding Kratom to be the result of being incorrectly lumped in with synthetically derived mind-altering substances such as ‘spice” and bath-salts, substances that deserve their reputations for being dangerous and harmful.”
– Please read full article HERE @ MarketWatch.com (Thanks for posting and the support!)
Great news Kratomites! This could be the first time that a Member of Congress ( or any elected official anywhere ) has ever publicly recognized the benefits of Kratom or condemned the FDA‘s abusive and improper actions against Kratom users, sellers and importers .
“Mrs. RADEWAGEN. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to submit an article from the July 23, 2015 edition of the Washington Times entitled, An excuse for crushing kratom: The FDA’s undue scrutiny is unscientific.” stated Hon. Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen (Congresswoman from American Samoa).
“Last year, Americans spent an estimated $374 billion on prescription drugs, up 13 percent from the year before. These drugs include OxyContin, Vicodin, Percocet and others that the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved for sale without regard to their potential for abuse.
Meanwhile, the “potential for abuse” was used for many years to block even a discussion of the possible medical benefits of cannabis. And now federal officials are using it again to attack another potential natural remedy, kratom.
Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa), which derives from a tree that grows in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, has been found to reduce pain, lessen dependence on opiates (like OxyContin), and work as a mild stimulant.” Read Article Here (Congress)
The Botanical Legal Defense would like to thank the State of Florida and the House Criminal Justice Committee for accepting our proposed study amendment to HB 287. This amendment exemplifies the Committee’s and its members’ goals in listening to the citizens of Florida and actively supporting their legislative, economic, educational, and health-related needs.
This is an achievement for Florida as well as all members of the Kratom community and we appreciate their ongoing support and contributions. The Botanical Legal Defense looks forward to continuing to work with national, state, and local legislatures and agencies to increase the educated awareness of Kratom throughout the population and ensure responsible use and regulation.